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Transplant Hero: Dr. Brian Forzley

There are a lot of people involved in the organ donation and transplant process in our province. From doctors and nurses, to dieticians and pharmacists—each and every one of them play a vital role in helping people in BC get a second chance at life.
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Dr. Forzley is one of those heroes.

What do you do? 

I’m a Nephrologist and General Internist at Penticton Regional Hospital. I’m also the Medical Director of the Penticton Renal Program. As a nephrologist, my work involves longitudinal care of people with kidney disease, which has included assisting people to receive a kidney transplant and looking after them afterwards. My internal medicine role also includes working in the intensive care unit, including assisting with the deceased organ donation side of transplant over the years.

In the last five years, my interests have gravitated toward learning how better to engage with people—both patients and colleagues. I’m struck by the importance of knowing how to build trust, how to dialogue and share ideas effectively, and how to make a care plan together. There’s more to being a physician than writing a prescription. 

How long have you worked in organ donation/transplant? What made you want to work in this field?

I’ve worked in Penticton since 2009 with a mixed practice of general nephrology and internal medicine. I’ve always been interested in transplantation and consider it one of the best parts of my job. 

When people with kidney failure get a new kidney, it’s cause for celebration. I’m very aware of all the hard stuff that comes along with having kidney failure and I think people go through more than we recognize and more than they tell us. It’s always a happy moment when people we’ve looked after come back to us with a working kidney. You get to know people with a kidney transplant (or on dialysis) really well and I've enjoyed that over the years. I've met great people along the way.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? What’s most rewarding?

Unfortunately, it can be easy for patients to feel lost in the health care system or disconnected with their care team.  So I’ve become interested in communication with people and also with system change. 

I love it when I hear people say they felt like they really were well looked after. I'm aware that we often interact with people during complicated and truly vulnerable points in their lives, and we’re specially positioned to make a big difference. I’m usually most satisfied with my medical practice when I feel I’m learning new things. And I’ve always found teaching very rewarding.

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