Sharing Space with Dr. Roberta Bondar

Episode 4: Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, hockey player and physician

December 29, 2021 Dr. Roberta Bondar Season 1 Episode 4
Sharing Space with Dr. Roberta Bondar
Episode 4: Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, hockey player and physician
Show Notes Transcript

Hockey player and physician Hayley Wickenheiser talks to Dr. Bondar about combining hockey and medicine with the Toronto Maple Leafs, how COVID has affected her work and recreation, and the importance of having a life plan and work-life balance.

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Roberta Bondar:

The celebration of the 30th anniversary of my historic spaceflight continues back here on Earth with this podcast series Sharing Space with Dr. Roberta Bondar. Now this is an opportunity for you to join me while I explore life, creativity, flexibility, and change with my guests, some of the most famous and globally well respected Canadians. In each of these podcasts, we will hear a special guest express personal views about the present and the future. And if you have a deep passion for exploration and inquiry, whether it's through the arts, sciences, or athletics, for example, the storytelling in this series is for those who wander, and those who wonder. Join me now to explore how some of the most notable Canadians exercise their creativity and curiosity in a wide array of fields. Unlike those of the night sky, these stars are within reach. So let's tap into their energy as they enlightened us. The puck stops here, and the Olympic medals, World Championship medals, a woman of gold in a sport where men revere her accomplishments and speak her name in awe. Now she is also Hayley Wickenheiser, MD. So if you have a concussion in hockey, she'd be the one to guide you to respect the body's fragility on and off the ice. Dr. Wickenheiser holds numerous records in professional hockey, and stands strong against COVID. Especially through the "This is Your Shot" campaign. Amongst her many awards and honors, she was appointed an officer in the Order of Canada for her exceptional determination and dedication, accomplishments in professional hockey, and in promoting women and youth in sport and the environment. She was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. Maybe now the Maple Leafs will be contenders with Hayley on their team as Senior Director of player development. Let's begin. I'm really happy to see you. How's it going?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Oh, it's been good. It's been very busy. Kind of fast and furious.

Roberta Bondar:

Yeah I think one thing that would be of interest is talking about why and when you decided to go into medicine? Like what, what was it about medicine that you felt would be a good fit for you?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Well, you know, I wanted to go into medicine since I was about 10 years old. So there was, um, I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan called Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, and we had an incident, we had about 30 kids that grew up on our block. And one of my neighbors, I was about 10 at the time, she was about eight. She got, we had these grocery delivery trucks before they had the beep beep beep on the back of them.

Roberta Bondar:

Oh, yes.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

They were delivering groceries in the town. Yeah, and they went to back out and her and another girl were playing and it ran, it ran them over and she got seriously injured but didn't, didn't die. She was okay. But she ended up being in the hospital for several weeks just doing the recovery. And, you know, a lot of cuts and things like that. And so our little posse of kids from my neighborhood, we'd walk to the hospital everyday to visit Alyssa and see her or sometimes peer through the window and wave. It was just a small rural hospital. And I just was really struck at that time by the doctors, the nurses, and just the environment. And it always intrigued me. My, my dad was a science teacher and my parents were both school teachers. And so they valued education. And we would always go to the school on the weekends. And we would either play in the science lab or play in the gym, we did kind of both. And so I just kind of really enjoyed medicine in the human body, like from a really young age and anyone that, my teammates that played with me for a long time will tell you that like I talked about hockey like hockey, of course was my, I think my first love, but I always talked about going into medicine when I was with the national team and I spend a lot of time hanging out with the trainers and the team doctors, I probably spent more time in the training room than dressing room at times because I was really interested in it. So my goal, my dream was to go to Harvard. And I actually got a, I got an offer to have a hockey scholarship at Harvard, back years ago, after, out of grade 12. But I decided to stay in Canada because I felt like it would be the best choice for my hockey career. So I maybe would have had the chance to pursue you know, Harvard Med school or something had I've gone but I ended up staying in Calgary and, and pursuing the University of Calgary so it worked out well for me in the end.

Roberta Bondar:

Well, good for you. And it's, these decisions that we make, when we're younger, we kind of wonder in retrospect, if we should have taken a different path, but I mean, you end up doing what you want to do. One cannot argue with the path that you took. [Laughter] And obviously you're correct about the hockey in Canada and being here and you've had obviously an illustrious career and it's it's it's quite remarkable that you moved into another, another space so to speak. One of the things that I was told by a very famous athlete who became a very famous neurologist, his name was Sir Roger Bannister and he did the. ..

