April 29, 2016 - In Ontario, we recognize the hard work and selfless dedication of our 27,000 physicians on Doctor's Day.
CAMH is fortunate to have 390 talented physicians leading the way in transforming care for CAMH clients. While the vast majority is psychiatrists, this group also includes 38 hospitalists. They provide compassionate, patient-centered care for those in need.
To mark the occasion, we’re sharing perspectives from three remarkable physicians at CAMH: Drs. Andrew Smith, Angela Golas, Stefan Kloiber, and Suvendrini Lena.
Dr. Andrew Smith
A physician with CAMH’s Addiction Medicine Service and clinical lead of the Pain and Chemical Dependency Clinic, Dr. Andrew Smith and his team help some of society’s most vulnerable people. “I feel incredibly lucky to work in this field. Pain medicine and addiction medicine are emerging specialties that lie at the cross-roads of complex medicine and psychiatry, but build fundamentally on inter-professional practice.”
“Pain, substance use, trauma, medical and mental health issues often go together for our patients in a complex mix, along with stigma and lack of access to effective treatment.”
“I get to do this as part of an amazing, smart, resourceful and dedicated team of administrative and resource professionals, nursing, OT and pharmacy colleagues. The most rewarding aspect of our jobs is when we hear from clients that they feel heard and understood for the first time, and then get to witness them achieve things unimaginable to them.”
A family member of one of Dr. Smith’s patients echoed that sentiment: “Thank you for being such a positive force in [my son’s] life: he has told me how he could be transparent with you, how he trusted you, how you both had some amazing discussions, how he respected you.”
Dr. Angela Golas
On her way to becoming a geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Angela Golas is a resident at CAMH, enrolled in the Clinical Scientist Stream, Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty at the University of Toronto. Passionate about geriatric mental health, Dr. Golas sees immense value in helping the elderly population.
“Geriatric psychiatry is so multifaceted. I enjoy the challenge of caring for patients who often have chronic medical conditions,” she says. “I find it particularly rewarding to participate in research that targets stigmatizing, age-associated illnesses such as cognitive changes and memory loss as people age. Personally, I think that deepening our understanding of how the brain works offers a glimpse into what it is that makes us human.”
For Dr. Golas, the reward of her work comes in the little victories, like supporting a client’s disability application so they can secure better housing, or streamlining medications to avoid bothersome side effects. “These seemingly small interventions have an enormous impact on our clients’ lives.”
Dr. Stefan Kloiber
Relatively new to CAMH, Dr. Stefan Kloiber joined CAMH’s Mood and Anxiety Division as a clinician-scientist, coming from the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany.
As head of the private patient unit for general psychiatry at the Max-Planck-Institute, he was responsible for the clinical training of residents and psychologists. In addition, Dr. Kloiber taught medical students as lecturer in psychiatry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.
Dr. Kloiber is excited about road ahead at CAMH. “There is a great collaborative opportunity at CAMH between research and clinical work with real potential to learn new things through this balance of science and patient care,” he said.
Dr. Suvendrini Lena
neurologist in CAMH’s Geriatric Mental Health Program, Dr. Suvendrini Lena loves
what she does. “I love the
fact that I am a neurologist working at the heart of a psychiatric hospital and
trying to integrate an understanding of the brain as an organ into everything
that I do as a clinician and a teacher,” she said. “This organic approach
is essential to helping people who struggle with neurological and
psychiatric disease; I look at it as a way of addressing both body and soul in
healing or living with chronic illness.”
For Dr. Lena, it’s rewarding to be able to help clients in need, whether it’s helping a client with Parkinson’s disease regain some mobility and motivation, or offering a client who suffers from chronic and severe headaches some relief.
“The greatest personal reward I experience in my work is the opportunity to learn something new about the brain every day,” she added. “My clients are great teachers and I enjoy passing along what I have learned from them to residents and fellows in my educational role.”
On Doctor's Day, we celebrate Drs. Smith, Golas, Kloiber, Lena, and all of CAMH’s committed and remarkable doctors, who continue to transform lives for our clients.