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Lung Transplant Fellowship - Fellow's Perspective in Toronto

Dora Azida Amran, MBBS, MRCP

Tereza Martinu

Cecilia Chaparro, MD

Toronto Lung Transplant Program
Toronto, ON, CANADA

The Toronto Lung Transplant Program is one of the many lung transplant programs in the world that offers both a surgical and medical fellowship. The program has a balanced exposure to pre- and post-transplant patients in both ambulatory and hospitalized patients. Our fellows also have the opportunity to improve their skills in medical and surgical thoracic procedures. There is a further option to complete elective rotations in other specialties, such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and histocompatibility. We maintain a lecture series covering a broad range of lung transplant-related topics, as well as regular evening seminars over dinner or beer.

Our fellows come from all over the globe and we admire their courage and determination in leaving their home, their language and their culture for this fellowship. We always hope that in return, they not only get the educational benefit but also the opportunity to know our country and our diverse, multicultural city with its abundance of attractions, culture, food, entertainment and hockey fans, which are their own separate breed of Canadian. Most importantly, this exchange is reciprocal since every one of our fellows brings with them knowledge, background expertise and culture which, in turn, enriches our program and our staff. Thank you to our fellows for spending your valuable time with us!!

Cecilia Chaparro & The Toronto Lung Transplant Team

The Fellows' Perspective
Since this Links issue is focused on lung transplantation and junior faculty/trainees, we thought we would combine these two concepts and spend some time talking with the lung transplant fellows in Toronto. Currently, there are 3 medical fellows and 4 surgical fellows from 7 different countries. The fellowship training lasts anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. How do these fellows really feel about their training? Interviews were sent off to all the fellows in our glorious fellow room. Fellows were interviewed in the midst of writing emails, dictating letters, or entering orders on the computers. We summarize the questions and answers below.

1) Why did you come to Toronto?

2) What do you like about training in Toronto? To our great relief, there were many answers to this question. We will list a few here:

3) OK, enough cheesy stuff. What about life in Toronto?

Although it is a highly demanding job, we all feel very lucky to be in this program working with the world's best mentors as they guide us in our career development. Amidst the busy schedule of long hours covering overnight call, answering pages from ECMO nurses, managing hyperammonemia (see other article in this Links issue), trying to understand anti-HLA antibodies, deciding Foscarnet, debating whether to start ambisome, willingly or unwillingly we are enjoying this journey; the hospital is our second home. If the vintage yellow couch in the fellow's room could talk, it would certainly agree that the fellows spend a little too much time at work…but much of that time is spent learning transplant medicine, discussing interesting cases, and developing long-lasting friendships.

While Toronto is way too cold (your first paycheck may be needed to buy a "Canada Goose" winter jacket) and we don't have time exploring, the people make up for it. As long as you have a cup of Tim Horton's coffee (most popular coffee chain in Canada) you're ok

Well, now that we have advertised the Toronto Lung Transplant Program, may we get a coffee machine in the fellow's room, Dr Keshavjee?

Dora Amran

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Special thanks to all fellows of Lung transplant and Transplant ID, Toronto General Hospital for a week of harassment.

Disclosure Statement: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose

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