Our Stories

Standing on the shoulders of giants: five minutes with Dr. Maria Jogova, chief medical resident

Toronto, July 5, 2017

By Emily Holton

Dr. Maria Jogova
Dr. Maria Jogova

“Growing up, I explored a bunch of different professions: marine biology, law, counseling psychology, research. I told my mom at one point I wanted to be a poet, and she was like, ‘Go for it!’ My parents just wanted me to figure out what I liked to do, and pursue it. They were really supportive.

As I went through my undergrad, I realized that I wanted to do something where I could have an immediate impact on people and their lives. I had a love of science, and was really interested in how the body and mind work. There’s no better way to integrate those interests than with medicine. There’s a lot of detective work with medicine as well, and that really appealed to me – getting to know people and their health histories, and trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

I’ve been a resident for three years, here at St. Mike’s and at other hospitals. At St. Michael’s, the people are supportive like almost nowhere else. Residents get a lot of mentorship here, especially as you become more senior. You also have a lot of autonomy over what you choose to focus on and how to spend your time. It’s an amazing place to work; I’ve loved being a resident here.

I remember one late night, caring for a patient with a serious complication of diabetes. The patient had a bunch of social challenges, and they didn’t want to be here at all. I had requested blood work and checks every hour, and the nurse was so great and supportive at every step of the way. As the night went on, the patient felt better and better and became much friendlier and chattier. It was the first time I had managed a serious case like that, with the support of my senior resident.

I remember feeling so excited: proud of myself for managing the case appropriately; happy to have these strong working relationships with my colleagues; and so thankful for the opportunity to help this person who was so sick. I remember almost skipping down the corridor, hoping no one could see me!

On July 1, I became St. Michael’s chief medical resident. I’ll have clinical, teaching and administrative responsibilities, and I’m here to support the residents’ well-being and make sure that they’re having a good experience at St. Michael’s. I also have my own academic work and projects to tackle this year. The chief medical residents preceding me have been truly amazing – I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.”

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 more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless 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.

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