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Oh yes.

Roberta Bondar:

... cracked the four minute mile. And so I was, I was at a meeting with him once and he said, he was talking to me about the my spaceflight experience, and we're chatting with him about the athletic stuff. He said, one of the things that he felt that he had a very difficult time with was moving from being this four minute mile sort of superhero, to being allowed to be somebody else, to allowed to being a physician. And then being a neurologist. He said, "You're going to have a hard time with people trying to believe that you can do more than one thing." He said, "it's not because you can't, it's because other people's minds are not open enough." I'd like to think that we're better today at doing that, that someone comes along like you who's a stellar individual, and has these wonderful, I don't even call them overlap areas. But the the idea that you can excel in both, like you don't have to get a gold medal in medicine or a Nobel Prize, but the fact is that you can be productive and do it very, very well, with the same kind of discipline. Do you find that you have any kind of difficulty at the moment? Or so far in your young career as a baby doc?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, [Laughter] you know, that's such a such a great point. And it resonates a lot with me, because you're right, like, you come from being an expert in one field, which I am in hockey to a complete neophyte, a baby in another which is medicine and starting at the bottom. So I've kind of gone from this veteran mentality to this rookie sort of growth mindset mentality. And honestly, along the way, so far, I haven't had too much difficulty with, with people. The odd comment here and there, but but for the most part, most folks are, are just intrigued. They asked me the question, you asked me like, why did you go why medicine? Why are you doing this? Like you could just sort of mail it in and, you know, kind of do the hockey thing. So the, the most common question that people will ask me now is "Why?", and it's not so much the thinking that you can't do this. I think people just find it kind of interesting. And they're wondering why you'd want to take on such a grind it at a at the age of 40, for example, of going into medical school, those types of questions are what I get. But I don't get, "Oh, this is impossible." I think early on when I wanted to go into medicine people, you know, people will say, "Well, you can't really do the hockey and the medicine combined." And I think I've shown that, I've shown that I can just from being organized. So, as, like Dr. Bannister promptly said, you know, they just have never experienced it themselves or had that open mind to think about outside possibilities where I think if you're an athlete, or an astronaut, or someone who's lived in, you know, a completely different world, and then you come into this realm, you're like, "Well, of course, there's so many possibilities." And so that's kind of how I think about it going forward.

Roberta Bondar:

For sure. And you're all the things that have made you do as well in hocke will make you do as well i medicine. I mean, there ar skill sets, right, ways o thinking, ways of bein organized, as you mentioned discipline, focus, all that kin of stuff. I just want t congratulate you [Laughter because it is, they're toug decisions, they're lif decisions, they're life changin decisions. But to be able to se the overlap of, of these tw things that you like, I think i it's a gift to be able to, to t combine them. I think peopl have multiple interests in thei lives, but they, there's som passions, but there's n strategy to be able to have plan. For you, that's, that, sense that it's a, it's it's no just important, but that is who you are

Hayley Wickenheiser:

I think you're right. Dr. Bondar, I think that you know, I am someone who is very, I suppose goal oriented, but it doesn't just, it doesn't just happen, I spend quite a significant amount of time sort of plotting and planning my next step and, and how I'm going to mesh my two worlds, my two lives, and thinking long term. Usually I like to start sort of at the end and work backwards with my, with my goals and my planning. And I think that that helps me to stay organized. So for example, you know, when I was about to start residency here in Toronto, the head of Family Medicine here in Toronto called me and said, "Oo, I don't know, like, with the hockey, with the Leafs, this is going to be tricky." And I talked him through my thinking and how I plan to do it. And by the end of the conversation, I think we both had quite a comfort level that, you know, it may not be as straight as, you know, a resident that's only going to do medicine, but I will be able to accomplish it. And there, and I'm not the first person that's, you know, done other things in their residency for sure. So, I think yeah, you got to, you've got to think through those types of things and be super prepared and organized in order to pull them off, but it's something, probably one of my strengths, I suppose.

Roberta Bondar:

And since you've been doing medicine, has, has medicine really changed your view of, I mean, heaven knows you have been immersed in COVID. It's been all around you, you've been in it, in the middle of it, without suffering from it, thank goodness. But...

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yes.

