Interview: Dr. Grace Yeung, OBGYN
Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Dr. Grace Yeung and I just started working at Humber River Hospital this past January. Humber River Hospital was looking for an OBGYN with expertise in minimally invasive surgery, and that happens to be my passion!
How would you explain your job to a friend?
As an Obstetrician, I deliver babies and care for families before and after birth, providing pre-natal and post-partum care.
As a Gynaecologist I take care of women of all ages, from teenagers when they go through puberty and first get their periods, to women in their reproductive years needing management of their abnormal menstrual bleeding and family planning, to post-menopausal women to ease the transition into their next stage of life. I also perform minimally-invasive surgeries that can improve their quality of life including hysterectomies for low grade cancer, and removal of ovarian cysts, tumors, and fibroids.
What makes you proud of our Obstetrics & Gynaecology Program at Humber?
Humber River Hospital has so much potential given that it is a new, fully integrated digital hospital, which makes my job of providing care to patients seamless and efficient. Humber is one of the few hospitals in the GTA that offers robotic surgery for gynecologic patients and I am proud to be part of this program.
We have families from so many different cultures in our neighbourhood that come here to give birth, and these families get single patient rooms at Humber. Childbirth should be centered around the new mother and baby and these rooms allow us to do that.
I am at the beginning of my career and I am excited to grow with Humber as it lives up to its full potential in the coming years.
How has COVID-19 impacted the Program?
Surgeries, including the ones I perform, are at a bit of a standstill, but I don’t notice much of a change in Labour & Delivery – it is business as usual! We are very sensitive to the fact that women can be anxious and particularly vulnerable around childbirth, and especially now during the COVID-19 outbreak.
While they can’t have as much family around as usual, we know that having a support person is important. And our single-patient rooms definitely help keep them safer and allow their support person to be by their side so that our patients are not alone during this important milestone in their lives.
What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year?
At the beginning of March just before the COVID-19 travel restrictions, I flew to Atlanta and spent a full day at the da Vinci Surgical Robot training centre undergoing simulation and wet-lab drills that tested me on the skills I’ve been working on. My first robotic case at Humber upon my return came full circle as my assistant for this case was a mentor who I had helped assist years ago when he had started performing robotic surgery. My patient’s case proved to be technically challenging, but it felt amazing to use the skills that I had practiced, and to see that the time that I had spent training helped me successfully remove her cancer in the end.
I’m really looking forward to being allowed to perform surgeries for my patients again when things start to return to normal.
What inspires you?
As a med student I was inspired by how women who underwent minimally invasive surgery walked out of the hospital the next day, if not the same day, with very little pain and incisions the size of my thumbnail – almost as if they never had surgery! I knew early on that I wanted to perform minimally invasive surgeries like this. It took me an additional seven years after medical school to finish the training. This is my passion. When I meet the women who are my patients and hear their stories, it brings each case to life. I can see the impact that my care has on their lives and that is so rewarding. I have always wanted to do this, and I’m grateful that this is what my years of training has led to.
Header photo by: Magnolia Studios