Meet The Fellows: Dr. Jennia Michaeli

The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What Hospital are you working at? What are you specializing in?

Jennia:
I am working at Mount Sinai Fertility, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. As part of my clinical fellowship, I am fortunate to also be rotating through different departments and fertility clinics around the city, such as the Andrology Department, Genetics Department, Menopause Clinic, Premature Ovarian Insufficiency Clinic, Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic, and many more. I operate at Mount Sinai Hospital, Woman’s College Hospital, and Humber River Hospital.

I am an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. My fellowship program trains me in all aspects of reproductive care, including diagnosing and managing complicated problems of difficulty in conceiving, cycle monitoring for ovulation induction, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, tertiary problems of reproduction managed by reproductive surgery, advanced assisted reproductive technologies, and embryology (IVF and ICSI). We also focus on fertility preservation for planned and urgent indications.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What do you enjoy most about Toronto?

Jennia:
Toronto is a beautiful, multicultural, and diverse megapolis, that offers numerous cultural, and entertainment experiences. In addition to the fun urban experience, Canadian nature is glorious, and hiking on the trails of the national parks is a great joy! The weather plays a significant part in everyday life, and we love the variety of activities that every season brings


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
Where in Israel do you live?

Jennia:
I lived in Beit-Hakerem, just across the street from Shaare-Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What do you miss most about Israel?

Jennia:
I mainly miss my dear parents and brother.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
Why did you want to become a doctor?

Jennia:
The decision to become a doctor was taken many years ago as a young and naive soldier that applied to medical school soon after being drafted and started medical school at Hadassah the day after being released from the army. As a child and through high school, I was mainly interested in science and especially fascinated by the human body; it made sense to pursue a medical career that would allow me to combine my academic interests with the ability to help people and make myself useful to society. It has been a very long and exciting road since the day I stepped into the doors of this complicated world of medical training and practice. In retrospect, despite the complexity and challenges I overcame throughout these years, I can safely say this was the right decision for me. Being a doctor is part of my personality, and I couldn’t see myself in any other profession.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What is your favourite part of your job?

Jennia:
I love everything about my job, from fulfilling my academic curiosity to working with my hands and performing clinical procedures. But, first and foremost, I love my patients and the ability to walk side by side throughout their fertility journey. My field of practice essentially deals with healthy people that face a stressful and heartbreaking diagnosis of infertility. I am able to follow my patients from the start of their journey, being the one to diagnose the problem throughout developing the treatment plan and actually performing most of the procedures myself. There is a great joy in getting a positive pregnancy test and a big heartbreak with every loss or negative result. In these complicated situations, with a close and caring relationship, it is my job to think straight, make adjustments and plan the next steps for my patients who are dealing with a lot of emotional and physical distress.

The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What do you think are the main differences between healthcare in Israel and Canadian healthcare?

Jennia:
Israel and Canada both provide top-quality public healthcare, which is amazing and not to be taken for granted! In the specific field of my practice, fertility treatment and IVF, funding is a major barrier to care. In Canada, only one province- Ontario, offers a single funded IVF cycle that, unfortunately, in many cases, is not enough to become pregnant or reach the desired family size. The long wait for eligibility for funding might reach over one year, affecting success rates! In Israel, the funding is much more generous, allowing for funding for treatment leading to up to 2 children. Fertility medications are also very expensive, making the process of fertility treatment inaccessible to many Canadians. This is heartbreaking and unfortunate.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What do you like to do in your personal time? 

Jennia:
I love cooking and baking while experimenting with new recipes and ingredients. I have a team of tasters that claim that everything I make is the best thing they have ever tasted! We also enjoy hiking and traveling, so Toronto is a wonderful experience for us, and we always try to do something fun on the weekends.


The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation:
What are your top three tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle? 

Jennia:
As an ObGyn focusing on fertility, my tips are about maintaining reproductive health include:

  1. Be intentional and proactive when it comes to your reproductive goals. If you aim to become pregnant, explore natural fertility, and try for up to a year on your own (6mo if older than 35y); if things don’t work out, come for an assessment sooner rather than later, as time is of the essence whenever it comes to fertility. On the contrary, if you choose to postpone pregnancy, seek a reliable and safe contraception method that fits your values and lifestyle, and don’t leave anything to the role of chance.
  2. Ensure you are up-to-date with age-appropriate screening tests like a Pap smear and a mammogram; these simple and easy procedures can save lives!
  3. A special shout-out to my female physician colleagues! As a medical career can be very demanding and time-consuming, many of us choose to delay childbearing until later in our training. These decisions might have a detrimental effect on future fertility. Today, we have ways to assess ovarian reserve, and preserve fertility to expand reproductive lifespan. Explore your options, and don’t let shyness stand in your way of future family building.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

Related Posts

Donate today.

Please select your Donation option below

Annual Campaign 2018​

Support our 2021 Annual campaign. The Kurt & Edith Rothschild Lobby. 

In recognition of Kurt and Edith Rothschild’s 100th birthdays, the 10th floor lobby of the Next Generation Building will be named in their honour. This entire floor is devoted to the healthcare of women and newborns 

Breast Cancer Challenge

1.2 million women worldwide will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer this year. This cancer affects women more than any other cancer.

Donate to our $1 million Breast Cancer Challenge Campaign in support of the Breast Health Clinic Center at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Together we will ensure that every women in Jerusalem has access to world class diagnostics, treatments and research. 

Tribute & Holiday Cards – In Honour/Memory

Make a donation to honour someone who is celebrating a special occasion (such as a wedding, anniversary, birthday, or bar\bat mitzvah). You can also send a card to your friends and family for the holidays.  For multiple cards please call our office 647 233 3477 or email foundation@hospitalwithaheart.ca.  You will receive a tax receipt for your generous gift, and we will send a card with your special message to the person(s) being honoured