Lived Experience

332 articles:
by Alykhan Abdulla

A day in a life of a family physician

Family medicine has been in the news lately, with accounts of shortages and medical graduates shunning the practice. Many believe family medicine is about infections, prescription renewals and referrals to specialists. Perhaps by sharing the details of a day in a life in family medicine, then my colleagues can either substantiate, educate or commiserate with my experience.

by Monica Kidd Anthony Fong

Medicine vs. Journalism? Navigating the tension between two fields

It’s no secret that medicine and journalism are often at odds. But what happens when the doctor is a journalist? Physician-journalists Anthony Fong and Monica Kidd discuss navigating the tensions between medicine and journalism.

by Archie Stewart

Finding community, compassion and purpose as a smoking cessation advocate

I tried to quit smoking several times over the span of four decades, until in January 2009 I finally decided I was stronger. It worked. Now I have become a smoking cessation advocate trying to support Canadians, particularly in rural communities, in their efforts to quit smoking.

by Darren Cargill

Tapping into the power of hope

Learning about a patient’s hopes can create an opportunity for both special intervention and improve goals of care conversations and assist doctors in crafting a care plan that will optimize the chances of these dreams coming true. The Oneday Dreams charity offers the hope for better quality of life to patients with terminal illness.

by Natasha Correa Samira Jeimy

‘There aren’t many options for people like me’: A Q&A on living with food allergies

Rates of food allergy have increased in recent decades. 9 per cent of Canadians now report having a food allergy.

by Darren Cargill

On fathers: Paying tribute to those in my life and career

My job gives me an interesting perspective. The simplest lesson I have learned is this: At the end of life, it is not what we have done that we remember most, but it is the things we did not do that we regret.

by Rachel Lebovic

Why I talk about mental illness when stigma tells me I shouldn’t

There is stigma surrounding the illness that nearly took my life and it will be hard for people to look beyond my past. But we will never break the stigma by continuing to give into it in remaining silent.

by Jennifer Hulme

Long COVID – a public health crisis taking out women at the height of their lives

Long COVID symptoms now dominate my life, hopes and dreams. As soon as I realized that I wasn’t getting better after my COVID infection, I went looking for answers.

by Amy Hwang

Togethering as a frustrating, messy yet meaningful journey

For part four of the Togethering Series, Amy reflects on how the pandemic and her mother's heightened and unpredictable home care needs caused her family to come together to take care of each other in seemingly impossible yet profoundly meaningful ways.

by Stephanie Keeling

Stories from the immunocompromised

Now that restrictions are lifted across Canada, discussions with my immunocompromised patients about infection risk are not “one size fits all.”

by Amy Hwang

‘We take care of our own’: Shared family values guide Togethering

Stella and Derek are an example of proactive "Togethering." When the couple were expecting their first child, they purchased a home across the street from Stella's parents to stay close. Part two of the togethering series explores how Stella and Derek are considering new ways of "togethering" as Stella's parents require more care.

by Amy Hwang

Togethering in the face of a degenerative disease

After Andrea's father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2015, it became difficult for her to provide him care in Toronto from her home in the U.S. Eventually she would have to figure out a shared living space that worked for both of her parents and her and her husband. Read Andrea's story navigating "Togethering" in part three of the series.

by Winnie Tsang

Togethering – Exploring housing options and the concepts of care

Togethering is unique for each family. It can take many different forms in where we live, how we support each other and how we transition together as an intergenerational “circle of care.” This introduction to the "Togethering" series explores some housing options built around concepts of care.

by Anne Borden King

Giving birth during the blizzard of 2022 – while fighting COVID

Carrie Clayton drove herself though downtown Toronto during January's record-breaking blizzard to give birth to her daughter. To make matters worse - Carrie also had COVID. This is her story.

by Nicole Naimer

Quit your job, go home and prepare to die: Surviving the AIDS epidemic

In 1986, I left Toronto and moved to New York. I fell head over heels for a man in 1988. We wanted to make sure we didn’t transmit HIV to each other, so we got tested. I felt healthy as ever. However, my test came back: HIV positive.

by Anthony Fong

From music to medicine: Organization strikes a new note at the Ukrainian border

The second installment from Canadian emergency physician and journalist Anthony Fong as he describes his experience at the Ukraine-Polish border, treating Ukrainian refugees fleeing the full-scale invasion of their country.

by Nicole Naimer

‘I am more than just a girl with bipolar disorder’: Illness inspires woman’s passion to pursue degree in psychiatry

I have experienced the deep dark caves of depression and the sky-reaching highs of mania. I’ve even experienced life beyond the scope of reality during psychosis. Despite the overwhelming obstacles my mental illness presents, in a way I’m still grateful for my psychiatric disorder.

by Nicole Naimer

Born with a disease that kills but not at death’s door: Living in that in between

As a child with cystic fibrosis, I was hit with this adult issue of mortality – something no 5-year-old should be worrying about. When I was born in 1971, the median survival rate for women with CF was 20 years old. I’ve chased that median age of survival my whole life.

by Nicole Naimer

​​‘You’re in remission’: Professor goes from picking out gravestone to planning retirement

My illness was something that happened to me, but I was still under there. I had to come out from under that shadow to figure out who I wanted to be even if I was going to die in a few months. My life changed significantly when I realized I was in control. I’ve decided I’m going to retire earlier than originally planned so I can scratch things off my bucket list now that it is deeper than before. I know if my cancer returns, I’m going to have a big blowout funeral party and obviously attend it myself.

by Rachel Lebovic

Our problems don’t stop once we turn 18: Mental health care for young adults

I was 19 when I hit rock bottom. Mental illness wasn’t new to me, but COVID created the perfect storm.

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