Dr. Michael Chu: from cardiac patient to cardiac surgeon

Dr Chu

Dr. Michael Chu

By Marek Kubow, Communications Intern

Childhood experiences as a patient drove Dr. Michael Chu into a career in cardiac surgery. Chu had a cardiac condition in childhood that was treated by Dr. George Klein, Cardiologist, LHSC and Dr. Raymond Yee, Physician, LHSC. Now, LHSC has the benefit of Chu’s experience and expertise.

“My experience as a patient made a huge impact in my life,” said Chu. “It is what made me interested in the cardiac field.” Chu joined the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Department last winter, and is familiar with LHSC from his time here as a resident.

“It is great working with my previous mentors, everyone has been warm and supportive,” Chu says. “Transitioning from resident to staff has been made as easy as possible.”

The research being done at CSTAR and the collaboration of researchers at Robarts Research Institute attracted Chu to LHSC. Specifically, CSTAR’s research involving minimally invasive procedures and the work at Robarts to improve transcatheter valve imaging technology, are areas Chu perceives as advancing in the field of cardiac surgery.

Chu has completed both a minimally invasive and robotic valve repair fellowship at East Carolina University in North Carolina, and a transcatheter valve fellowship at the Universität Leipzig in Germany. He has also earned a Master of Education at the University of Toronto, while completing his cardiac surgery fellowship.

Completing his masters and fellowship simultaneously taught Chu to learn a different way of thinking and inspired an interest in the education of future surgeons. His master’s thesis examined whether Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany were adequately educating future surgeons.

As a result, Chu is drawn to an involvement in developing, implementing and evaluating curriculum. “I believe that we need to prepare our trainees for tomorrow, rather than today, and to be ready for the future,” Chu says.

Before becoming a surgeon, Chu’s passion was classical music. He is a trained musician having completed his Grade IX piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Chu has won multiple national and international music awards.

At LHSC, Chu maintains goals of practicing excellent patient care and contributing to innovation in the cardiac field.

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Last Updated August 29, 2008 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada