Dr. Joel Nkosi

Internal Medicine Physician

At the age of 12, Dr. Joel Nkosi set his sights on becoming a physician. He graduated from medical school…

At the age of 12, Dr. Joel Nkosi set his sights on becoming a physician. He graduated from medical school in South Africa and has worked as a physician in Manitoba for over 20 years; initially in Family and Emergency Medicine; followed by Internal Medicine. He works as a clinician-teacher at multiple Winnipeg hospitals and spends some time at the Brandon ICU, where he provides training for learners on their family medicine rotations. 

As a hospital-based internal medicine physician, Dr. Nkosi is able to make a difference in the lives of people when they need help the most. He is always thankful when he can help patients recuperate or heal. However, even when having difficult conversations with terminally sick patients, he values these transitional situations to provide patients and their families with emotional support and comfort. Most importantly, Dr. Nkosi says he wants patients to feel like they matter” and works to maintain the highest level of humanity in those final stages. While the results for some patients are not always ideal, he has learned to be proud when he has given all he can for his patients.

In all he does, Dr. Nkosi tries to remember the famous Maya Angelou quote: “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Colleagues attest that he is talented and bright but that it is his empathic personality that really sets him apart. Dr. Nkosi’s boss Dr. Laura Chisick couldn’t agree more. She says he has an incredible gift when caring for patients” and it is evident that he cares deeply about patient health and overall well being. 

With countless awards for teaching throughout the years, Dr. Nkosi has been involved in educating medical learners in some capacity for over 20 years. He says influencing the way medical learners will care for their own patients is as important as caring for his own patients” and allows him to indirectly impact patients he may never see in person. Helping learners change their perceptions of patient care can have a lasting effect as well. He works hard to find middle ground and methods that adapt to the changes in medical learning, adding he must adapt or perish.” Dr. Chisick says Dr. Nkosi’s skills as an educator stand out and she is inspired by his commitment to continuously teach on the job and outside of the wards.”

Like many of his colleagues, Dr. Nkosi is worried about the current state of our health system and its capacity issues. As an internal medicine physician he sees the ERs bursting at the seams every day and patients who should be admitted to a low acuity unit are left waiting. In his work at the Grace hospital last week he found it busier than usual for this time of year and is worried that we may have even greater capacity issues once the flu season gets into full swing. 

Dr. Nkosi has become even further engaged with Equity Diversity Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) work since being featured in our Black History month story earlier this year. He presented at the Residents’ retreat this fall and is now on the Doctors Manitoba EDID Advisory Committee and is the co-chair for the anti-racism sub-committee in his department. He doesn’t see his EDID work as a burden, but feels privileged to have a seat at the table to work toward the solutions. In this phase of his professional life he feels compelled to take on more advocacy work and to help manage issues like hospital bed flow and conflict resolution. 

In his limited spare time, Dr. Nkosi loves (non-medical) reading. He uses Manitoba’s winters as an opportunity to return to Johannesburg to visit his family. He especially loves spending time with his 6 nieces and 3 nephews, cooking for them and taking them on early morning or late evening safaris, where he says their greatest memories have been made. After the closure of his favourite restaurant Segovia, he has found a new favourite in Mesob Ethiopian Eats in Osborne Village. 

Dr. Anne Durcan

Family Physician

Dr. Anne Durcan, a proud Canadian with Irish roots, embodies the essence of an exceptional physician. With deep family ties…

Dr. Anne Durcan, a proud Canadian with Irish roots, embodies the essence of an exceptional physician. With deep family ties to healthcare, her journey through medicine has been marked by compassion and commitment.

After graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1992, Dr. Durcan took a year off to volunteer with Canada World Youth, broadening her perspective. She completed her family medicine training at Dalhousie, where she met her husband, Alec Macaulay, a remarkable family doctor. Together, they embarked on a journey that led them to various parts of Canada, including Springhill, Nova Scotia, and Rankin Inlet.

For 20 years, Dr. Durcan made a significant impact at Mount Carmel Clinic in Manitoba. In addition to her family practice, she delved into addiction medicine, which became a crucial aspect of her work. Her practice now extends across multiple locations, including Autumnwood Medical Center, the Addictions Unit at Health Sciences Center, and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba. She also provides administrative support for specialists and rehabilitation staff in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut through her work with Ongomiizwin Health at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Durcan’s career is defined by collaboration and high-quality patient care. She’s particularly proud of her role in establishing the interprofessional student-run WISH Clinic, a testament to her commitment to the next generation of healthcare professionals.

