Tag Archives: richard doan

doanRichard Doan is a Psychiatrist with Inner City Health Associates and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario

 

During my physical assessment course as a medical student more than three decades ago in Connecticut, the surgeon generously serving as our preceptor introduced us to a patient with a post-operative infection.  He mentioned treatment with an antibiotic, and I asked the mechanism of action.  He gave me a bemused look: “I don’t know how it works, it just does!”  A year later I used to eat my lunch in a small hospital sandwich shop, frequented by Attendings and known as the “Republican Club”.  I learned there that male physicians of a certain age (and almost all were male) mainly talked about golf and money.  Many years later, I find myself basically giving the same answer to my students about drug mechanisms, though thanks to the internet I can say that I am following current treatment guidelines.  However, I don’t golf, and I never really talk about money. . . until now. ...continue reading

doanRichard Doan is a Psychiatrist with Inner City Health Associates and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario

 

On December 19, the Globe and Mail reported developments in the case of an unprovoked stabbing death of a vibrant young woman in a downtown Toronto drugstore by an also-young, and unknown, female assailant.  As it turns out, the alleged assailant, though well-dressed and well-educated, was homeless and living on the street.  It also appears that she was likely seriously mentally ill.

This story, as sad as it is, is naturally of interest to me, a psychiatrist who works with a street outreach team serving people who are homeless in Toronto.  I never met the alleged assailant, but I wish I had. Then again, it is not certain that any involvement or intervention by our team would have made a difference.

The Globe and Mail reported that the alleged perpetrator habitually wore “an immaculate black suit and dress shirt” and had an MBA ...continue reading

doanRichard Doan is a Psychiatrist with Inner City Health Associates and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario

 

In Toronto’s first week of true winter weather, two homeless men died on the street, one in a bus shelter in the city’s most public square. He was wearing only jeans, a t-shirt and a hospital identification bracelet.

My street outreach teammates and I saw a slight, older woman who had literally been living in a box for months.* The box was about 6 feet long, 4 feet wide and 3 feet high and was covered by a blue plastic tarp. Her furnishings consisted of a few blankets. The “dwelling” was in an alleyway just behind some shops. The lady was disinterested in any form of housing or treatment and never accessed shelters: she always slept in her box. She repeatedly said that she would soon be moving to a Caribbean island. During a particularly bitter cold spell, we became concerned with her safety, and I completed a form for involuntary psychiatric assessment. The emergency department psychiatrist agreed with me that she likely had chronic schizophrenia, but the client was calm and would not take any medication. She promised the emergency department staff that she would go to a shelter if she was discharged. We made it clear that she was unlikely to do so, but after one night in emergency she was given a subway token to go to a shelter. She disappeared and was lost to follow-up. ...continue reading