Resident Spotlight: Adrianna Bruni, PGY 2, Family Medicine

During her fourth year of undergraduate medical studies, Dr. Adrianna Bruni took some electives at the Schulich Medicine – Windsor Campus with Drs. Dale Ziter and Lawrence Aoun. She was so impressed by how genuinely they cared about their patients and how dedicated they were to their community that she knew she had to be part of it.  

“I knew the family medicine residency program in Windsor was very strong because of the small size of the program, which means I would have the opportunity to challenge myself a lot on off-service rotations and work directly with staff specialists. It’s been a great experience,” she said.

Why did you choose to pursue medicine?

I am from Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario, where many people don’t have a family doctor. I could easily recognize the negative implications this had on my community and began to feel that family medicine might be a fitting career for me. I have always thought that it is critically important to pursue a career that feels meaningful and intrinsically satisfying, and I have a strong sense of this in medicine.

What was your greatest achievement?

This year, I was very proud to be accepted into the palliative care fellowship program.

What is the most important lesson you have learned through patient care?

I have learned that, even when you are busy, it is undeniably worthwhile to take the extra time needed to make a patient and their family members feel like they are not alone. When a physician makes a patient feel genuinely cared for, listened to and supported, the patient’s experience of their illness is improved, regardless of their health outcome.

Who inspires you?

My dad inspires me. He raised four children as a single parent and did a great job. I look to him for inspiration on how to be resilient during challenging times.

What challenges have you encountered in your residency?

I think the main challenge during residency is feeling overwhelmed or defeated at times. Sometimes you can do your best and work very hard, and yet there may still be a bad outcome, or you may still feel that you haven’t helped. I always think of the “Starfish Story,” in which a man is walking on the beach throwing starfish back into the ocean, and he is questioned by a boy who points out that he can’t possibly solve this problem because there are thousands of starfish washing up onto the shore, so it doesn’t actually matter. And as the story goes, the man throws another starfish back and says something along the lines of “it mattered to this one.” Thinking about this story can help bring things back into perspective when residency feels overwhelming or challenging.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with Vincent Van Gogh because I feel it is sad that he died not knowing how many people ended up loving his artwork, and it would be a privilege to be the one to get to tell him how successful he became.