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A pediatric anesthesiologist prepares in the operating room.
October 18, 2019

Introducing… a pediatric anesthesiologist

As a pediatric anesthesiologist and pain doctor based at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH), Dr. Deepa Kattail enjoys the unexpected.

“The best part of my job is that no day is typical,” she says. “Two days a week, I provide anesthesia and pain management to children undergoing surgery ranging all the way from infants to 18-year olds.”

She manages sedation and pain before, during and immediately after surgery. She also treats complications that may result from the medications used to put people to sleep during procedures. Pediatric anesthesiologists work with almost every service in the hospital and are involved in all types of surgery.

Her busy job takes her all over MCH, but she is always able to find another burst of energy when she thinks of her young patients.

“Seeing my patients after they’ve had major surgery, walking in the hallways and ready to go home gives me motivation and inspires me,” she says.

Treating chronic pain

Dr. Kattail is also a pain management specialist who focuses on chronic pain in young people. Her clinic at MCH is one of only six in Ontario offering this service.

“One day, I may be involved in brain surgery for a one-day-old baby and the next day I see a teenager in my clinic who struggles with mental health issues and inexplicable chronic pain,” she says. “I love that every work day is completely unique and always keeps me on my toes.”

A pediatric anesthesiologist checks the pulse of a young boy.

She values working with both youth and their parents in her clinic, providing care that considers the whole family.

“Parents need to put their trust in the people who can help reduce anxiety and pain,” she says. “I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Getting her start in anesthesiology

Dr. Kattail always knew she wanted to be in a medical specialty that was hands-on and fast-paced.

After living abroad for almost 15 years, Dr. Deepa Kattail loves being back home in Canada, caring for children and teens in her community.

She previously worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, one of the world’s best recognized teaching hospitals.

“I initially trained in surgery, but switched to anesthesia,” she says. “I really enjoyed the variety of cases and lack of monotony in the field.”

During a training rotation at a children’s hospital, she fell in love with pediatrics and starting laying the groundwork for career working with children. Though it can be a stressful environment for many physicians, the pediatric operating room attracts some of the most compassionate minds in medicine.

“I love working with this group because of how kind everyone,” she says. “From the surgeons to the nurses to the technicians, everyone is totally dedicated to caring for children and that’s where I wanted to be.”

You can follow Deepa on Twitter @DeepaKattail where she regularly shares knowledge around anesthesia and chronic pain. Her goal for her and other physicians is to use social media to present evidence-based facts to maintain the health and well-being of the public.