Become a Solution by Being in the Moment | Trafalgar Castle School
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April 02, 2024

Become a Solution by Being in the Moment

Melissa Nowakowski

Whether as a family physician, a father or a member of the Trafalgar Castle School Board of Directors, Dr. Hamilton Jeyaraj stands by two mottos: be in the moment and be a solution.

 

Durham Region family physician Dr. Hamilton Jeyaraj has wanted to be a doctor for as long as he can remember. Always interested in math and the sciences, Grade Nine Biology nurtured his curiosity about how the human body works and pushed him toward pursuing a career in medicine. Today, Dr. Jeyaraj runs a few medical clinics in the Durham Region, specializing in family medicine and chronic pain intervention and management. He is also an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University’s Oshawa Campus in the Department of Family Medicine.

From a student in Grade Nine Biology to a family physician running his practice, Dr. Jeyaraj knows first-hand that the journey to a career in health care is long and that mentors play a crucial role. He is also well aware of the lifelong impact these mentors and their words of wisdom have.

“The best advice I was ever given was by a psychologist while in residency.” Dr. Jeyaraj recalls, “Be in the moment. Whatever you do, be in the moment.”

It may seem like very simple advice, but those words helped Dr. Jeyaraj navigate the busyness of his practice, the number of patients he sees in a day, and the numerous responsibilities he juggles at any given moment. Now 17 years into his practice, Dr. Jeyaraj shares that advice with pre-med and medical students, residents, new graduates and high school students.

What’s one way to be in the moment? Look for solutions that address current challenges.

You only need to watch or read the news to know that Canada’s healthcare system is currently experiencing many challenges: Emergency Rooms are overcrowded, and securing a family doctor is difficult. The number of doctors is just not growing at the same rate as the nation’s population, which means that services within Canada’s healthcare system are not easily accessible. As the population grows, that situation is at risk of worsening if changes aren’t made from a system-wide perspective. Dr. Jeyaraj believes that the solution can be found at this moment with today’s medical students and the students entering medical school.

“The solution to any good healthcare foundation is primary care.” Dr. Jeyaraj explains, “If we invest in primary care, then we have a better chance of preventing disease rather than reacting to it.”

Dr. Jeyaraj says that some medical schools have been exploring having new medical students automatically enter into family medicine. The Queen’s University campus in Oshawa, Ont., for example, is piloting a program in which 20 new medical students each year are entered into a four-year MD/Family Medicine program with the goal of increasing the number of family doctors. It’s been initiated by Queen’s University in Oshawa, and Dr. Jeyaraj anticipates that other universities will soon adopt this.

“That sets up a really great foundation for primary care. If primary care is strong in the country, the healthcare system will thrive,” he adds.

Then there’s the willingness to adopt today’s technological advancements, specifically AI and MedTech, and balance them with traditional medicine. Dr. Jeyaraj believes that if today’s medical professionals are willing to utilize these advancements as tools, they’re better equipped to deliver care more efficiently, especially where access is a concern.

We’ve seen technology play a huge role in changing the healthcare norm. We saw it during COVID when the healthcare system relied heavily on telemedicine and remote care. As a result, it’s become an add-on service for patients today. Going forward, remote monitoring is anticipated to play just as big a part.

“As more of our patients age, they’re going to want to remain at home,” Dr. Jeyaraj explains. “New technology will allow physicians to monitor, maybe even diagnose, or identify red flags in a patient’s health. That technology could assist with what’s happening at their homes and seamlessly get that information down the pipeline to the physicians so that some intervention can occur.”

Of course, technology can never replace having a patient sit in front of a doctor, and privacy concerns need to be addressed further. However, if medical students and professionals embrace technological advancements today, healthcare can advance.

Simply put, being in the moment — seeing both the advancements and the challenges the healthcare system is currently experiencing — and wanting to be part of the solution is how today’s medical students, professionals and industry as a whole can move the country forward instead of remaining stagnant.

For Dr. Jeyaraj, though, being in the moment and being part of the solution isn’t limited to his medical profession. This adage also extends to life in general. As the father to a daughter at Trafalgar Castle School, Dr. Jeyaraj joined the school’s Board of Directors in 2022.

“I’m a person who wants to be part of the solution, not a person who finds problems.” he says, “Being part of the Board of Directors was a way for me to contribute what I can right now to move the school and its students forward in the future.” For Dr. Jeyaraj, a big part of that is the empowerment of girls. It’s what has always stood out the most about the school.

“There’s still some inequality when it comes to women, whether it’s with certain professions or in the real world in general.” says Dr. Jeyaraj, “But with Trafalgar Castle School empowering our young girls now while they’re in school, I believe they’re preparing them for success in the real world in the future. It’s one of the many things that makes Trafalgar unique, and I’m in a position where I feel I can contribute to the school and help the school continue that momentum for girls.”

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