Interview: Dr. Karli Mayo, OBGYN
Tell me about yourself!
I am Dr. Karli Mayo, an Obstetrician Gynaecologist at Humber River Hospital since 2019.
A fun fact is that Dr. Sterling and Dr. Hawkins and I know each other from residency training here in Toronto and we share an office. All three of us were hired at Humber at the same time!
How would you explain your job to a friend?
I help guide mothers through their pregnancy journey and delivery. It can be very joyful and wonderful. However, there can be complications and it is part of my job to make those scary situations more manageable for moms-to-be.
I also guide women through menstrual care and gynaecological health. I have a colposcopy clinic where women are assessed after an abnormal pap smear, and along with my office mates, we run a rapid IUD Clinic at the Hospital because we believe contraceptive care is essential in women’s health. I also get urgent referrals for gynaecologic surgeries.
I love how diverse my job is. I am always doing something different!
What makes you proud of the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Program at Humber?
I am really proud that Humber is a learning centre with opportunities available for staff across the board.
I’m the physician lead for the MoreOB program which provides training and continuous learning for staff in our department. We tailor the learning objectives specifically to our program needs. This includes group-led teaching, simulations, and online learning. We have a robot patient, Lucina, that we can use for simulations to make them more life-like. Some topics have included preterm labour, pregnancy induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and postpartum hemorrhage.
The MoreOB program fosters a culture of support and collaboration. We involve nurses, midwives and our obstetrician gynaecologists. We look forward to including our anesthesia and pediatrics colleagues in the future. It helps maintain patient safety and improve patient care. Every person involved brings their unique clinical experience to the table so we can learn from one another.
How is technology being used at Humber or in Obstetrics at Humber?
We are very lucky to have the Command Centre monitoring our patients electronically, which helps triage patients that need to be seen sooner. It’s the first in Canada and acts like a “mission control” at the heart of the Hospital. It helps manage patient flow and their clinical care.
On the Obstetrics floor, we have a centralized electronic fetal monitoring system that can be viewed from any computer, not just when you are in the patient’s room. This lets us increase maternal and fetal safety and helps track progress. This also helps to ensure we are on top of any changes that come up.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I am always doing something different. It keeps me on my toes. One day I might be on call on the labour floor delivering babies, then in the operating room the next, and then in the office the day after that.
I am so grateful that I get to share times of great joy with patients and families. But I am also very humbled to guide them through difficult decision making in times of stress.
And of course I love babies!
How has COVID-19 impacted the Program?
Initially, our operating time was reduced so surgeries were put on hold. However, obstetrics is considered an essential service so there was just a small slow down for us. Our surgical time quickly ramped up again. We unfortunately saw a number of pregnant patients with complications of COVID-19. We know that vaccination is safe and I highly recommend vaccination in pregnancy to avoid complications.
In my private office we had to pivot quickly and install proper barriers at the front desk and get appropriate PPE for our staff. The pandemic has brought up much discussion around vaccine safety. I am having daily conversations with patients to dispel myths about what is true. At Humber we were fortunate enough to be able to offer our postpartum patients the COVID-19 vaccine, if they had not been vaccinated prior.
What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year?
I am very proud of our MoreOB program and the progress we made with fostering open communication in our multidisciplinary teams. We put a huge emphasis on promoting a culture of safety to ensure our patients feel cared for.
Also, I was quite proud this summer when I was told I had the highest number of patient complements of any physician at the Hospital!
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from my professional life and from my family.
My colleagues are so supportive. I know there is always an ear available to bounce ideas off of and I can rely on their expertise and experience of my teammates.
At home my 3 year old & 5 year old daughters give me so much inspiration! They have so much energy, I wish I could harness it for myself! They are so inquisitive and happy over the little things. This has kept me humble and grounded during the pandemic and helped me appreciate the little joys in life, like time spent with family to recharge.