This month meet Dr. Tiffany Van Slyke, who cares for the health needs of patients with serious blood disease in the University of Alberta Hospital’s Hematology Clinic.
1. What’s your role in the hematology clinic?
When patients are diagnosed with a blood disease like leukemia, their treatment starts right away. They don’t go home after their appointment. They go right to the clinic and get started. That’s a huge shock to all of them. And their families.
Hematologists rotate through the clinic every one to two weeks. The patients are on the ward for a month at a time. My role is to take care of the health needs of the patients and also to provide continuity on the ward – that familiar face they get used to seeing all the time.
2. How did you decide to become a doctor?
I’ve loved science my whole life. In university, I went into physiology and from there I decided I wanted to do something where I could be with people, and get to know them not just from their disease, but outside that as people with lives and families.
3. Where were you born?
I was born in Vegreville, Alberta, just outside Edmonton. I grew up there and I moved to Sherwood Park when I was 16. Then, I did my university here at the University of Alberta.
4. What do you do for fun?
I spend a lot of time with my three kids, that’s a big part of what I do for fun. I also like to run. I’m training for a half marathon right now, which is scary, but exciting. I like to snowboard. I like to golf. We go to Southern California at least once a year to visit family there. It’s great for my kids. It’s hot and sunny and of course the beaches and Disneyland.
Generous donors to the University Hospital Foundation support the University of Alberta Hospital hematology program through funding of new treatments and testing, supporting research, and creating patient-centered environments and educational opportunities for hematology healthcare teams.