Friday, January 23, 2015

DR. PAUL WONG

In his blue-green scrubs, Dr. Wong appears out of nowhere flashing a sincere smile. He furtively glances about speaking quickly and with no idle chat chat. His body is never at rest and eyes ever multi-tasking. Many of these attributes can be applied to a shark - always moving or they die. 

He is in his element here at Toronto East General Hospital. He is making a difference. This has been his home for 16 years. They are fortunate to have him.

But it wasn’t always this way. Before graduating from the University of Toronto as an orthopaedic surgeon, Wong had already graduated with a civil engineering degree as a young man. Timid by nature and uncomfortable with swearing, he was not suited for macho and rough construction sites. Soon after, and before the handover of Hong Kong, he emigrated to Toronto at age of 20 with his family. He now calls Canada home.

A family man, he wishes he could spend more time with his family. They are his pride and joy. He does manage to slow down a little for infrequent vacations. A beach here, a slope there, he is just happy to be with family no matter where they go. To his amusement, his wife loves to fish! Wong?… Not so much! But he goes along to keep her company because this time is rare.

I let him go, as I am taking up valuable time. On an average day, his fracture clinic will see 80-100 patients. Vanishing through the door with a large coffee in hand, he waves and says its been awesome!

WONG FUN FACT: Cheerfully admitting to a bit of an obsessive compulsiveness, he uses words to channel his energy. For years, if he feels down or under pressure or to cheer himself up, he will visualize a word. For a while his word of choice is, “Awesome"! He laughs when I bring this up! His staff teases him about it!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

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