I am the I in IWK – Dr Nancy VanEyk

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Dr. Nancy VanEyk is the chief of gynecology at the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University. With 14 years’ experience of providing exceptional care to Atlantic Canada, VanEyk says she’s not nearly done yet.

“I was one of those people who didn’t even consider anything other than medicine,” says VanEyk “I just kind of knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

VanEyk is originally from Ottawa, where she completed her undergraduate degree and medical school before doing her residency in Toronto. After a one-year pediatric gynecology fellowship in Melbourne, Australia, VanEyk returned to Toronto to do a masters in clinical epidemiology while practicing general obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai, and pediatric gynecology at SickKids.

After meeting her husband, Dr Paul Johnson, who was also studying clinical epidemiology at the time, the two made plans to move back to his home-base of Nova Scotia.

VanEyk says it’s really about the patient care and making a difference to women’s health that drives her passion for learning, researching and practicing with excellence. “I think there’s so many areas where women kind of get a little left behind. Most research is done with men and looking at men’s surgery and medication. I think it’s really changed recently, especially with a lot more women in the profession.”

“I really enjoy my role as chief of gyne, but I think the biggest part of that is helping improve women’s healthcare overall,” says VanEyk. “The title doesn’t matter to me; it’s just about trying to make improvements all the time.”

VanEyk is currently the only pediatric gynecologist practicing in Atlantic Canada and co-lead the implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program in adult gynecology at the IWK.