Name: Dilip Koshy
Title: Psychiatrist, UHN Centre for Mental Health
Number of years working in health care: 10
I was born and raised in: Born in India and raised in Calgary, Alberta
I decided to get into health care because I’ve always been curious about people’s life stories and wanted to be there for them in their journeys. Volunteering in nursing homes and hospitals and visiting patients from a young age solidified my interest in connecting with others during vulnerable times in their lives. My fascination with neuroscience further fueled my decision to enter the healthcare field.
My role here at UHN is to support individuals dealing with mental health concerns alongside their physical illnesses. This work towards true integration of mental and physical healthcare is underscored by a recent focus on implementing evidence-based screening tools to assess the mental health of cardiac patients at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. By identifying their unique needs and delivering targeted mental health interventions – especially in cases of comorbid conditions such as depression – we aim to significantly impact patients’ morbidity and mortality. This approach positions us to comprehensively address the physical, mental and social well-being of cardiac patients in a manner unprecedented here in Canada, and includes collaborating with mental health nurse practitioners and cardiologist colleagues. I also work in caring for the psychiatric needs of patients within the solid organ transplant and epilepsy programs.
The thing I love the most about my job is the camaraderie and synergy within the Centre for Mental Health. From my fellow psychiatrists to the dedicated nursing and allied health staff, trainees, as well as administrators, the collective commitment to patient well-being makes every day both fun and inspiring.
The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is the way our mental health teams came together during the challenges of the COVID era. Witnessing their commitment to patients and each other, often amidst personal difficulties, was truly inspiring. They would go above and beyond without anyone telling them to, and at times with little recognition; it’s just in their fabric to be caregivers.
I’m inspired by my patients – their unwavering resilience in the face of adversity, genuine appreciation for care received, and, at times, their remarkable commitment to giving back to others in need. Witnessing this mix of strength, gratitude and altruism reinforces my sense of purpose on a daily basis.
My personal heroes are my parents because they embarked on a courageous journey of immigration to a completely foreign land with two young children. Their ability to adapt to a new culture, navigate the complexities of straddling two worlds, and build new social and professional lives has been a continual source of inspiration.
I sometimes worry about the gaps in providing care for vulnerable community members and disparities in healthcare accessibility.
I’ve found joy recently from singing karaoke. While I don’t boast any vocal prowess, it’s a fun and stress-relieving way for me to unwind by belting out some tunes.
My favourite book is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I am deeply captivated by biographies, as they satisfy my intense curiosity about the diverse experiences of others. Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, offers a narrative of profound resilience and the pursuit of meaning in the face of extreme victimization and trauma. His story provides valuable perspective, helping me re-evaluate my own worries and fears, and refocusing on what truly matters.
My ideal day off is savoring a shot or two of espresso, going for a run, spending quality time with my wife, trying out a new restaurant, and relaxing with a good movie on the couch.
Did you know you can recognize a UHN staff member through our Honour Your Hero program? Express gratitude for the care you or a loved one received and share a personal message of thanks with the people who supported you throughout your care journey. Your gift will supported research, education and the enhancement of patient care right here at UHN.