I was asked the other day, “How did you get into medicine?” And I have to say thanks to my friend, Landon!

Throughout high school I was a St. John Ambulance volunteer. It was very fulfilling work. One of my fellow volunteers, Landon, was an Emergency Department nurse and told me he thought I would enjoy medicine. At the time, I was thinking of going into engineering or something science-related. But he made me think that maybe medicine and health care is something I would really enjoy—I like helping people, I love science, I like hands-on work and I enjoy getting to know people. So began my career in medicine!

Fourteen years later, I still enjoy the day-to-day adventures of getting to know people. Everyone who comes through the Emergency Room doors has a story. For me, a really important part of my job is getting to know my patients while I’m treating them. Getting to know why and how they got there is part of diagnosing their illness or injury, but it’s a way for us to build trust with patients during their care. I feel so privileged that I get to hear their stories and learn about their families. It’s their stories that get me up in the morning, excited to go to work.

These unique glimpses into a stranger’s life while helping them recover from an injury or illness are such a special part of what I do. Each day I learn something new from people I meet and I’m reminded of how precious life is. When I spend time with my family and friends, I sometimes recall a patient and their story that makes me truly appreciate the moment that I’m in.

For the month of August, Grosvenor Americas is matching donations made to the Emergency Department through VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, up to $30,000. This means that every dollar you donate today will have double the impact on patients that come to the Emergency Department. You can help me, my colleagues, and my patients by giving generously so we can continue to provide high quality care.


Dr. Donna Lee
Emergency Physician
Vancouver General Hospital