Faculty Spotlight – Kelsey Innes


Vancouver –  Vancouver General Hospital

Dr. Kelsey Innes is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine and Co-Director of the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Emergency Department Simulation program. She grew up in Vancouver and completed her undergraduate medical degree and residency at UBC.

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

I grew up in Vancouver British Columbia and have managed to stay here. I completed my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria, and I’m not sure I can even do basic math anymore, although at the time I loved it. I completed my undergraduate medical degree and my residency at UBC. I love the city of Vancouver and the group I worked with throughout residency, so I decided to stay (that and my husband would never have allowed us to move).

What inspired you to work in Emergency Medicine?  

My father is an emergency physician, so I guess it’s in my blood? I tried hard to like something else, but I was hooked the second I did my third-year elective. I always felt well suited to the specialty. I like the dynamic, fast-paced environment. I like having a relatively high level of knowledge of many areas of medicine. I like the collegiality of the department and the friends I have made there. I also think there is something noble about a specialty that has agreed that we are willing to see anyone at any time for any problem.

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

To be honest, my main focus is always on the patient in front of me and how I can improve things for the patient, whether that’s easing pain, preventing harm, educating and generally trying to ensure the patient has a good outcome. I think for this reason, outside of my clinical work, my main focus is on simulation and team behaviors. I do a lot of simulation with residents and allied staff with the goal of improving how we work together. I hope that this makes a difference for that one patient when they come in really sick and really need our help.

What excites you most about your work? What are you most proud of?

I love education and am passionate about teaching. I think the thing that excites me the most about work is watching our residents grow from very green first year residents into very competent and compassionate physicians. I am so proud to play a small part in their journey. 

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

Make friends with your cohort and stay in touch often. I have received the greatest support from the group of women who were hired when I was hired, and it has meant everything. 

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

These days you’ll mostly find me at home with my first child (my dog, Lucy) and my new baby, Adelyn.  Exercise is my wellness and I consider Peloton instructors my therapists, so when I can find a moment’s peace, I like to escape to our makeshift home gym and do a class or two.

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