David D’Arienzo, MD: 2022 Kristen Sivertz Resident Leadership Award recipient
David D’Arienzo, MD, is valued by his peers as a talented educator, visionary advocate and trailblazing resident leader. He has a style so distinctive that his peers refer to any incidence of gracious, humble leadership as “David-like.”
A perpetual coach
The Co-Chief Resident of Pediatrics at McGill University, Dr. D’Arienzo’s resident peers describe him as perpetually in a coaching state, regardless of the time of day or setting. If a peer encounters him in a hallway, for example, he will typically ask how the person’s work is going and then facilitate the individual into pursuing new opportunities. In one project, he formalized his coaching approach by creating an innovative bootcamp to help McGill’s incoming second- and third-year residents transition into senior roles. Topics include how to discuss end-of-life care and how to coach junior peers.
Committed to community-led care
Dr. D’Arienzo is renowned for his commitment to understand and respond to the social determinants of health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he cofounded the Heart and Hands Pediatric Clinic in Montreal, a school-based clinic in a neighbourhood that is home to families with limited resources.
He developed all aspects of the clinic, including liaison with school authorities, the residency program, university, funding bodies and agencies. In its third year, the clinic is now open to train allied health personnel in social work, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition and nursing—all incorporating students from McGill. In fact, the clinic has become a magnet for residents.
Crossing the boundaries of the biomedical model
In his work with Hearts and Hands, Dr. D’Arienzo distinguishes himself by supporting care that crosses the boundaries of the traditional biomedical model. In complex cases, he meets with his patients’ teachers and school principals to develop management plans grounded in community-led care. This level of creative problem-solving is typical of Dr. D’Arienzo and inspires the clinic’s residents to collaborate inter-professionally and provide the best possible pediatric care.
Whether working in a clinical setting one-on-one or in a group setting, Dr. D’Arienzo consistently approaches complex problems with humility and creativity while seeking to improve outcomes for both patients and trainees. He sets a standard that inspires those around him to elevate their performance. He embodies the kind of resident and physician that his peers want to emulate.