When orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Caroline Scott examined Harry Doan’s shoulder fracture-dislocation in the emergency department (ED) at the Birchmount site last spring, she knew the complex injury required immediate attention. To assist her with his care, she called her most trusted senior colleague: her mother, Dr. Christine Young.
Women make up a small percentage of orthopaedic surgeons across Canada and Scarborough and Rouge Hospital (SRH) orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Scott and Dr. Young are an even rarer mother-daughter surgeon team.
An orthopaedic surgeon since 1987, Dr. Young’s rewarding career peaked her daughter’s interest in medicine at an early age.
“When she was in grade nine, Caroline participated in the Take Your Kids to Work Day event at SRH, where she observed her mother in the operating room,” recalls Sue Regan, child-life specialist at SRH, who organized the events.
“Caroline had always heard stories about her mom’s work as a surgeon as she was growing up, but this was the first time that she was able to see it live right in front of her.”
Both Dr. Young and Dr. Scott were trained at University of Toronto. Dr. Young completed a fellowship in upper extremity surgery, and Dr. Scott, a fellowship in lower extremity surgery and trauma, before joining SRH in August 2016.
And while the idea of working alongside a parent may not be for everyone, for these two dedicated physicians, it has truly been a mutually beneficial partnership.
“I encouraged Caroline to practice at SRH because of the diverse patients that we see and the incredible support she would receive from other physicians in our community,” explained Dr. Young.
“Having just completed her training, Caroline brings a fresh perspective and new ways of practicing orthopaedic medicine, which encourages me to keep up with the latest advancements in the field.”
Dr. Scott adds that she “could not ask for a better role model than my mother. I continue to learn from her. We are both focused on providing the Scarborough community with a great patient care experience.”
Together, Dr. Young’s extensive experience and Dr. Scott’s recent training provide patients like Harry with a comprehensive and holistic approach.
A defense attorney for more than 45 years, Harry remarks that the “detailed care” he has received from Dr. Young and Dr. Scott, as well as the rest of the hospital staff, has helped him stay active in his career.
“I truly appreciate their compassion and their ability to put my mind at ease,” he said.
For Dr. Young, Harry’s comments are a reflection of the “family atmosphere” she has always felt at SRH. “I feel fortunate that my daughter and I are able to work together and be a part of this hospital,” she said.