BSc 1991, MD 1996, PGMT 2001
When outsiders shudder over the extensive training required for a physician to become a specialist, there’s one key factor they usually overlook, says Dr. Everton Gooden: pleasure.
“People don’t see the joy most physicians get out of their work,” says Gooden, a respected otolaryngologist and surgeon at North York General Hospital (NYGH) in Toronto and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. “We don’t think about the work in terms of hours or output. We’re at play."
“During my training, I was excited by the possibilities of learning new things and each new opportunity became a new playground. Time passed quickly because I was having so much fun.”
Gooden finds medicine “such a fulfilling career, because it allows you on a daily basis to meet people from every stratum of society and provides an opportunity to make a positive difference in their lives.”
During medical school at U of T, he chose to pursue surgery, since he has always enjoyed working with his hands and manipulating objects. Since 2009, Gooden has served as NYGH’s chief of otolaryngology and is also on staff at Sunnybrook Hospital. He was the NYGH chief of staff from 2014 to 2017 and is a member of its foundation board of governors.
He chose to attend U of T because of “its tradition of excellence. The people I was surrounded by were driven, passionate, motivated and the culture encouraged you to dream the impossible. We were encouraged to think outside the box and to be optimistic in any situation.”
As a man of colour, Gooden has always enjoyed U of T’s diversity.
“U of T is a large, dynamic, multicultural environment and I always felt comfortable.”
He wants incoming students to “think outside the box” and encourages them to keep an open mind: “You can learn something from everyone; don’t discount experiences that aren’t directly applicable to your goal and dream big.”
Posted February 26, 2018.