Apr 14, 2023

Humans of LMP: Brian Chow

Programs: Graduate, Programs: MHSc Lab Medicine, Inclusive community
Brian Chow

Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology community and find out more about them as part of an initiative from our Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (WIDE).

This month we feature clinical instructor, lecturer, and Mount Sinai site lead Pathologists' Assistant, Brian Chow.

Visit the Humans of LMP page to read more stories and nominate yourself or others to be featured.

How long have you been at LMP and what does your role involve?

I have been involved with LMP for a number of years with the PYG2 summer school half-day sessions, PGY1 Boot Camp, and in the clinical training of residents and fellows at Mount Sinai Hospital. More recently my role has expanded as a clinical instructor, lecturer, and site lead PA at Mount Sinai Hospital as a part of the MHSc Pathologists’ Assistant program

What led you to pursue your current career path?  

I fell into pathology almost by accident.  After I completed my undergrad, I stumbled across the Medical Lab Science programs to train Medical Lab Technologists. The final year of the program was a clinical placement, which I completed at Mount Sinai.  My first rotation was in the histology department and my first week was in pathology where I was introduced to the Pathologists’ Assistant role and it took my breath away.  It was so fascinating!  I was fortunate to land a PA job after completing my studies, and the rest, they say, is history. 

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of? 

Our Virtual Gross Rounds – it has been incredible to witness how this initiative has evolved over the last couple of years.

I’m most proud of the community that we’ve been building, that we have such diverse attendees represented from prospective PA students, medical students, and residents, to practicing Pathologists’ Assistants and staff pathologists!  It’s also amazing to see attendees from across Canada, the US, and internationally too! 

What was the best career advice you ever received?  

Keep learning. I always thought this was such a simple statement.  But when you embrace it, it becomes a catalyst for you to push yourself, grow, develop, and become even better at what you do. 

What has been an important learning experience in your life? 

Always count yourself in. Never take yourself out. You can’t succeed unless you try! You won’t know unless you try!

Who is an influential person in your life and why?

My parents have been incredibly impactful in my life. They have taught me how to be selfless, work hard, and be focused and dedicated in the things I do.   

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I love airplanes. They are incredible feats of engineering and physics!  I spent the better part of my youth memorizing the different liveries and logos of airlines, especially the tail fins. It is amazing that you can get on an airplane and in a matter of hours, be transported to another place on the planet! 

One of my favourite memories was on a flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo on a 747 where, by chance, our seats were on the upper deck (it was economy class).

If I hear or see a plane overhead, you’ll always catch me looking up! 

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Currently, it’s been discovering and enjoying new activities, and being outdoors, with my family.  Last winter, I learned how to downhill ski with my kids! 

What is your favourite album, film and novel? 

For album, I have a wide range of interests in music genres but if I had to pick a few: The Blue Album by Weezer and Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins are both solid. Any recording of Martha Argerich playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor – a truly beautiful work.   

Film: I don’t have one. 

Novel: I’m a horrible leisure reader – don’t have one! The last book I read was an Anthony Horowitz novel, which I enjoyed.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Anyone!  Everyone! Food has an incredible way of bringing people together.

But that’s not a fun answer so: my paternal grandfather, Barack Obama, Chopin and Galileo.

Where/what is your favourite place? 

Airports - see above - I could spend an entire day watching planes.  

Or anywhere outdoors where the sun is out, with water or mountains.

If you were stuck on a deserted island but had all your basic needs taken care of (i.e. food and water), what two items would you bring with you and why?

A knife – seems like a handy tool for this scenario and my piano to let my mind wander in music.  

See also: PA Bootcamp: a collaborative effort across Toronto hospitals