Job Title: Critical Care Physician, University of Alberta Hospital
Brian Buchanan thrives in uncertain and often chaotic conditions. As a medical student at the University of Alberta, he gave up evenings and weekends to volunteer as a firefighter and emergency responder with the Beaumont Fire Department. Years later, he continues to work long hours, only now his focus is on critical care at the University of Alberta Hospital and with the STARS Air Ambulance program.
“I think I’ve been on call since I was 19 years old,” he laughs. “I thought I’d end up as an emergency doctor, but I found I really loved internal medicine because I get to focus on complex patient care.”
Buchanan is also the driving force behind the University Hospital’s Alberta Resuscitative Sonography program, an initiative designed to enable and encourage critical-care providers to use ultrasound technology.
“When I was hired at the U of A, my explicit task was to build a program to better care for those who are severely ill, but also make the most of ultrasound — this relatively inexpensive, highly useful technology,” he says. Although ultrasound technology has been used in medical settings for decades, its use in critical care was limited until recently. Thanks to advanced, highly portable technology, ultrasound remains a less invasive and less expensive tool for practitioners.
“Having knowledge and being the expert in something is one thing, but you can’t really have much of an impact if you can’t share that knowledge and help others learn it as well.”