Roberta Bondar:

... is there a change in how you view life now, since you've been doing medicine compared to the reality of life before?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

I think so. I just feel like every day is just so precious. I think when you see that the most important thing in life is our health. And if we, if we don't have our health, I think as human beings, we really don't have anything you know, to hang our hat on. If you, if you struggle just to be, be well, and be in, and you're in pain all the time, and you're, you're suffering, you know, we don't get a quality of life. And so what I see in medicine is how important it is for my own self to hold on to my health and my fitness and my vitality, and, but also how much I feel like I can influence the small amount of patients and people that I've come across to empower them, hopefully to take care of themselves. So I think a lot. So there's a couple of things. I think in medicine, a lot of what we're doing is reactive medicine, in healthcare, just because the way our system is set up. Whereas I think we could focus a lot of promotion and prevention in our health care system. And, of course, health and wellness is a big part of that. And then I think the other thing with COVID, too, is just, you know how how fleeting life can be, you know, someone comes in and they're an otherwise healthy individual, all of a sudden, they're sitting in your Emerg department satting at 68. And then they're down to 46, intubated, and off to the ICU, and their life is forever turned upside down. So that is what, you know, some of the things that I've seen in this year that just sort of remind me that, you know, we have to take care of each other and ourselves. That's really like the relationships that we have with people and in life. And I think as an athlete, you know, you're so driven and you're so goal focused that you don't really see what's happening in the outside world a lot of times as an athlete, and I think medicine has expanded my horizons, that there's more to life than just one or two things.

Roberta Bondar:

Well, it's, I know that one of the, the challenges that, that we have had, as health care providers, health care workers, is trying to get people encouraged to embrace a healthy lifestyle. But that includes vaccinations. Do you get a little frustrated with, sometimes with people's hesitancy around vaccination?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, you know, it's been interesting, for sure. I mean, you get a lot of quest, I've had a, it's amazing, over the last few weeks, I've had so many former teammates and friends reach out, "I'm, I'm pregnant, should I get the vaccine? My kids are eligible. They're 12 and 14, should they get vaccinated? Should I get vaccinated? AstraZeneca?" And I think actually, I heard, I heard you probably give one of the best compelling statements about why to get vaccinated, when you were talking about measles and polio, and how vaccines have eradicated those diseases, essentially, from our population. And I think that's sort of the story that I try to convey to folks as well that, you know, this is really our way out of the pandemic is vaccinations. But it is hard when people have their minds made up to try to convince otherwise. And that's part of the campaign, that, that you are also a part of that "This is Our Shot" where we had so many well known Canadians and influencers step up and say, then we have one shot to get out of this and it is the vaccines. So I don't tend to get frustrated because I understand that there's a lot of misinformation in the media, and there's been obviously scary things that people are reading. And I think it's just about reassuring, reeducating people that this is this is the right thing to do. And it's a good thing.

Roberta Bondar:

Yeah, I did the mumps and measles things because I, [Laughter] the CDC had this, this great graphic of the COVID viruses, and they had one mumps, I thought I was going to use that because a lot of people don't, they don't connect it. If it had been just another vaccine you get before you went to school, you have to have them, you have to have this, you have to have that, I don't think people would even be aware of it as much, except people who are really anti vaxxers.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

That's fair.

Roberta Bondar:

But to have this sudden, this sudden shift in adults and saying that adults [Laughter] have to have it. I look at some of my friends who, who go away at different countries, and I'm saying to them, well you need to be vaccinated against this because other countries have it, you want to go to these countries. I said, "you got yellow fever. Why wouldn't you get something like this?" I said, "it's not, it's no big deal." They said, "Oh yeah, I never thought of it that way." So trying to get people to understand that, that we have to have these things if we want to be healthy and thank goodness we've got them.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, it's really a marvel of science and medicine that in a year and a half we've come up with another vaccine that essentially saved millions of lives. Like it's just incredible to me what science can do. So I'm a big proponent of it for sure.

Roberta Bondar:

So let me get back to fresh air. [Laughter] One of the things with, with COVID is fresh air being outside, it's a lot harder to contract a virus when it's an aerosolized thing. How important is it to you? I mean, I don't know in your life, I know you're in Saskatchewan and you learn to play hockey, probably out of doors first.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yes.

