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When Dr. Ryan Margau rotated through North York General Hospital (NYGH) during the first year of his residency in diagnostic imaging, little did he know he would be back as a clinician a few years later.
“After completing my fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at U of T, I was able to come back to North York General where I was a learner,” says Dr. Margau. “I grew up in Toronto and this was my community hospital, so it's great to be back in a place that has given so much to my community.”
Dr. Margau, Chief of Radiology and Medical Director of Medical Imaging, divides his time between his administrative duties as Chief and continues his clinical practice as a Radiologist specializing in interventional radiology and breast imaging. “I've always enjoyed problem solving, and radiology was a way to solve a diagnosis while making a difference in a patient's life,” he says. “Becoming a Radiologist allowed me to both help guide clinicians to treat patients, and work as part of an interdisciplinary team.”
Dr. Margau enjoys leading a very busy program that ensures patients receive leading-edge technology at the right time and place, as well as seeing patients in the interventional radiology procedure rooms and in the BMO Financial Group Breast Diagnostic Centre, where he provides diagnoses and treatments.
The majority of patients at North York General rely on the comprehensive range of imaging services the hospital offers to ensure an accurate diagnosis as well as the most appropriate course of treatment.
“We have been able to renovate the angiography suite in the Interventional Radiology Department to have state-of-the-art procedure rooms with improved radiation safety profiles, allowing Interventional Radiology to offer expanded services,” says Dr. Margau. “We have also updated our breast imaging equipment and now have state-of-the-art 3D mammography equipment that can be used for digital breast tomosynthesis screening.”
Dr. Margau also places an important focus on teaching and learning. He holds an academic appointment at the University of Toronto, as do all NYGH radiologists.
“In addition to teaching medical students and residents, we have a successful staff physician-peer learning program that focuses on providing feedback to both confirm diagnosis and an opportunity for suggestions that helps guide professional development,” says Dr. Margau. “I'm also very happy to say that we are well on our way to becoming one of the first hospitals in Canada to have a technologist quality review program. This will further improve quality of care, since the benefits of peer learning will be rolled out to all the technologists in our department."
The program has also been busy working on creating a platform for clinical decision support for medical imaging. “We will be one of the first hospitals in Canada to roll out this initiative that will share best practice guidelines when medical imaging tests are ordered and provide medical professionals with guidance so that patients can get the right test at the right time.”
Another project the program is involved with is helping to develop an Ontario Dose Registry. This will allow the tracking of radiation dosage for both quality assurance and to develop standards of practice in the province.
A big focus for the Medical Imaging Department is technology and how to provide patients with user-friendly access to information. North York General offers patients and families access to their medical imaging records online and the hospital is planning an upgrade of the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS). This system replaces traditional film allowing the hospital to send image information digitally over the hospital network to a central system. Dr. Margau notes that the program is working to upgrade the PACS to be able to have a joint system with other hospitals.
As the father of three young children, Dr. Margau leads a very active life. “My wife and I both have very busy jobs,” says Dr. Margau. “At dinner parties people will ask what I do for work, but when my wife says she's a forensic chemist for Ontario's Centre of Forensic Sciences analyzing cases from crime scenes, she definitely wins the cool factor.”
In addition to the demands of his work and family, Dr. Margau also finds time to give back to his hospital and community as a member of the Board of Governors for the North York General Foundation. He provides leadership, supports fundraising, helps profile the hospital within the community and is part of several committees. Currently, Dr. Margau is the Co-chair for Rally in the Ravine, a run or walk fundraiser being held September 28, 2019, where past and present patients and their families, and the North York community, can celebrate and support the hospital.
This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of The Pulse.
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