jeya nadarajah markham stouffville hospital

How studying infectious diseases prepared this physician at Markham Stouffville Hospital

Nearly 75 per cent of all health-care workers in Ontario are women, and every one of them is a hero! Here are just a few of their stories.

JEYA NADARAJAH | Markham Stouffville Hospital

It was a Grade 9 biology class that initially sparked Dr. Jeya Nadarajah’s fascination with microbiology and defined her career path in the field of infectious diseases. “For those of us who study infectious diseases, we understand the genetic shifts and species jumps that occur within the field of virology, and do expect to have something of this nature occur at some point in one’s generation,” says Dr. Nadarajah of the pandemic. She has always loved the ability to perform research and see how it translates at the bedside with patients, but her typical work day at Markham Stouffville Hospital during COVID-19 has reduced her opportunities for direct patient care. “We are all working far more hours than prior to the pandemic,” says Dr. Nadarajah whose days are now filled with administrative work required to prepare hospital staff for the constantly evolving situations. “The initial fully anticipated anxiety and fear has significantly decreased as our staff are given more education and daily updates on how we are working to give the best patient care, while keeping them safe,” she says. Her biggest challenge has been making decisions that need to be made operational instantly. “Watching our staff repeatedly go above and beyond for our patients and each other has been deeply moving and keeps me motivated despite the long hours and difficult decisions,” says Dr. Nadarajah. She says loved ones have also reached out to help with online support for her kids educational needs. “Our community has been immensely supportive in how they have shown their appreciation.”

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