With a keen eye for the shortcomings in the healthcare system, Dr. Durcan advocates for timely access to detox and addiction treatment, benchmarks for prompt care, and improved access to psychotherapy. She believes that continuity of care deserves more recognition for its impact on patient well-being.

Dr. Durcan’s enduring love for her work, her dedication to patients, and her belief in the potential for positive change make her a shining star in the medical world. As her colleague Dr. Richard Morrow aptly puts it, Dr. Durcan is not only a wonderful physician but also a wonderful person,” setting an example of unwavering commitment and compassion in healthcare.

Dr. Michael Isaac

Family Physician

A Neepawa-born, Manitoba-trained family physician and specialist in public health and preventive medicine, Dr. Michael Isaac began his career as…

A Neepawa-born, Manitoba-trained family physician and specialist in public health and preventive medicine, Dr. Michael Isaac began his career as a medical officer of health in the NHR and now holds the same role with Indigenous Services Canada at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). He has maintained a clinical role in general family practice and addictions medicine. More recently he has been working part-time at Skin Clinics locations in Brandon, Steinbach and Winnipeg. His colleagues at FNIHB love having someone around who can look at their rashes! 

While Acting Chief Provincial Public Health Officer from 2018 – 2019 Dr. Isaac brought attention to the growing syphilis crisis. His early efforts then helped lay the groundwork for the more intensive syphilis work now being done in the province. He and his team were able to secure and allocate significant funding to address substance use and STBBI rates. Always working to remove barriers to access of care, he is advocating for point-of-care testing for HIV and syphilis to reach patients who might otherwise go untested. 

Colleagues appreciate Dr. Isaac’s thoughtful approach to complex issues, taking the time needed to make important decisions. His attention to detail and the frameworks he applies help identify angles that might otherwise go unnoticed. Colleague and friend, Dr. Jordyn Lerner values Dr. Isaac’s innate ability to build relationships, and says when most people look down at their phones before a meeting starts, Mike is chatting with folks, and making genuine connections, which is key when working in areas like harm reduction and STBBIs.”

Dr. Isaac feels privileged to work with First Nations communities and leaders to try and improve population health outcomes and reduce inequities and says the best part of medicine is the people, both colleagues and patients.” He values the time he spent training in rural family medicine and is thankful for the friendship and guidance of his many colleagues since he began practicing medicine. 

Stress and burnout are at an all time high for physicians, and Dr. Isaac says doctors are often guilty of putting off taking care of themselves, mental health included.” He believes it’s important physicians make time to address well being by prioritizing it above other important clinical and family duties that might feel more pressing. 

Dr. Isaac takes full advantage of Manitoba winters by playing beer league hockey and cross country skiing at Riding Mountain park. He has built a beautiful life with his incredible wife, two beautiful children, two dogs and a horse.” If ever in need of a good laugh, he can count on old Saturday Night Live episodes. More Cowbell.” He enjoys eating at the Forks common and at Engocha, an Ethiopian food truck.

Dr. Ral Koko

Family Physician

After graduating from medical school from Abia State University, in Nigeria Dr. Ral Koko moved to England for her post-graduate…

After graduating from medical school from Abia State University, in Nigeria Dr. Ral Koko moved to England for her post-graduate training in Derbyshire. She and her family moved to Winnipeg in 2018, seeking a new and evolving adventure, a need to explore more connections and an expression of freedom, which defines our human experience.” Dr. Koko now works as a family physician at the Gemini Medical Clinic in Winnipeg.

Dr. Koko says she chose to practice medicine for the sheer love of humanity.” She loves truly getting to know her patients and when providing care, Dr. Koko feels most rewarded when she knows they feel seen, heard, acknowledged, and supported. She says she is proud of just allowing myself to be me.” She has a particular interest in Whole Health Medicine, where a round table approach plays a key role in the care of her patients. This is the cornerstone of her practice. 

Patients Greg and Corinne Backhouse appreciate Dr. Koko’s dedication to medicine, the time she takes with patients, and her compassionate and caring approach. They say she always takes the time to monitor all aspects of our health”, adding it is not unusual to have her do a follow up check late into the evenings.” 

When not working, Dr. Koko loves traveling and learning about different cultures, writing, taking long walks, cycling, cooking, dancing, singing and listening to music, particularly afrobeat Najiji music, and is always excited to tackle whatever else life throws her way. She is married to her lovely supportive husband” and together they have 2 teenage children. For motivation she plays OVER DOSE” by Mavins. Her favourite restaurant of all time is Metaxi Mas ‑Exo Gonia, in Santorini, Greece. 

January to June 2023