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Q&A with Drs. Judith Peranson and Danyaal Raza

Toronto, August 5, 2015

By Geoff Koehler

Drs. Judith Peranson and Danyaal Raza
Drs. Judith Peranson and Danyaal Raza stand in front of the newly opened Sumac Creek Medical Centre. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

Dr. Judith Peranson and Dr. Danyaal Raza are family doctors and co-physician leads of the new Sumac Creek Health Centre – a clinic of new and established St. Michael’s health disciplines, nurses, physicians and staff who are committed to providing a team-based approach to care. Sumac Creek is St. Michael’s sixth Family Health Team site and shares space with teams from the hospital’s laboratory medicine, diagnostic imaging and the FOCUS mental health programs.

Q. What does your average day look like?

There really is no average day! Just in the past week, we’ve split our time between our core work–providing care to patients– with planning for the Sumac Creek Health Centre, teaching residents, medical students and graduate students, and working on research and quality improvement projects.

Q. Are there themes or major questions every patient wants to know?

As generalists, we see patients with very different needs and questions but at the end of the day, patients most want to know that you and your team will be there for them when they need it. That’s what we strive to do for every patient.

Q. What specifically attracted you to Sumac Creek Health Centre?

Nearly 10,000 adults living in Regent Park, Moss Park, St. James Town and the surrounding areas do not have access to a primary care provider. Being a part of Sumac Creek is a great opportunity for us to serve the communities by working positively with community partners to provide primary care for the area.

Q. Do either of you have any other doctors in your family?

DR: My grandfather was a GP in British-occupied India. After his family was displaced post-partition, he rebuilt his practice with house calls on his bicycle. One of my proudest moments was when my dad gave me my grandfather’s stethoscope, just days after I graduated with my MD.

JP: I come from a long line of engineers.

Q. After a stressful day, how do you unwind?

DR: When I’m caught up on the day’s clinical, research and administrative tasks, I like to end the day with my partner, on a lighter note. We love catching up on our favourite TV show. Right now, it’s the always funny and often subversive “Fresh off the Boat.”

JP: I like to catch up with friends, maybe check out a new restaurant or grab a frozen yogurt for a stroll in the park if the weather is nice.

Q. Is there a book or activity you're looking forward to this summer?

DR: My summer reading pile is constantly growing! At the top is The Body Economic. Written by two epidemiologists, it uses an evidence-based approach to reveal the often devastating health consequences of austerity budgets and associated government decisions. With a federal election around the corner, it’s a timely read.

JP: Ha! I usually gravitate towards anything fiction. Preferably on a deck somewhere overlooking Georgian Bay.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.