Q. & A. with Dr. Barto Nascimento MSc, MD
By: Natalie Venier
The former IMS graduate sat down with us at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre—one of Canada’s largest trauma centres— to discuss his path, research, and the future of his field.
IMS Magazine: You are joining the trauma staff at Sunnybrook Hospital as an assistant professor of surgery. How did you get to where you are today?
BN: It has been quite a journey. I completed my medical school and surgical residency training in Brazil. After a few years of working in trauma and general surgery there, I moved to Canada and completed a series of fellowships in Trauma Research, Critical Care Medicine, and Transfusion Medicine. I then joined the IMS, and completed my MSc with focus on clinical epidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Sandro Rizoli. Here, I was working to develop a clear understanding of how to best manage patients who present with trauma-induced coagulopathy—a disorder in which blood fails to clot normally, resulting in heavy and prolonged bleeding after
traumatic injury—and I developed an appreciation of critical care and transfusion research.
IMS Magazine: What is it like to work in the acute trauma setting?
BN: It can be extremely intense and demanding because you have to always be prepared to attend to patients coming into emergency. Having said that, it is a very exciting field that is incredibly rewarding.
IMS Magazine: Do you enjoy your work? What is the most rewarding aspect?
BN: I love it. Often patients present in emergency with life-threatening problems that can be easily managed—for example, breathing difficult due to a collapsed lung. Here, it’s amazing to see how a simple procedure can have a major and immediate impact that can save a life. When a family member approaches you and thanks you for saving their son or daughter’s life. That is the most rewarding aspect of my work; you get a real sense that you have made a difference.
IMS Magazine: Do you recommend this field for someone starting their medical training?
BN: Yes. Traumatic injury remains the leading cause of death in young people, so there still remains work to be done. It is definitely a highly demanding job, but it also is very fulfilling.
IMS Magazine: Do you envision any major changes for the future of the trauma field?
BN: Although traumatic injuries will likely remain an important cause of mortality among young people in the foreseeable future, significant changes in the number of motor vehicle fatalities are predicted. There are many new regulations and mechanical safety features that are being developed to prevent motor vehicle accidents. I imagine that this will lead to a reduction in the number of trauma cases, as motor vehicle accidents account for a large portion of traumatic injuries.