Hao Li

Tell me about your background before pathology/medical school.

My undergraduate was in the Biochemistry Specialist program at the University of Toronto. I went to medical school at Western University but in the Windsor Campus. I was initially interested in surgery, and embarked on a surgical residency at the University of Saskatchewan. But during a lengthy pathology rotation as part of that residency, I came to the realization that pathology was a much better fit for me. Therefore I transferred into pathology here halfway through my surgical residency.

What made you choose pathology as a career?

I see myself as a “thinker”; I enjoy solving puzzles and figuring out problems. Hence pathology, being the “supreme court” of diagnosis, is perfectly suited to me.

What attracted you to Western’s pathology program?

One of the most important features of any residency program is the people whom you work with. When I came to Western for an elective I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to be, because we have an excellent faculty who are very invested in our learning. While some programs tend to overemphasize clinical service, here at Western resident learning takes top priority, without diminishing the practical service training that allows us to function as pathologists from day to day.

What are some specific things that you like about Western’s AP program?

There are so many things I could say but they wouldn’t be able to all fit in this paragraph. To pick some highlights, the program is extremely flexible and accommodating regarding your personal interests, meaning that they will fully support you regardless of your preferences in practice setting and/or subspecialty. We boast a wide range of subspecialty training here to be able to accomplish this. Second, there are many opportunities for us to be involved in to shape our own training. This is important especially since all of us are now in CBME, and with the Royal College exam process finishing in early 5th year, there should be flexibility in pursuing our own interests during the final months of residency.

What are your hobbies outside of medicine?

Good food and good music! My wife and I are both very into classical music, and check out the symphony and opera on a regular basis. We also collect CDs. Not so surprisingly, since we’re so into Italian music, we are also into Italian food. In stark contrast to what I just said, I myself am also an enthusiastic horror film aficionado (which my wife does not like). I watch both English and international horror movies. Finally, I am a big fan of sci-fi movies and the Star Wars franchise.

What are your academic interests?

I am very interested in teaching and research on medical education. My transfer from one specialty to another gave me a glimpse into many aspects of our medical education system that could be improved, and thus I am passionate about this area of academia.

What are your career goals?

I will be staying at Western Pathology for a 2-year Neuropathology fellowship. I was in the clinical neurosciences prior to coming to pathology. Hence I am familiar with the clinical side of neuropathology, and it suits me well I believe.

What is something you would like to tell students who may not be able to do an AP elective at Western?

Great pathology, great city, and great people. We have everything here!