Training excellence

When Dr. Christopher Chin, Resident Alumnus ('15) was nearing the end of medical school and deciding what field he would like to complete his residency in, he wanted to ensure his choice met two requirements: the opportunity to be active and hands-on with his work, and the chance to drastically improve his patients’ quality of life.

Dr. Chin always had his sights set on completing a surgical specialty, as he knew it led his father, who is a urologist, to a very rewarding career. He made the decision to pursue Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and matched at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, which was his first choice.

“It definitely made sense to stay in London after medical school because my wife and both of our families were there. But I also knew that the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s residency program was one of the highest-regarded in the country,” he said.

Dr. Chin explained that completing his residency at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry gave him the opportunity to work alongside leaders from every field within otolaryngology.

And because the surgical volume is quite high, he was also able to operate more frequently, which gave him confidence about the skillset he was building.

“The reality is that once you go into your fellowship you gain a lot of independence and need to be able to figure things out on your own,” he said. “Throughout my five years of residency I had the opportunity to work on a high number of diverse cases, which allowed me to feel comfortable about during surgeries safely and effectively on my own.”

From 2015-16, Dr. Chin completed a fellowship in Toronto that gave him the opportunity to split his focus between head and neck cancer, and endoscopic sinus and skull base work. From there he applied to a rhinology position in Saint John, New Brunswick that is affiliated with Dalhousie University and Memorial University.

Working at the main trauma centre for the province, Dr. Chin had to be comfortable with a wide-variety of procedures. He explained his residency training was instrumental in that, because that is when the majority of his big surgical training took place and where he grew as a medical professional.”

“New Brunswick has a very different pace of life than compared to living in Ontario, but I still get to do a good mix of all of the cases that I’m interested, including bigger head and neck cancer cases” he said. “I’m the only person in the province who has a fellowship in sinus surgery, so most of the challenging cases are sent to me.”

While he misses his colleagues and the relationships he built at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, he is still involved with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s annual Bootcamp, and frequently visits for Resident Day.

“Having the opportunity to stay connected and involved has been really nice, especially in a way that feels like I am paying it forward to the next generation,” he said.