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Inclusivity, advocacy to address social determinants of health appeals to Dr. Ceinwen Pope, co-chief resident for Family Medicine

Toronto, July 10, 2019

By Emily Dawson

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

For 2019-20, St. Michael’s welcomed five new CRs in July: Dr. Danielle Buell (Chief Medical Resident); Dr. Dan Cojocaru; Dr. Ceinwen Pope; Dr. Phoebe Bao; and Dr. Katrina Hui.

We are sharing their stories over the month as they move into this important role. Dr. Pope tells us what inspired a career in medicine, what she’s looking forward to in the coming year, and what she values about working at St. Michael’s.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in medicine and what keeps you inspired?

Dr. Ceinwen Pope
Dr. Ceinwen Pope

Pursuing a career that helps achieve equitable health has been a driving force in my professional decisions for many years. I was drawn to the public health and preventive medicine specialty, combined with family medicine, because of its breadth and impact in being able to address the complex societal factors that contribute to health. Challenging the status quo to address the bigger picture of what makes our population well, and developing upstream solutions for the persistent downstream problems I see my patients faced with continues to motivate me.

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

Leadership and advocacy are areas I feel important to develop as strengths so that I can have the skills to create positive change. Like medicine, medical education has been challenged by system complexities that have contributed to, amongst other things, many medical trainees being burnt out or at risk of burning out. I aim to use the role of chief resident to positively influence the training of my co-residents at St. Michael’s to keep us well and in so doing, allow us continue to meet the needs of our patients.

What drew you to St. Michael’s for your residency?

My first exposure to medicine at St. Michael’s was in the emergency department, and our orientation by the chief resident was representative of my experiences to come. We were invited to understand that patients come to the emergency department for shelter, for support, and because they have nowhere else to go; our role was to be accepting and warm towards the community we are here to keep well. My experience at St. Michael’s has been one of inclusivity, advocacy, and innovation in addressing the social determinants of health – and I am excited to continue working here!


St. Joseph’s chief residents:

St. Michael’s chief residents:


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 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.

About Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto, comprised of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves 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. For more information, visit www.unityhealth.to.


See More of Our Stories in 2019