Odion Kalaci

Dr. Odion Kalaci

After moving from Ontario to undertake a residency in pediatrics at UBC, Dr. Odion Kalaci knew he’d found his calling.

And recognizing that a large part of his passion for pediatric medicine stemmed from supporting and educating the families of the children he treated, he decided to become a clinical instructor immediately following his residency.

Today, alongside his work as a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Kalaci trains more than 20 elective medical students each year, as well as resident doctors on rotation from the Family Medicine and Pediatric programs. He has inspired many of those he mentors and teaches to choose pediatrics as a career. In recognition of his dedication, Dr. Kalaci was awarded the Faculty’s 2023 Excellence in Clinical Teaching (early career) award.

In addition to his work at UBC, Dr. Kalaci is a pediatrician clinical associate in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital, and currently serves as President of the BC Pediatric Society.

I am constantly working with learners, which is great because it renews my passion and enthusiasm for pediatrics daily. They are constantly excited about the new cases they’re seeing, and that’s contagious!

I also enjoy seeing the learners at different points in their medical education journey — from medical students to resident doctors to practising physicians. A few times, they have gone on to finish their training and have then come to locum for me — very satisfying to see the full circle!

In my clinic, we try to emulate the Faculty’s values and vision, and lead by example. For example, if patients need to communicate in another language, we teach learners to phone an interpreter; if the patient is located too far to travel to us, let’s do virtual appointments; if medication coverage is an issue, let’s look at pathways for requesting special drug coverage. It’s about finding ways to close health equity gaps at the patient level.

For me the best piece of teaching advice is to take myself back to when I went through the process. I always appreciated when my mentors were respectful of my role as a learner, offered their time and provided teaching, and a break to eat or drink something (and a bonus if they supplied those themselves!). If these basic requirements were met, I wanted to work hard because I knew I was learning and that I was valued. I try and do the same for my learners.

Though maybe not hidden to the locals in West Vancouver, there are several beaches and parks that aren’t as crowded as Lighthouse or Whytecliff Parks, and are worth checking out if you want some serenity.

If you want some baked goods and beverages, the local hotspots are Crema and Savary Island!