Why join Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) during a pandemic? Here’s what our three new lead physicians at the West COVID-19 Care Clinic (WCCC) had to say:
When the call came from Ottawa, Dr. Greg Caza didn’t hesitate to support the Emergency Departments (ED) that were anticipating a flood of patients seeking help for COVID-related issues. When that didn’t happen, the need quickly shifted to the WCCC on Moodie Drive and Greg was soon on his way into orientation.
As Dr. Caza and his wife are both doctors living west of Ottawa, he had his young son with him that day. Dr. Caza’s COVID-19 clinic training was paused to address a growing pain his child had which — after an unscheduled visit to CHEO — turned out to be appendicitis. With his son requiring care after his treatment, Greg and his wife shifted gears and it was she who started working at WCCC instead.
Dr. Caza said “as one of the first doctors on the floor at the clinic, it was scary at first. But with QCH’s track record, and the exceptional setup at WCCC, we felt safe.”
No one knew what to expect. In the first 8 weeks, there were many high acuity patients as they did not want to present to the Emergency Room (ER). With the WCCC as one of the only options for assessment (other than the ER), they were able to help a lot of people who needed care.
“The team at the Moodie clinic are great, they are amazing nurses and physicians. There is incredible support and interaction with colleagues which makes for a great work environment.”
An ER doctor working in Carleton Place and Almonte, Dr. Doobay heard of the WCCC initiative, and was happy to support the team. She was brought on board as a Physician Lead.
“I was SO impressed with the setup and flow! Everything was well organized at the clinic. When I saw the supplies and equipment, I knew we had all the tools to do our work safely,” remarked Dr. Jaya Doobay. When her daughter needed to be tested, Dr. Doobay brought her to the Moodie clinic.
“Every single person was so great with my 7-year old, that after the experience, she said that she would like to work there someday too. That says a lot.”
Dr. Doobay commented that the safety and precautions taken at the clinic are amazing and the team is fantastic. The work is rewarding as patients are quick to extend their gratitude, despite many with high acuity. They really value someone taking the time to address their concerns about COVID. “It is definitely rewarding to feel the anxiety level of a room come down once their questions have been answered.”
“I’ve been at Queensway since graduating in 2012. My first real job was in the Emergency Department. Early this year I left ED and joined a family practice – then COVID hit,” says Dr. Annie Docking, one of the Physician Leads at the West COVID-19 Care Clinic.
So, how did she end up back at QCH? Another QCH Physician, Dr. Joseph Pollard, encouraged her. “I knew he was heading up to the WCCC,” she laughs. “I sent Dr. Pollard a text and I said, ‘I think I can help with this – I love urgent care, public health, and I want to do something for COVID.’ He texted back ‘Yes, we’ve got a meeting in an hour: you’re on the team.’”
Dr. Docking has been part of the WCCC ever since. “I love the staff here: they’re positive, team players, and very collegial. It’s the most interdisciplinary team. Everybody is so valued and helpful. I know our team member’s names from every different department because I interact with them every single day.” It’s very easy to see how much she enjoys the work. “I love this job. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy to come here. The patients are very thankful we’re here every day doing this work. Normally I’m a clinician – but here I’m doing education for the doctors, explaining new guidelines, working in public health more than I ever have.”