IDMP Fierce MedPhys Profiles Week 6 - Representing ON, meet Daxa Patel

Published by Mara Juneau

Published on October 02, 2017

Daxa Patel, Radiation Oncology Medical Physicist, R. S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, Lakeridge Health, Oshawa, ON

What is your most gratifying experience as a medical physicist? My most gratifying experience as a medical physicist is being able to apply my physics expertise and knowledge, which is not common in the healthcare setting, to patient care in a direct way.  At the end of each day, I take satisfaction in knowing that I have made a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients in my community.

Who was your role model as an aspiring student and why? I began my Canadian career in Medical Physics in Kingston, Ontario, where I completed my residency.  Dr. John Schreiner inspired me both with his qualities as a medical physicist and his personal nature. Having no family in Canada, John and the team in Kingston became like my family.  John is a wonderful mentor to his trainees, able to identify strengths and weaknesses and provide the support necessary for them to succeed.  I aspire to help medical physics trainees and new comers to Canada, as John has helped me.

What is your favourite food? As a vegetarian and self-described talented cook, I enjoy my own version of vegetarian chili.  Then again, nothing beats sneaking a treat or two from the therapists at the Linac to keep me going during late night QA.

Who is your favourite action hero and why? Jackie Chan. I loved watching his movies when I was younger. The unique and realistic fight scenes and the fact that he performed all his own stunts appealed to me. As well, the characters he portrayed didn't win every battle. I enjoy his humour and he has a cute smile.

What was your second career choice, after Medical Physics? Friends say I could have been a chef! However, serving as a nurse, my mother always wanted me to have a career in some aspect of healthcare. She strongly believed in the nobility of service to others: a value she imparted to me.  I studied physics and then trained and worked as a diagnostic imaging technologist before I pursued medical physics.  Suffice it to say, working with radiation was my destiny.