This month meet Dr. Justin Ezekowitz, Cardiologist and Co-Director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre
1. Where were you born/where are you from?
I was born in South Africa. I’ve lived in many places and trained in Europe and the United States before returning to Edmonton to do … even more training.
2. When and how did you decide to become a doctor?
I always liked the sciences especially biological sciences and gravitated towards zoology. I think I only connected the dots later in my Bachelor of Science degree of what I’d like to pursue.
3. What led you to specialize in Cardiology and acute/chronic heart failure?
When I was doing my internal medicine training, I really liked Cardiology and I had some exceptional mentors who were involved in heart failure. It’s through that connection that I found I really had a passion for caring for patients and understanding the disease – for me, research was the avenue to tackle that. I have always been curious which means that I keep asking questions and like to dig to find answers.
4. What do you do for fun?
I love travelling, the outdoors and especially hiking and skiing. Especially backcountry skiing where the effort and the reward are linked!
5. What is your favourite local hangout?
If the river valley is allowed as a hangout, running or biking anywhere in the massive river valley trail system. I don’t want to play favorites on other hangouts… but the best cappuccino is at Da Capo, chai at Remedy, and croissants at La Boule.
6. What has support from the University Hospital Foundation meant for your work at the VIGOUR Centre, heart failure clinics, and other research projects? What will continued support from UHF mean for these programs in the future?
Local generous philanthropic support has stimulated projects that have grown from tiny experiments into international clinical trials. With the seed funding and other generous support, we can take Edmonton-generated science to the world, provide our patients with the latest research and train people that go on to lead projects, become healthcare professionals and enrich our society. If we want more of that – keep supporting the University Hospital Foundation!
7. What would you like to say to all the supporters of UHF who are committed to advancing healthcare in Alberta, and at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute in particular?
Support comes in many forms including participation and volunteering for clinical trials that the UHF has supported. It’s an incredible privilege to generate the knowledge in partnership with a patient. Healthcare is rarely stagnant, so supporting research means we can be at the forefront for our own patients at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.