Top doctor finds work fun - GTA pediatrician wins two awards
If Umesh Rayar has learned anything in 20 years of being a pediatrician, it's to always listen to mom.
"I never take what a mother says lightly," he said. "She knows more about her child than I do and if she tells me something is wrong, it probably is."
The cheery yellow walls in his cozy Brampton medical office make a visit to the doctor a little easier to stomach. Toys are strewn about to keep waiting children entertained.
"He does absolute magic with these kids," says Rayar's secretary, Joan Costello.
"I see the kids coming in here and they are so scared of the doctor. By the time they leave, they are laughing and smiling."
Costello's 17-year-old son Jeffrey has been under the doctor's care for about seven years. He was diagnosed with a mild form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome.
"I see a big difference in my son socially since he's been with Dr. Rayar. He's turned around 100 per cent."
Rayar is booked solid almost every day but insists: "It doesn't feel like work. Kids are too fun. But it can get hard, especially in the start when I was on call. I would get called six or seven times a night. Good thing my wife is understanding."
It's hard for her not to be, since she's also a doctor.
In June, Rayar was awarded the 2006 Distinguished Community Paediatrician Award by the Canadian Paediatric Society.
This year he also won the Most Outstanding Professional Award from the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce.
In 1981, after completing medical school in Sri Lanka, a scholarship at the Hospital for Sick Children led him to Canada.
Twenty-five years later, he's making more of a contribution to his community than most.
He is the vice-president of the Canadian Medical Dental Development Association ? a volunteer group of health care professionals that helps disaster victims all over the world.
He admits the temptation to treat his three children when they were younger was strong.
"My wife's the boss, she took care of them well. If they had something minor I would have a look."
He looks deadpan. "If it was more serious I would tell her, `Please consult your family doctor.'"