Mar 25, 2022

Humans of LMP: Will Tsui

Programs: MHSc Lab Medicine, Inclusive community
William Tsui

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 Pathologists' Assistant and faculty member, Will Tsui.

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?

In August 2020, I started my role in LMP as the Clinical and Education Coordinator for the MHSc in Laboratory Medicine Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) Program.

My main role at LMP is to coordinate and lead the Practicum component of the PA program involving numerous PAs and pathologists across 7 affiliated sites in the GTA. I also act as the site lead PA at Mount Sinai Hospital for the program, where I have been working as a PA for the last 10 years.

What led you to pursue your current career path?

In my third year of undergraduate studies, I was at a crossroads deciding on next steps. Looking for ways to explore different opportunities, I started volunteering at Mount Sinai Hospital and was placed in histopathology. This sparked my interest in pathology and PA practice. Two years later I decided to pursue a PA career.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I feel deeply privileged to lead a team of talented and dedicated PAs that are passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of PAs.

Drawing from my own experiences as a student and as a clinical preceptor, I am proud to have created the components of the three semester long Practicum portion of the program, including evaluations and rubrics, course syllabi, schedules, and work log.

One aspect I am particularly proud of is our program’s Boot Camp, inspired by a similar version launched by LMP for the Pathology Residency Program to help students transition between academic studies and laboratory work. The Boot Camp is almost entirely led by PAs from all over the GTA. 

What was the best career advice you ever received?

Pursue opportunities that are outside of your comfort zone. They push you to learn new things and improve your skills. 

What has been an important learning experience in your life?

When my mom became ill, I learned quickly all the nuances of providing care for someone who is unable to care for themselves. This was a valuable lesson in prioritizing and focusing on spending time with and caring for the important people in my life. 

Who is an influential person in your life and why? 

My Mom played a huge influence in shaping the person I am today. She was the sole breadwinner of our household, strong willed, hardworking and kind-hearted. Despite her stressful and demanding job, she took the time to get to know her all her team members on a personal level, providing support and opportunities for her team members to grow. As I navigate my own career, her strong work ethic and empathy for others is something I strive to emulate.

What would it surprise people to know about you? 

During my undergraduate studies, I paddled in Dragon Boat races competitively for 4 years, but I don’t know how to swim.

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Our family immigrated to Canada when I was young and my Dad enrolled me in Scouts shortly after we arrived.  Since then I’ve been drawn to the outdoors and enjoy camping, canoeing, and hiking. Winter time is the best time to go!

What is your favourite album, film and novel? 

  • Album: I’m generally drawn to a wide variety of genres and singles. If I had to pick one, Native by OneRepublic is one of my favourites.
  • Movie: The Martian by Ridley Scott. The film shows the many sides of space exploration – it’s difficult and dangerous, but it also shows us that it is entirely possible within our lifetimes. 
  • Novel: Tuesdays with Morrie

Who would be your dream dinner guests? 

Jackie Chan, Chris Hadfield and Jimmy Chin.

Where/what is your favourite place? 

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland – imagine a black sand beach littered with ice that looks like basketball sized diamonds.

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 hammock and a laptop full of movies. Those two things would turn a deserted island into paradise for an introvert like me.