Know Your Heroes: Dr. Adriana Luk

Photo by Tim Fraser.

Know Your Heroes showcases the many different people and roles that make up #TeamUHN. We celebrate these people, who strive to make the world a healthier place every day. 

Name: Dr. Adriana Luk   
Title: Intensivist and advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Ajmera Transplant Centre; scientist, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research 
Years working in health care: 13 years 
I was born and raised in: Pickering, Ontario 

I decided to get into health care because of my childhood curiosity of how the body works. Through various experiences throughout my undergraduate education, I was further drawn to health care due to my desire to be part of the lives of patients while they work through a particular healthcare problem. There is significant job satisfaction when I can provide support and guidance during their disease trajectory. 

My role here at UHN is to take care of patients with heart failure, in particular, those with advanced heart failure (those that require a heart transplant or mechanical circulatory support). In addition, I work in the cardiac critical care units in the hospital, caring for patients who are critically ill with a variety of cardiac conditions, and those recovering after cardiac and vascular surgery. I also work in quality improvement with interests in standardized the care of cardiogenic shock patients in the greater Toronto area.  

COVID-19 has affected me by reassessing how I manage my work and home life. As a mom of two young children, my husband and I have had to readjust our schedules so both of us can support them at home while they learn virtually. I have been fortunate to spend a significant time with them and it has really enriched our relationship.   

The thing I love the most about my job is my work colleagues. I am most proud of my work family and the ways we have supported each other during the pandemic.  

The most incredible thing Ive seen at work is selfless dedication by my colleagues while they take care of our patients during this unprecedented time. This makes me proud to work at UHN.  

I’m inspired by our cardiology trainees. As I work alongside them in the critical care setting, I am inspired by their motivation to continue to learn so they can become excellent cardiologists when they complete their training. It reminds me of their commitment to the career path that we have all selected.  

Two of my personal heroes are my parents because they have been my biggest supporters throughout my life, in both career and family life. They have shown me all the characteristics that would be needed to be a compassionate and kind human being, predominately by leading by example.   

I sometimes worry about the uncertainty of this pandemic (as is everyone else). I wish we had a crystal ball to know when this will end. 

I’ve found joy recently from watching my kids grow and develop. On a recent virtual meeting with my 3-  year-old son in my lap, I looked down and found that he wrote his name down for the first time.  It was unbelievable.   

My favourite book is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist because it reminds me that you should always pursue your dreams despite obstacles and hurdles that may prevent you from reaching your goal. It also reminds me that every obstacle, no matter how difficult it is, is really meant to be a life lesson.  

My ideal day off includes spending time with my family, reading a really good book, and eating a really good meal.

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