Roberta Bondar:

How important it is for you to be outside? If we just set COVID and, and hockey just sort of here on the shelf a little bit. Although maybe I can't do that with you. [Laughter] But just to think about how important it is to be outside and then maybe extend that further to, to hiking or the natural, the natural world. How important is that to you, Hayley?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

It's so important. I, well, I'm a big believer like movement is medicine, but also nature. So I've been living, I suppose for the last few years going between Calgary, the Rocky Mountains, which are right out my back door. And then in Toronto, the GTA, which is the urban jungle, and it's running between hospitals, rinks, etc. And it's been interesting, because where in Calgary, where I live, I can access the mountains quite quickly, within about 30 minutes. And I do all the time, I love to ride my road bike hrough nature. I love to hike, camping, etc, etc. That's how we sort of grew up as kids and I find it that nature is incredibly grounding. I, every day, I usually am, I'm running in the forest here, or I'm hiking or walking or paddleboarding or cycling, I'm doing somethin outside, I like to spend several hours a day outside, especially at this time of the year, it's so beautiful. Because, you know there's just so many benefits to that. And I think with COVID it's been really the saving grace for myself is that, you know, well people can take a lot of things away, we can't go sit in a restaurant, we can't hang out with our friends because of the restrictions. But we can still go outside. And we can do a lot outside with our friends and families to have some normalcy. And I think that that's been saving grace. But it is my centering place for sure to be outside. And I grew up as as a kid in Saskatchewan, literally grew up outside, like we would go out, you know, in the morning, and then we would get like lunch and we'd run home. And then at night, my dad would yell, "bed time." And we'd come in from the outdoor rink. And so we just lived like whether it was minus 40, plus 30. We lived, all of us kids, we lived outside. And so of course love it.

Roberta Bondar:

Good for you in, in your medical career so far, or maybe you're thinking forward, I dunno. Because of all the COVID stuff or maybe just an innate curiosity about it, are you thinking of doing some, well with family practice you might e, travel medicine, or some infectious disease rotation or something like that?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, I would love to. I've always said like, I'd love to be in a tent in Africa somewhere. And that's a bit of a, you know, quite a visual to give people. But I have actually traveled into Kenya, places like that. And I've gone into rural medical clinics, when I've done some work over in Africa, you know, see a maternity ward in a rural village, which is a mud hut with a metal table on it, you know, and just to see some of the incredible barriers that people have to work with in medicine. So I would find that, it's something that I would like to do for sure. Probably coming out of residency is to go over and do some aid work or international travel medicine, I find that really interesting. And people are people I think no matter where you go in the world, people have the same fundamental needs and their resources are obviously different. But, and then now coming out of COVID it is you know, infectious diseases, something I'm thinking of, I think a lot more about than I did before and certainly have learned a lot more about.

Roberta Bondar:

I agree with you, I went [Laughter], one of my clinical clerkship rotations, I went down to a Caribbean island and I must say I saw more medicine in that month and did more things then, then I think I did in the whole of my residency, certainly neurology because that was a little bit more specialized. But I mean, I had done, and I'll give you an example, I had done a rotation in , I was doing one in neuro surgery because I would like to, I had my PhD in neurophysiology. So I kind of wanted to do a little bit of brain stuff. So I did this little rotation about six weeks or something in neurosurgery and the resident had spina bifida and had Harrington rod and she was in a wheelchair. So she did not want to go into the OR So we swapped places. So here's this clinical clerk going into the OR and she has all the ward stuff. And the first day I went in it was like a 12 hour surgery in the spinal cord and I ad no idea, you know, I went in with a cup of coffee in my bladder and it was just like, whoa. And it was a long, long piece of surgery. But when I went to this Caribbean island, they had a lot of motor vehicle accidents . And they would get these these epidurals and these subdurals and they would have no one who had any expertise in evacuating them. [Laughter] They learned one time at lunch that I had done this neurosurgery , I got called in for every case as a clinical clerk, with the brason bit going into [Laughter] going into the side of the skull. I thought, "Whoa." You now, I know that I went into neurology, it was like, " What was I thinking? Four weeks of neurosurgery, and I'm trying to take out these blood clots Really?" Anyway, so it can be , it can be, [Laughter] it can be interesting and very

Hayley Wickenheiser:

That is truly amazing.

Roberta Bondar:

Yeah.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

I could never even imagine doing that. That's amazing.

Roberta Bondar:

Yeah, we could probably talk for hours about some of the comparing notes. It's like, it's like that that movie Jaws where they were the guys are always comparing their scars. [Laughter] I've got a scar. Yeah, you probably got a lot we don't even need to know about. But let me get back to hockey just, just briefly. So now you're a senior director of player development. Is that what your title is?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

That's correct. Yes.

