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: Ghislaine Douflé
Title: Critical Care physician, Education Lead, Toronto General Hospital
# of years working in health care: 15 years
Hometown: I was born and raised in Nogent-Sur-Marne in the Paris region, France.
I decided to get into healthcare because: The first time I stepped into an ICU was to visit my mother, who was battling cancer. I was full of hope that the medical team would be able to save her. Unfortunately, her disease was incurable and already too advanced. She passed a few days later. Despite her unfavorable outcome, when the time came for me to choose a career, it was an obvious choice: I would become a doctor – I could not think of any other profession I would want to practice. Admittedly, this was not a fully conscious choice at the time, but it’s now evident that I did it for and because of my mother. If I were to do it again, I would undoubtedly make the same choice; this time consciously.
My role here at UHN is an attending physician in the Medical Surgical ICU at Toronto General Hospital.
COVID-19 has affected me by putting to the forefront the crucial role of Critical care as a whole. This year has been more stressful than usual as we have been caring for many patients with COVID-19, while exposing ourselves day in and day out. It’s been a reminder for most to never take life for granted.
The thing I love the most about my job is being able to help and support patients and their families in their darkest times, even when the outcome is unfavorable.
The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is how some patients leave the intensive care unit seemingly unscathed, and how they are unrecognizable to us when they do come back and visit us.
I’m inspired by the beauty of a sunrise… You may not see it; the clouds may cover it, but it happens every day and brings light and warmth to the day.
One of my personal heroes is Nelson Mandela because of his incredible capacity of forgiveness and ability to bring people together despite hatred and prejudice.
I’m sometimes worried about not having given it my best, but I try as much as I can.
I’ve found joy recently from singing from the top of my lungs and dancing as if no one was watching (well actually, no one was…).
My favourite movie is Les Intouchables with Omar Sy and François Cluzet. It is a fantastic story of human connection based on a true story. It does not matter how many times I have watched it, it always makes me laugh, cry and sometimes both at once.
My ideal day off is spent with a book, a blanket, while sitting by the lake, or in the wintertime, sitting by my window overlooking the lake.