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Ophthalmologist shares his journey in the medical field

The pursuit of science has brought humanity to the stars, opened our minds to ages long past, and cure debilitating diseases. However, there is a barrier for the general public to appreciate the work of those in STEM, as research papers can often be challenging to find or confusing to read.

Dr. Cody Lo is an Ophthalmology Resident Physician at The Ottawa Hospital. Cody obtained his Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Bachelor’s of Science (BSc), majoring in Pharmacology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver and graduated as a Wesbrook scholar. The field studies how our genes and genetics influence how we respond to drugs so that doctors can better prescribe medications to patients.

Dr. Lo has a passion for helping others through medicine, an advocate against health inequities, and to make science more accessible for the general public. The physician began his interest in the area during high school while studying mathematics, physics and biology.

“I really enjoyed the search for an answer and that there is a right answer, and also solving problems and how that can impact people’s lives,” said Lo.

At first, he wasn’t interested in Ophthalmology. After watching a cataract surgery, he got to know the field a little more in his second year of Medicine school. He fell in love with the long-term relationship that formed with patients through their treatment.

“What attracted me to medicine specifically was the ability to interact with the patients on a more personal level,” he said.

The majority of his family is Chinese, and he said it helps him be in touch with patients who have the same background that he and his family do. Lo said having physicians who look like them makes patients feel more comfortable, especially new immigrants.

“I think that’s a huge reason we should be promoting folks from all different backgrounds, races, social-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation to be part of medicine,” he added.

On top of that, he is involved with science communication and community advocacy in several initiatives to make science more accessible to the public.

“As a physician, there’s a huge responsibility to try and help patients translate that complicated information in a way that can make sense to them and can empower them to make a decision,” he said.

He is currently working on a research project related to myopia and how referring those patients to an ophthalmologist earlier in life can help improve their quality of life when they’re older.

After eight years of Medicine school, he advises young professionals to be motivated by learning and helping other people.

“The future of medicine is so bright in terms of moving towards inclusivity, so I’m really optimistic about it.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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