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A week of gratitude and celebration for Holland Bloorview’s developmental pediatric residents

Photo: Holland Bloorview residents pictured left to right: Ayedh Alhajri, Madison Links, Ari Shore, Selamenesh Tsige Legas. *Absent and not pictured: Dr. Jenna McWhirter

Resident Doctor Appreciation Week, celebrated nationally from Feb. 5-10, honours the dedication of emerging medical professionals, recognizing their hard work, compassion and vital contribution to client care.

As part of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s continued partnership with the University of Toronto, developmental pediatric sub specialty residents are required to complete a two-year subspecialty residency training program based at the hospital. This program received full accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2007. Residents play a key role in providing comprehensive care to ambulatory and inpatient clients at Holland Bloorview and work collaboratively with teams across a variety of disciplines.

“Training the next generation of care providers is an honour and we are grateful for their contributions as they become academic and clinical leaders in the field of childhood disability and pediatric rehabilitation,” says Dr. Golda Milo-Manson, vice president, medicine and academic affairs. “We are proud and privileged to have the University of Toronto subspecialty training program in developmental pediatrics based here at Holland Bloorview. Our trainees have filled vacancies in six provinces across Canada and in many countries across the globe.”

Residents receive unique opportunities to develop advocacy projects aimed at addressing social determinants of health, creating positive impact in pediatric health care. In addition, events like the annual Roszel Research Day, now entering its 18th year this February, provides residents with a chance to present ground-breaking research, learn from keynote speakers and connect with likeminded peers.

To honour this week of recognition and celebration, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on two outstanding residents whose passion and dedication contribute to enriching the Holland Bloorview community, and fuel our strategic goal to provide care that’s transformed by education.

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Dr. Selamenesh Tsige Legas

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am the first developmental pediatrician from Ethiopia to establish a developmental clinic in a major tertiary hospital in the country. My passion lies in serving children with disabilities and their families in the field of developmental pediatrics. I am also interested in international knowledge translation work that can help reach underserved and low-resource areas.

What’s one valuable piece of advice you’ve received so far while at Holland Bloorview?

We work with (not for!) children with disabilities and their families to build strong relationships and create a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

What excites you most about working at Holland Bloorview? With children and youth with disabilities?

Holland Bloorview is a great place for learners as it provides exceptional clinical care, professional development opportunities, and fosters a culture of research and innovation. The multidisciplinary team approach is highly aware of the environmental, personal, and social factors that can affect the health and well-being of the child and their families. Holland Bloorview’s dedication to professional development is commendable, with learners being allowed to participate in local and international conferences and academic training. Additionally, allocated time for research and leadership is provided. I particularly appreciate the mentoring provided to me as an international medical graduate adapting to a new environment.

How do you hope your training will help you make an impact for children with disabilities in your future career?

Practicing, teaching, and researching in Canada as a Developmental Pediatrics Clinical Fellow at Bloorview has created monumental growth in my career as a pediatrician. I had the opportunity to practice independently through the Bloorview Continuity Clinic, where I provided holistic care to patients. My fellowship experience and serving as chief resident at Bloorview allowed me to learn how to build foundational connections with both staff and patients. My most recent research project, helped me enhance my leadership, international collaboration and research skills. Because of my training at Bloorview, I am confident I can make valuable contributions to the field clinically through functional and family-centred care approaches.

 

Dr. Madison Links

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Maddy! I’m originally from Hamilton, Ontario. I went to McMaster for medical school and completed my pediatrics residency at Western. I love music, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family!

What’s one valuable piece of advice you’ve received so far while at Holland Bloorview?

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I have received so far is to truly listen to the perspectives and goals of our clients and their families. When we really listen, we can better help our clients achieve their desired goals and thrive in their daily environments.

What excites you most about working at Holland Bloorview? With children and youth with disabilities?

Holland Bloorview is a wonderful place to work! The physical space is open and welcoming. The community of staff is diverse and inclusive. Working with children and youth with disabilities is very joyful, and I feel I learn a lot from our clients and their families. Every day I learn more lessons about adaptability, perseverance and resilience from our clients. 

How do you hope your training will help you make an impact for children with disabilities in your future career?

I hope my training provides me with the tools and confidence to become not only a skilled clinician but also an effective health advocate. I want to be able to use my knowledge and voice to advocate for my clients and their families on a larger scale to ensure that their needs are met within our society.

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As the training program at Holland Bloorview moves forward, developmental pediatrics program directorDr. Angela Orsino remains focused on fostering an environment where every learner can thrive.

“Our residents are a highly motivated group of learners who have a passion to enhance care for children and youth with disabilities,” says Dr. Orsino. “We are committed to providing a collaborative and safe learning environment in which all perspectives are welcomed and valued. We are grateful to learn significantly from the expertise and contributions that our learners bring to the table.”

For more information on the subspecialty residency training program and other student supports, visit our Centralized Student Services hub.