Roberta Bondar:

What does that mean? What does that, I know, I know what a resident is. But what does this mean?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

[Laughter] No, fair question, a lot of people ask me. So my job is essentially to run the Department of Player Development and for the Leafs organization. So what that means is that we take players when they're drafted into the NHL, and from the time they're drafted till the time they they play for the Leafs. We are responsible for their development along the way. So we work with them both on the ice and off the ice to help them become a professional NHL player or get as far as they can. And that includes things like we, we liaise with strength and conditioning and the nutritionists, we also do a lot of video, we look at how they they may skate, they may shoot and we talk to them and we teach them. So for example, this morning, I was on the ice with eight of our prospects and running a session we did off ice dry land skating simulation. And then we went on the ice and we worked on some skating stuff and some shooting drills and sort of, I run that with our development team that we have about eight, eight other people. And so when prospects now leave and they may play in Russia or they might play in the Ontario Hockey League, or the Western Hockey League, we follow them through the season, we make sure that they're kind of developing as they should be, help them if they have any problems. And then as they come into the Leaf organization with the Growlers, the Marlies, or the Leafs, we will be on the ice with them at any given time working with them as well. So it's pretty much a full time job but in the offseason is the busiest season for us because we're trying to get players prepared to play their seasons and develop them moving forward. So the Leafs are a big believer in development. Many other organizations aren't as invested in development as the Toronto Maple Leafs, but with the salary cap and the fact that you can't buy your way to a championship anymore, development has become more and more important in the NHL. And so that's kind of what I do. I also do a little bit of rehab work with players that are injured on the ice, I go out and skate them and understanding medicine in the body it's a good match for both.

Roberta Bondar:

You don't have a nine to five day obviously. [Laughter] What, what are your hours during a day? I mean, it sounds like really busy.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, I get to the rink around 730, 8 o'clock and then we sort of prep for the day, do some video work, I go on the ice between 930 to 1045 and then I set the schedule for the next day, and my days are basically done at the rink, but when I come home I, I do video work and I do some more scheduling and if there's games at night I will go down to the game and watch the game. So that's my life right now but when medicine starts up, I will likely go from the rink in the mornings over to the hospital and may not be at the rink every single day.

Roberta Bondar:

Does the, does the residency you're going into is require a lot of on call. Like do you have an on call schedule that you have to keep?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, there will be on call for certain blocks like internal medicine and obstetrics. Good old obstetrics. [Laughter] I'll be, I'll be taking an apartment in the hospital or whatever, the call room. But I think for the most part there's not a ton of call in the family medicine residency, which is another nice thing. But there are certain blocks where I know I'll be all medicine and less hockey and and that's already sort of been talked about and worked out so I think we'll be able to manage it.

Roberta Bondar:

Obviously you don't have much trouble getting to sleep. [Laughter}

Hayley Wickenheiser:

No, I sleep pretty well. [Laughter]

Roberta Bondar:

One of the things that I found difficult in my residency, when I did it, was, was the food was really difficult to maintain proper, proper nutrition. I found myself trying to graze through the day because I just couldn't guarantee I was ever going to have lunch.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, you're right. It's been a hard thing for me in medicine, is like medicine preaches health and wellness and taking care of your body. But it's kind of anti to all of that. And I find that like, hard to rectify in my head being an athlete. One of the things I'm fortunate with is when I go to the rink with the Leafs, we usually get a full breakfast, and we can leave with a lunch, right? So you're well taken care of from, because they value nutrition. But medicine doesn't value nutrition or training trainees, you know what the food that's often in the hospitals, I think it's improving, but it's not the best. And you do have to, I find that I do carry a lot of snacks, bars. Even stopping to take a bathroom break or a water break sometimes is like, I have to remind myself, it's okay to go to the bathroom. And it's okay to just go get a glass of water. And there's this culture in medicine that's like, you are weak if you take a break, you know.

Roberta Bondar:

Yeah I know. [Laughter]

Hayley Wickenheiser:

I think we have to get out of that, because it's actually counterproductive to doing good work, to take five minutes and just regroup and take a minute is actually I think, very important. So there's definitely parts of medicine that I don't like. And I think that hopefully that culture is starting to change. And, and definitely, I'm sure it's better than when you went through it, it must have been very, very difficult, much harder than it is now.

