Alumni Spotlight: Dr. David Liu

Tell me a bit about yourself. 
I was born in small-town BC to my parents who had not long ago immigrated from China.  I subsequently moved to Vancouver for my undergrad in Microbiology & Immunology before moving to Calgary to obtain a Masters in Biochemistry.  I then moved to Edmonton where I received my MD, and now I’m in London for my residency in Family Medicine.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Cranbrook, BC.

Where do you practice medicine and in what scope? 
I am doing my Family Medicine rotations at the Victoria Family Medical Centre in the east end of London, which comprises a demographically diverse population but who are primarily lower socioeconomic status.

Why did you choose to pursue Postgraduate degree in the Department of Family Medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry? 
I was attracted to Schulich because I felt that it was a program that allowed me to design my postgraduate experience around my interests and goals.  Schulich has a wide range of PGY-3 programs and has a great number of free elective time, which I felt would allow me to pursue training in areas that were important and interesting to me.

Can you tell me about your experience in the program? 
I have had a really positive experience in the program.  As mentioned there is an amazing level of flexibility in the program at Western, which has allowed me to really tailor the learning to my interests.  More specifically I have been able to do electives in parts of Ontario that I am interested in eventually practicing in my future career.  Furthermore, Western offers the chance to do rotations in various locations outside of London, and this has allowed me to see Family Practice in a variety of practice settings.  Additionally, the opportunity to do rotations outside of London has also afforded me the opportunity to gain more hands-on experiences and really enhanced my learning.  I can also say that all the staff that I have encountered have been exceptionally supportive and positive contributors to my experiences in residency.

What has been your greatest challenge?
I think my greatest challenge has been the increasing levels of independence required in the fast training pace of Family Medicine, especially in the Family Medicine clinic; typically, we see patients and there will be some expectation that you will be able to manage their issues without having to always review your management with your staff supervisors.  This has proved especially challenging in the area of London where I am doing my Family Medicine rotation, as the population there typically has multiple issues that are not always straightforward and involve a lot of complexities regarding social factors and issues.  I never feel abandoned but I want to push myself as I know that my training will end quickly and so I want to be able to know I can independently manage patients. 

What has been your greatest experience to date in your study?
My greatest experience is more the culmination of all my training and the realization that I am able to independently and confidently manage a patient with various medical and social issues and feel I’ve made a difference to them.

What inspires you in your work?
I think my inspiration comes from being able to help the generally more disadvantaged people in the area of London where I work and helping them find solutions to the issues that bring them in.  Often, they have nowhere else to turn for support except for the physician’s office, and so it’s gratifying to be able to act as their support network.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My plan is to be in the Toronto area, but my exact practice setting is currently being established.

What special interests or hobbies do you have?
I’m interested in working out, hiking, just being outside and walking around, amateur photography, travelling, urban development, and trying all sorts of food!

What three words best describe you?
Conscientious, determined, chill.