Alignment of personal and organizational values important to Dr. Danielle Buell, chief medical resident at St. Michael’s

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Alignment of personal and organizational values important to Dr. Danielle Buell, chief medical resident at St. Michael’s

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. Buell 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. Danielle Buell
Dr. Danielle Buell

I did my undergraduate degree in Toxicology at the University of Guelph, during which I explored other career paths (including working as a Forest Fire Fighter). Ultimately, I realized I wanted a career that allowed me to use my passion and aptitude in science to make a positive impact in people’s lives. To me, that was medicine. Coming from a family with no physicians, I feel incredibly privileged to have a career in medicine, and I work every day to make the most of this opportunity. What keeps me inspired is knowing that no matter what happens each day, I did my best to make a positive impact on my patient’s lives.

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

Medicine can be exhausting and challenging. With so many moving parts and things to learn during training, it can be difficult to look out for your own needs. My hope is the chief medical resident position gives me the ability to advocate for the incoming cohort and support them in becoming competent and thoughtful physicians, without sacrificing their own humanity.

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

I was introduced to St. Michael’s as a first year medical student and was instantly drawn to the community and its commitment to providing for Toronto’s marginalized patient population. There is an intrinsic drive to work towards health equity in a non-judgemental way. This has become a core value within my own belief system and I am proud to be a part of this organization.

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

See More of Our Stories in 2019