Department Spotlight – Anders Ganstal


Interior –  Royal Inland Hospital

Can you share a little bit about your educational background and how you got to where you are today?

I graduated from Queens Medicine in 1997 followed by a CCFP-EM Residency in Calgary. Over the past 20 clinical years, I have also pursued a diploma in sports medicine and attended numerous leadership CME events.

What inspired you to work in emergency medicine?

I have referred to emergency medicine as the “queen” in a game of chess. As a generalized specialist with focus on acute care, the opportunities to learn are truly limitless. The options to find a focus of interest is subsequently very broad. If tolerant of shift work, then the opportunity for weekday or extended non curricular activities is unbeatable. Similarly, the shift work approach allows for pursuing of additional/complementary career paths – such as administrative leadership.

What impact would you like to see your work have on patients, communities and society at large?

I find enjoyment and personal satisfaction in direct patient care. In emergency medicine one never knows what to expect with the next clinical presentation. I am always ready to be humbled by each patient encounter and challenged to provide best patient care. I have the greatest respect for the instant clinician – patient trust relationship that occurs with each encounter, and I cherish this great honour that emergency medical care offers. 

Participation in leadership roles has allowed me to contribute to larger scope health care initiatives with the end goal of improving patient care. This includes the implementation of electronic medical records in the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) Emergency Department. Working with B.C. Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) has allowed me to contribute to Interior Health-BCEHS collaborative initiatives such as the implementation of a pre-hospital thrombolysis for STEMI program (aka CHAMP – Collaborative Heart Attack Management Program) at RIH, and IH trauma bypass or stroke to CT bypass guidelines.

What are you most proud of?

There is always something to learn. There are endless new patient encounter opportunities to provide best patient care. I see the emergency department as the hub in the provision of acute care which allows for multiple daily opportunities to communicate with a diverse team of health care providers. I have always been appreciative and proud of the incredible sense of community and collegiality that I have experienced within emergency medicine.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to current trainees?

In the practice of medicine, remember to be compassionate and respectful. Providing the best patient care always comes first – be prepared and willing to be humbled.

When you’re not working, where can we find you?

At home, in the company of family and friends, or pursuing hobbies. Some of my hobbies include: all things related to coffee, travelling, or taking advantage of the outdoors and its many opportunities for sports (skiing, mountain/road biking, swimming, jogging…)

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