Going the distance for burn patients
Dr. Shahriar Shahrokhi is the 2020 recipient of the Prix d’excellence — Specialist of the Year award for Region 3
Shahriar Shahrokhi, MD, FRCSC, FACS, stands out for his clinical expertise, commitment to medical education and unwavering patient advocacy. At Sunnybrook Health Science Centre’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre (RTBC), burn victims from across Ontario benefit from his knowledge and compassion.
“As a surgeon intensivist myself, I have never met another physician who so seamlessly blends his impressive knowledge of elements of surgery, critical care medicine and anesthesia to address any and all of his patients’ medical needs,” said Jack Rasmussen, MD and burn care specialist at Halifax’s QEII Hospital. “He…serves as an excellent example of what we should all aspire to be as a physician, a teacher, and a colleague.”
After joining the RTBC during his fellowship year in 2006, Dr. Shahrokhi quickly became known for his expertise in complex wounds. Being sought out by physicians for advice on wound treatments inspired him to create the Complex Wound Consultation Service at Sunnybrook. The service provides clinical teams with advanced assessment, intervention and recommendations for care.
“If we can improve wound care for some of the more complicated patients, we might be able to improve their outcomes, reduce stays in hospital and make centralized use of what is already in the system,” he said. “It took a lot of people to get this going [two years ago] and we have a long way to go to provide the care we want to provide in the hospital.”
Dr. Shahrokhi is also well known as a leader in pain management. “We know the consequences if we don’t provide good pain care,” he said. “Patients lose confidence, they’re at risk for PTSD and depression. I’ve tried to approach it with individualized pain care. It’s not one solution for all.”
He credits an interdisciplinary team for good patient outcomes.
“He openly acknowledges how senior nurses taught him during his fellowship and he continues to incorporate learning opportunities for medical trainees to gain experience from nurses,” says Kimberly Furtado, nurse at the RTBC.
“Dr. Shahrokhi truly leads by example,” says Luis Enrique Meza, MD and clinical fellow at the RTBC. “He cares that we, the fellows, residents, and medical students, become excellent surgeons and clinicians because he wants the next generation of physicians to care for patients the best they can.”
Dr. Shahrokhi said he is “overwhelmed” to receive the Royal College’s Specialist of the Year award. “This is a huge honour and all of it goes to the team I work with… a team that has given me the leeway to experiment and hone my skills to hopefully improve the care for patients we look after.”