As a celebration of one year since launching PH SPOT, we are releasing a blog series titled “Thinking outside of the box: inspiring the next generation of public health professionals”. We will be featuring a number of inspiring individuals who have indeed thought outside of the box.

To view the entire series, click here.


Inspiring the next generation of public health professionals, with Dr. Brett Belchetz

Have you ever imagined chatting with a doctor in your pyjamas? Or having healthcare available 24/7 so that your life and schedule are never interrupted? Sounds like something of the future, maybe?

Or not…There’s a Canadian company that’s actually letting you do this right now and it’s called Maple.

For our first guest, we sit down with Dr. Brett Belchetz, the Co-founder and CEO of Maple. Brett’s dedication to medicine and helping others fueled the vision for Maple. He is a practicing emergency room physician in Toronto, and a former management consultant with McKinsey and Company.

Note: Minor parts of the audio clip may be just a tad bit difficult to understand, and we want to apologize ahead of time for that! It was our first time taping a podcast 🙂

The music we used in the podcast is from www.bensound.com.

We discuss the following questions with Brett:

Where did you get the idea for Maple?

It wasn’t an overnight jump into building Maple for Brett for sure.

With your journey to building Maple, what tips can you give to those wanting to tackle big issues that seem impossible in this space (like long-wait times)?

Start small, and go from there!

How do you overcome the barriers of having the right resources, especially funding, in trying to solve big problems?

You’d be surprised to know what resources you already have around you.

Managing a full time job, and family and friends, is challenging, especially when you add running a business to the equation, how do you manage your time?

It is difficult. It’s not easy.

What does your career journey look like from school to launching and running Maple? Were there any memorable experiences that set you up to think outside of the box; and were there opportunities that gave you the right tools to start Maple? How did you find these opportunities?

Brett wanted to become a surgeon. After medical school, he actually didn’t practice medicine, and instead went to become a consultant at McKinsey and Company. He travelled around the world as a consultant, and eventually became an ER physician. He talks about the importance of sharing your thoughts and opinions through writing, and networking.

There’s controversy that Maple breach the universality principle of the Canadian health-care system, and that the service falls outside of the Canada Health Act. How do you stay motivated when your work is being questioned, and how do you handle these situations?

“It doesn’t really hurt my motivation, it’s more disappointing,” say Brett.

Since you are on the front-line, do you keep seeing other big issues that need innovative solutions that you’d challenge PH SPOT followers to begin thinking about?

Brett gives his list of health problems he is passionate about solving such as geographic challenges, prescriptions, dental care, and access to new treatments.

What’s next for Maple?

Brett shares some of the new features that will be added.

 

Scroll up and listen to the conversation! And let us know what you thought about this piece by leaving a comment below.

More from the series here.

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About Dr. Brett Belchetz:

Dr. Belchetz is CEO and a practicing emergency room physician in Toronto, with extensive experience in both adult and paediatric medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Western Ontario, and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto Medical School. He completed specialty training at the University of Toronto, having served as Chief Resident of his program. Dr. Belchetz is dedicated to improving access to care and helping the sustainability of our healthcare system.