University Medical Group Representative
Dr. Darren Leitao is a strong, new voice for academic physicians on the Doctors Manitoba Board. Being an advocate for this group is not a new enterprise for Dr. Leitao. He has been speaking up for his colleagues for more than a decade.
In 2004, Dr. Leitao became a University Medical Group board member. In Fall 2016, he took on the role of president on the UMG board. His new role as UMG representative on the Doctors Manitoba Board will give him an even closer look at the challenges and inner workings of our medical system, he says.
“Serving in this capacity helps me understand how the various parts of the health care system work, and that will ultimately help me understand how to best create change and improvements,” says Dr. Leitao.
In addition to attending to the issues within academic medical community, Dr. Leitao is acutely aware of the concerns in health care in Manitoba. His top concerns include: Providing quality care to a large population within resource and budgetary restrictions; and recruiting and retaining talented academic physicians and surgeons, especially in light of proposed federal taxation changes.
Dr. Leitao hails from La Ronge, Saskatchewan, a small community of about 3,000 located north of Prince Albert. He’s a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. In 2002, he completed his residency for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Manitoba. Today, he works at Health Sciences Centre and is also an assistant professor for the University of Manitoba.
While advocating for colleagues is very important, his work with patients is what really drives him, Dr. Leitao says.
“I love the opportunity it provides to meet so many people, every single day, and be able to help solve problems they face. I love getting to be a part of their lives, and make them better, whether it’s improving a child and families’ quality of life, or dealing with an emergent critical airway, being able to help people makes it all worth it. Even with the hard work and long hours, when you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work anymore.