RADIOLOGIST FEATURE: Dr. Bruce Forster
Dr. Bruce Forster’s impressive list of credits as Professor and Head, Department of Radiology in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, President of the Canadian Radiologic Foundation, and Member of the IOC Medical and Scientific Games Group, all began with an intense interest in anatomy and the physiology of the human body.
Knowing he wanted to go into medicine, Bruce studied microscopic anatomy during his master’s degree and during medical school rekindled his love for anatomy, which is what propelled him into radiology.
“I like the idea of radiology as a healthcare puzzle,” he says. “I found that really interesting. The combination of imaging, lab data, and a patient’s history to create a synthesis of what’s going on to diagnose and create a treatment plan.”
But what he finds most rewarding about the job is team-based care; it’s a coming together of faculties to help patients and their family find their way to better health and the critical role radiologists play in that. He believes that people might not realize how social the job really is. Imaging provides so many answers, and thus it becomes a collaborative gathering, rather than radiologists off in a dark room by themselves reading studies. Bruce also commends Technologists for being a critical part of the health care team.
Before taking on his many current roles, Bruce took a year off to go to the Arctic and practice family medicine in Yellowknife. Along with his wife Kelly, an anesthesiologist, they discovered the intricacies and struggles of being a rural GP, as well as becoming indoctrinated to what life is like for First Nations in high townships.
Another incredible experience in Bruce’s long career was being put in charge of imaging for the 2010 Olympics as part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical and Scientific Games Group. Through his radiological lens, Bruce is committed to helping athletes perform at their best and will be going to Tokyo to continue his work. Bruce’s interest in musculoskeletal radiology runs in the family: his daughter is also currently obtaining her Masters of Physio at UBC.
In his spare time, Bruce loves trying out new recipes with his wife and daughter and is an avid cycler. He’s also the drummer in the band “barcode”, which has been known to play at radiology conferences around the lower mainland.