Interview: Dr. Theadore Ptak, Gastroenterologist


November 6, 2019

Tell us a little about yourself.

Dr Ptak receiving a Gift of Gratitude

“Excellence and compassionate care are our primary concerns at Humber,” says Dr. Ptak, pictured above receiving a Gift of Gratitude pin and card for inspiring a donation to the Foundation.

My name is Dr. Theadore Ptak and I have worked at Humber River Hospital as a Gatsroenterologist since 1972… 47 years.

In one sentence, how would you explain what a Gastroenterologist does?

We deal with diseases of the intestinal tract and liver.

What makes you proud of how patients in your Program are cared for at Humber?

Excellence and compassionate care are our primary concerns at Humber.

I’m really proud that with the cooperation of our patients, donors, and administration, I was able to build the best Gastroenterology Department. We have leading-edge equipment, the best supplies, really excellent nursing staff, and offer top quality care. It is a wonderful department.

In your opinion, what are the most exciting uses of technology at Humber?

I have had the opportunity at Humber River Hospital to introduce new and exciting healthcare technologies to Ontario. The highlight of my career has been to introduce Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in 1972, and Endoscopic Ultrasound in 1998.

We are the first community hospital in Ontario with a leading-edge robotics program. Robotic technologies like the da Vinci Surgical Robot are allowing us to provide better care for patients in need of prostatectomy and hernia repair. Our robotics program is turning scary, large operations into procedures with less pain and faster recovery.

What inspires you?

My former boss, mentor, and hero Dr. Joseph Kirsner at the University of Chicago. He retired when he was 95.

What is something awesome you’ve done in the last year?

Every day is awesome. Every day I get to help people.