Internal Medicine at UHN

Touching the lives of patients in every department, every day.

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Internal Medicine at UHN

Touching the lives of patients in every department, every day.

Donate Now

Internal Medicine

In today’s healthcare landscape, patients are frequently grappling with complex medical conditions which require extensive care, diagnosis of challenging symptoms, or management of multiple organ-related conditions. For these patients, UHN’s Internal Medicine (IM) physicians provide comprehensive co-ordinated care, while also tackling a range of issues in our ever-changing health landscape. They often treat the sickest patients, when the need is urgent and with no textbook or rule to guide them.

The IM service is responsible for over 50 per cent of all patients hospitalized at UHN, and the vast majority of IM cases are unplanned care, such as emergency room visits or the results of 911 calls. IM patient wards are located at both Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital and are the largest inpatient units at UHN. These wards are also the home to Clinical Teaching Units, where Faculty physicians provide foundational training in all aspects of internal medicine. This ensures that medical students, residents, fellows and members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams are skilled at caring for the whole patient with the utmost compassion and humanistic approach.

UHN’s IM team shines when treating the sickest and most complex patients – they are specialist physicians who understand complexity, acuity, chronicity and patient-centred care better than anyone. Specialists throughout the hospital look to IM doctors for their wide breadth of knowledge and expert assistance for the most complex patients – for example, those who do not yet have a unifying diagnosis for multiple seemingly-unrelated symptoms, or for those with challenging multi-organ diseases beyond the scope of one medical specialty.

Despite their significant footprint and impact on the hospital, the efforts of this critical team often fall under the radar and are in many ways the unsung heroes of the hospital.

The IM program is the heart and soul of UHN, touching the lives of patients in every department, every day. We need donor support to empower and support our Internal Medicine team as they deliver comprehensive patient care while also identifying and addressing challenges in our healthcare system.  

Fundraising priorities

Our IM physicians are improving health equity to mitigate patient disadvantages, such as old age and language differences that may lead to negative health outcomes.

Efforts to improve health equity would benefit from funding for various initiatives, including a fellowship to educate healthcare professionals on working with vulnerable patients, summer student opportunities for gaining experience in this area, pilot projects to test quality improvement in health equity, and a professorship to fund lectures from visiting experts.

Five per cent of Ontario’s population is in need of 80 per cent of healthcare resources. These patients commonly cycle between home, hospital and rehabilitation, with visits to different specialists. They often suffer from multiple health issues and express frustration that, without a true “medical home,” their care is fragmented. IM physicians are working to improve care for patients with multiple conditions through the outpatient IM Ambulatory Clinics.

IM is in need of funding for expanding care coordination, which includes recruiting key talent to increase clinical capacity for serving complex patients, hiring a research assistant to evaluate clinic impact, establishing a tele-health center for extending outpatient care via virtual visits and supporting faculty with a focus on ambulatory care.

IM teams have expertise in diagnosing, treating and navigating patients through our complex health system. Challenged by hospital crowding and growing demands for our services, IM is focused on enhancing patient satisfaction, safety and experience.

Funding is needed to recruit a coordinator to enhance patient experience, develop an IM-oncology fellowship program to improve the clinical skills of cancer care providers, create summer student experiences in hospital medicine and implement wearable technology to reduce post-hospital syndrome for individuals predisposed to conditions like delirium and post-traumatic stress.

Contact information:

Afsheen Jiwani, MBA, CFRE
Campaign Director, Major Gifts
[email protected]

Mallika Wadke
Development Associate, Major Gifts
[email protected]

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