Working the Front Lines: Munir Jamal, Urologic Surgeon

Munir Jamal, father of Rohan '25, and Janak '27, is the Chief of Urology at Trillium Health Partners. His practice is mostly oncology and robotic surgery. Like all other surgeons, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way his job looks on a daily basis.
“We’re having a lot of discussions and meetings on how we’re going to manage patients who require non-COVID related care,” said Munir. “How are we going to have capacity for what we anticipate is going to be an overwhelming need in the coming weeks?”
Munir can no longer see patients face-to-face, in keeping with social distancing protocols.
“We’ve changed our care – we’re doing a lot of virtual treatment, we’re using Zoom and other virtual platforms,” he said. “We’re practicing social distancing and clearing the hallways, but I really miss seeing my patients face-to-face.”
Munir says they have had a handful of COVID patients and have had to deal with an outbreak at one of the three hospitals within the Trillium Health Partners network. They are no longer performing non-essential surgeries and want to create capacity for what’s to come.
“We have ventilators, anaesthesiologists, etc. for what’s ahead, but this means that there are a lot of patients in my practice, for example, cancer patients, who aren’t getting the care they need,” said Munir. “It creates a lot of anxiety for patients and for me because we don’t know when they’re going to be treated and when they’re going to have a safe landing.”
Despite the anxiety and the risk, Munir still loves what he does.
“As a physician, I have a duty to provide care. I take all the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of exposure and we’ve been very well supported by our hospitals. We currently have enough PPEs,” he said. “Like all members of the community, we all have a role to play in this. It’s what I need and want to do.”
Munir has been very impressed by the support for all frontline workers by everyone in the community.
“It’s nice to see that people are showing support and solidarity for people who are working to help. People are really coming together in an unsettling time. Everyone is supporting everybody – not just healthcare providers,” said Munir. “I’ve been really been impressed when we call cancer patients to tell them their surgery is being delayed, they seem to understand. It’s very impressive, the community that we have.”
Thank you, Munir, for all that you do!