Our Stories

Opportunity to help students shine motivates St. Michael’s chief medical resident Dr. Nicola Goldberg

Toronto, August 23, 2018

By Emily Dawson

Dr. Nicola Goldberg stands in the lobby of the Li Ka Shing Education Centre
Dr. Nicola Goldberg

Each year, St. Michael’s Hospital welcomes a new chief medical resident (CMR) to guide the experience we offer to incoming medical students. The CMR role honours the skills and abilities of a stand-out resident and places them in a position to help train and mentor the next generation of students.

For the 2018-19 year, St. Michael’s welcomed Dr. Nicola Goldberg as our new CMR on July 1. We spoke with Dr. Goldberg and asked her a few questions about what inspired a career in medicine, what she’s looking forward to in the coming year, and what she values in the St. Michael’s setting.

Why did you pursue a career in medicine and what keeps you inspired in the profession?

I was not a typical pre-med student during my undergrad studies. I took a wide variety of courses out of interest, with economics and English literature being my favourites, and did not take many science classes. But when I started to think about my career, I realized there were a few things I was looking for: working in teams with people I admire, intellectual stimulation, and the opportunity to help others.

I feel immensely privileged to be in a career that offers all of these things. The sense of camaraderie in medicine helps keep me going through the challenging moments, knowing that we are all in it together, and reminding me that we’re here to serve our patients. I’m also inspired by my patients. I didn’t anticipate how learning about my patients’ different life experiences, which are often far from my own, would shape my own perspective. It’s something that inspires me every day.

How will this role allow you to mentor and train this cohort of residents?

I firmly believe that workplace culture has an immense impact on wellness and performance. As the chief medical resident, I am in a position to strongly influence workplace culture for medical students rotating through our services, and this is a responsibility I take very seriously. If I can make work a safe, supportive, and fun place for our residents, then I know they will grow and shine, and provide the best care that they can to their patients.

What draws you to the work and culture of St. Michael’s?

I feel as though I have “grown up” at St. Michael’s and what draws me to this hospital has always been the people. I spent the majority of my medical school clerkship here; the mentors and relationships I formed during my internal medicine rotation led me to choose it as a specialty. I then did my intern year (my first year of residency) at St. Mike’s, where these relationships grew even stronger. To me, the people here standout because of their common values and desire to create a positive work environment. Many of my colleagues - physicians, nurses, and allied health staff - have become good friends.

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, 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.

St. Michael’s Hospital with Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre now operate under one corporate entity as of August 1, 2017. United, the three organizations serve patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education.

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