Dr. Burman is the owner and chief pediatrician in VIP2Care located in Vaughan and we got together with him to ask him a few questions to get to know him better.
Anyone who is a parent knows it is not easy to find a pediatrician in the GTA, specifically in Vaughan. Especially one that speaks a specific language other than English (in this case, Russian). When that doctor is available, taking new patients and has a great bed side manners, most parents will probably feel it’s like a dream come true. What about a doctor that accepts online appointments 24/7, or can see you on a day’s notice? Too good to be true? Meet Dr. Burman, the new pediatrician in town…
Dr. Burman, why did you choose medicine and where have you practiced?
My parents really wanted me to become a doctor. I graduated from high school in Kiev (Ukraine) and got into medical school. After my first year there, our family moved to Riga (Latvia) where I became a doctor. Right after I graduated we moved again, this time to the USA and I started to work as a doctor in New York. I worked not only in medical centers but also in a hospital. Following that I worked in Pennsylvania and at the end of 2011 we moved to Canada. I got my license here and started working in Toronto.
What age patients do you have?
My patients rage from birth to school age.
A pediatrician has to work not only with kids but also with their parents. How hard it is to work with concerned parents?
Not always easy but it is a two-way street. A lot depends on the doctor and also on the personality of the parent. Some parents think that doctors give out too little information about their kid, others think more information can be overwhelming, yet others question everything a doctor says (especially those that Google everything before they come see you). A lot depends on how informative and educating the doctor is with the parents.
Do you get tired of people after a long day of «educating parents»?
Sometimes I do, but I rebound fast. It happens even faster when you see the results of your work. It’s very gratifying you see a little child who cannot even communicate what is wrong with them get better quickly because of your medical advice. It is very nice to see parents who do not trust anyone to begin trusting you. That is a very pleasant bonus.
Is it easy to get parents to trust you?
Generally, no. At the beginning, when parents bring their kids the first time, the doctor gets some credit of trust but to maintain that trust you have to give good service and medical advice. If you get that trust, then parents will travel far to see you again. If not, they will question everything you say from then on, especially today, in the age of the internet and mommy groups.
What matters more to people, the doctor or the clinic?
That depends on the situation. If people need to see a doctor right away and it is as emergency situation, they should go to the closets available clinic. If it is a chronic condition, or a condition that can wait a little time or if parents need a second opinion, they tend to seek out a specific doctor that they know about or that they’ve worked with before.
Did you ever regret becoming a doctor?
Everybody has their moments but generally I do not. The most important thing in life is family and the most important thing in the family are kids. How can you regret helping the most important people in a person’s life?
Do you have your own kids?
Yes, twins that turned 7 in October 2014. I wish I could spend more time with them but my work in the clinic and in the hospital does not always give me that opportunity.
What do your kids think about dad’s work?
Kids are kids and have tons of their own cares. They do not think a lot about dad’s work but they do tell all their peers that their dad is a doctor.
Who do you think is a good doctor?
I think that a good doctor is somebody who knows how to listen and hear and, of course, pays attention to the patient. It is often the missing link. It goes without saying that knowing how to diagnose and treat is something every doctor should know. I think that when you first meet a patient it is important that they feel heard. Only after that can you properly treat.
Are you happy with yourself as a doctor?
Depends on what you mean by happy. If you mean if I am happy that after immigrating twice I managed to stay a doctor, then yes. I am also happy when I think of the number of patients that I’ve successfully treated. I am also happy to be doing what I love. As for my biggest professional accomplishments, I think they are still ahead of me. At least I hope so.
Looking back 20 years, would you still have became a doctor?
I do not believe in looking back, what is done is done but if I did try to look back and answer this question than the only answer I can think of is «yes».
How did you come up with the idea to open VIP2CARE?
My partner and I came up with this idea quite spontaneously. I am not an entrepreneur, I was just a doctor that focuses on what he does best: treat kids. However, in addition to being a doctor I now run a business as well. I prefer to be a doctor first but now I also think about the future of the clinic. We are going to have a family doctor here as well, a nurse and gynecologist. We are not only planning to treat patients but also to create a brand of child, women and family oriented clinics. We are focusing of patient convenience and good medicine. We want people to come back knowing they will be seen on time, helped and catered to.
What sets your clinic apart from other clinics?
Well, for example, we offer a free online booking system. It’s quite new, actually, and not many clinics use it. We think in the future more clinics will switch to it but now it’s our competitive advantage. We are soon going to have more forms and follow-up services available online so even more time can be given to the patient instead of the paperwork.
That’s it for today with Dr. Burman, a Russian speaking paediatrician in Vaughan.