Resident Physician of the Month

The Resident Physician of the Month Award is meant to recognize and reward outstanding resident physicians who make exceptional contributions in their academic field while still maintaining their work/life balance.

Interested in nominating someone? Fill out a nomination form here.

This month, PARA is recognizing three completing resident physicians: Dr. Tamara Gimon, Dr. Torey Lau and Dr. Holly Smith.

Dr. Tamara Gimon
University of Calgary
General Surgery

I was born and raised in Burlington, Ontario and then moved to London, Ontario to complete a Bachelor’s of Science at the University of Western Ontario. After three years of studies and swimming on the UWO Women’s Varsity team, I moved to Toronto for medical school where I was part of the Fitzgerald Academy. After medical school I matched to the University of Calgary General Surgery Program and packed my bags for Western Canada and the mountains.

I am a currently in my fifth and final year of general surgery residency in Calgary. The University of Calgary program has supported me throughout my training and I am so grateful for all the mentorship I have received. After residency I will complete a two year fellowship in Colorectal Surgery at The University of Toronto. I also plan to complete a Master’s degree with a focus in quality improvement.

During residency I was also fortunate enough to meet and marry my amazing and loving husband. In the past year we also welcomed our first child. Her smile and laugh brighten our lives and I absolutely love being the mother to such a wonderful little girl. As a family we love going for walks and visiting the Calgary Zoo. We are excited to explore the outdoors in the Toronto area after our cross-country move.

 A colleague had this to say about Dr. Gimon:

“There aren’t enough words to describe how absolutely extraordinary Tamara is. Not only is she brilliant and talented as a General Surgery resident physician, she also is involved in the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) resident committee and was our PARA representative as well. She has numerous publications and is dedicated to teaching juniors. She ensures that the call schedule is perfect (as much as it can be!). Her patients are so well taken care of, nothing is missed. In addition, she is currently studying for her Royal College exam before starting a fellowship in Colorectal Surgery in Toronto next year. This would be a feat on its own and then factor in her new baby Isla. After taking just four months off and helping with contact tracing for COVID-19 and scheduling issues, she returned and is a super mom. Tamara is the most empathetic, caring, dedicated, smart and amazing resident physician. I am so lucky to call her my co-resident and my friend. She deserves recognition for all of her work.”

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Dr. Torey Lau
University of Calgary
Family Medicine

I began my career as a clinical pharmacist. It was during my hospital pharmacy residency that I found myself wishing I had the skills to not only treat, but to diagnose, manage and be responsible for my patients. That led me to complete my medical degree through the University of British Columbia.

Training in Calgary as a family physician has been extraordinary. I feel lucky to have a wonderful group of co-residents and preceptors supporting my career in this beautiful city. The highlight of my workday is definitely meeting and helping all of the lovely patients in this province. Outside of work, you will find me hiking through the Rockies, documenting their dramatic scenery in photographs. You’ll also find me playing volleyball or ultimate frisbee, before the pandemic anyway. Finally, I usually keep busy with a number of curriculum-related projects to give back to the fantastic Calgary family medicine program.

I feel humbled to receive this award and I want to thank my colleagues for the nomination. However, I already feel lucky to be part of the supportive physician-family in Alberta. It is bittersweet to say that I will be leaving Calgary to begin my additional year of emergency medicine training in Vancouver, beginning in July. Undoubtedly, I will miss my new friends and everything this province offers, but I look forward to the challenges of my new career, and to be near my family and hometown friends. It has been a privilege to train in this beautiful city!

A colleague had this to say about Dr. Lau:

Torey is an exceptional resident physician who exemplifies a balance of hard work and wellness. He works tirelessly in various leadership positions to improve the residency program for everyone—from clinic- to residency-wide initiatives. This month alone, he listened to resident physician concerns, began making changes to an ailing core block, organized two academic conferences, laid the ground work for a journal club at his home clinic, is creating a virtual job fair and mentored multiple eager junior resident physicians.  All of this continues while he works on two research projects with accepted abstracts. 

Outside of academics, Torey is the captain of a Family Medicine volleyball team and plays on an ultimate frisbee team. He is constantly adventuring in the Rocky Mountains with colleagues to fulfill his hobbies of hiking and photography year-round. And when he has a moment to spare, he is flying home to visit his fiancée.

Despite a full schedule, Torey has never faltered from balancing hard work with wellness. Furthermore, given his approachable nature, he has become a colleague who many of us have come to rely on.”

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Dr. Holly Smith
University of Calgary
Cardiac Surgery

I was born in Ontario, attending Western for undergrad and McMaster for medical school. As a medical student I did an elective in Calgary and fell in love with the program and the city. During my residency, I also completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

When not in the operating room, I love getting out to the mountains, hiking and rock climbing. I am heading to Houston in July for fellowship in advanced aortic and structural heart surgery. I’m particularly looking forward to hitting a few national parks on the drive down!

A colleague had this to say about Dr. Smith:

Holly is an outstanding senior resident physician who has always maintained professional and personal excellence. As she will be leaving us this summer to pursue a fellowship in the US, this award is the best way to thank her for many years of extraordinary dedication. Holly genuinely cares about her patients. Despite the rush of morning rounds, she takes time to interact with them and explain concepts. During the pandemic, Holly volunteered to work in ICU at the expense of her cardiac surgery rotation. She is also an advocate for the junior resident physicians. She will often spend additional time teaching technical skills and providing us support on the wards. She created an online drive of resources to help us prepare for the Royal College exam. Her academic achievements include publications in the top cardiac surgery journals and obtaining an MBA degree during residency. In addition, she has successfully maintained her commitment to daily physical activity. She is an avid runner and rock climber. She also participates in group hikes with cardiac nurses. She is friendly, approachable, has a great sense of humility and treats everybody with kindness and respect. Suffice it to say, she embodies everything that we should aspire to be like: an exemplary clinician, mentor, colleague and friend.”

Congratulations Drs. Gimon, Lau and Smith!

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