Dr. Aidan Wharton
When I graduated from Laurentian University’s undergraduate biochemistry program, I didn’t plan on going to medical school but I knew I wanted to work with and help people. I moved to Toronto to study to become a perfusionist*, but the more I learned about the cardiorespiratory system, the more I wanted to understand the bigger picture of health and disease.
I applied to NOSM because I support its social accountability mandate and its values coincide with my own. My experiences in northern and rural communities while studying at NOSM opened my eyes to some of the challenges these communities face in health care and beyond. This training left a lasting impact on my outlook on healthcare delivery.
I loved every specialty during my studies so family medicine training made a lot of sense for me. I have always wanted to be a “generalist” and NOSM did well to prepare me for this. As a med student I found emergency medicine (EM) enjoyable but very stressful! As I gained more exposure to EM as a resident in British Columbia I came to enjoy the fast pace, interesting cases and significant positive impact I could make in patient’s lives day to day.
I currently work full time at Health Sciences North in Sudbury as an Emergency Physician, and I work part time in the Espanola Emergency Department, a smaller community hospital along Lake Huron’s North Shore corridor. I am also a Trauma Team Leader for the North East Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) where I coordinate care for trauma patients across our region. It’s a rewarding experience and gives me the opportunity to work with multiple teams of professionals across Northern Ontario to help some of the sickest patients in the province.
Outside of medicine I feel it is important to volunteer in my community. I do so primarily at Camp Manitou**, a non-profit summer camp for children and families on Lake Huron’s beautiful Bay of Islands. I volunteer as a Camp Director and other roles each summer during the youth camps. Working in that volunteer team over many years taught me that service truly builds community.
* Cardiovascular perfusionists are part of the wider cardiothoracic surgical team that operate the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during surgery, to oxygenate blood and circulate it back into the brain and body.
**Camp Manitou is a non-profit summer camp on Huron’s North Channel running 1 and 2 week programs for both youth and family camps during July and August annually. www.manitoucamp.org