Roberta Bondar:

I don't think people were as valued. And I think people had to make a stand, residents and interns, I mean, it was a terrible, difficult time. Because when I was a resident, we had to strike, I remember, and we all got hauled into the department heads home, and basically said, "If you join this strike..." he said, "don't come to me for a reference." I mean...

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Oh wow.

Roberta Bondar:

... it was just totally imitating blackmail. I mean, it was there were awful things that went on, I'm sure there's still maybe not very nice things go on. It's a corporation sometimes. But I do feel that when I look at a healthcare team, and people have much more respect for the tasks that other individuals have. I can't believe that there'd be a team setting where you're trying to talk to a patient about nutrition, where you don't actually have an opportunity to practice it. I mean, as you say, that's, it's, it's an antithesis to what it is you your, your your values are what what you're supposed to be, you have to walk the talk, right.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

I agree, I find that very hard. I can't be telling my patients to exercise and eat well, if I'm not doing the same, you know, or get sleep. I mean, there's times when you're, of course, you're not going to have balance and you have difficulties, but more days than not should be, I think a healthy living balance, especially when you're in the field of medicine.

Roberta Bondar:

One of the things that I have always had some difficulty with or, or people that do things in a way that are habit forming. For smoking, for example. And, and obviously people in the healthcare system who are delivering health care, whether they're nurses or doctors, a physiotherapist or whatever, and they smoke, I go crazy. I think this is the this is absolutely nuts. It, how can we have a healthy society when we can't cope with those things ourselves. And now, of course, drugs and mental health, even amongst physicians and nurses, especially with COVID really are becoming much more, I think, much more topical. So people are trying somehow to to deal with it better. But it's, it's like everything in life and we're always a work in progress.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yeah, no, you're right. I completely agree with you. And it's, it's a struggle. And I think it's one of the things you learn as an athlete is, you know, it's all about habits in preparation everyday in how you approach, how you approach your craft, whatever it might be in life. And the habits that you do most often are the habits that you revert back to when you're under the most stress. And so I always tell people, you know, you want to try to build those good habits because when, you know when you're stressed, which is medicine, AKA stress, you know, you want to be able to have those good habits, not the bad habits that we see. So it is, it is about ingraining that. I think early on as a medical trainee, when you start medical school, you really have to fight. I felt like I had to fight every day for my sanity, my health and my wellness. So I would stand in the back of the lecture theater, I would never sit I would stand, standing desks, and I would walk around. I just was like sitting for six, eight hours a day is going to kill me slowly. So these are the things that I'm going to hold on to because I really, I really believe in that and I think it is important that we continue to push that in medicine.

Roberta Bondar:

I think about rounds, I think about sitting, the sit down rounds, where you have patient presentations. And you talked about Harvard Medical School, I did a neuro ophthalmology fellowship in Boston. And I couldn't wait to go over from Tufts New England Medical Center over to the Mass General and, and I remember the first time I went into the Ether Dome, which is the first place , they used ether, right. And it was such a steep slope to the theater style chairs that were that were in there. And quite often the T would be late, the Metro would be late. And I would go in the back door and have to climb up the steps up to the back of this room. And the punishing part was yes you could stand there, wasn't much room to stand, but if you're late, you had to sit on bicycle seats They actually had bicycle seat on posts, the back two rows. [L ughter] In the Ether Dome. That would get you there early.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Oh my gosh. And no pedals. Like not even riding a bike just sitting on the seat.

Roberta Bondar:

Oh no! Just sitting , just sitting on a bicycle seat.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

That's like torture!

Roberta Bondar:

Like who figured this one out?

Hayley Wickenheiser:

[Laughter] That's amazing.

Roberta Bondar:

Oh, dear. Anyway, you'll have to make, you'll have to make that a pilgrimage sometime because you mentioned Harvard so. But well, I want to thank you for for spending the time. I mean, it's just great chatting with you. I could chat with you about all these stories for a while.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yes, totally. That was good.

Roberta Bondar:

And we'll keep in touch and stay well, stay safe.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Yes, you too. Yeah. And we'll be in touch.

Roberta Bondar:

Okay, thanks a lot, Hayley. Take good care.

Hayley Wickenheiser:

Take care, see you. Bye bye.

Roberta Bondar:

Bye bye. It really is a privilege to engage with other minds and experiences. I would like to thank Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser for sharing her unique story with us today. Come back again in two weeks for the next Sharing Space with Dr. Roberta Bondar podcast when my guest will be singer and golfer Anne Murray. Thanks for joining me.