Family medicine: Working through the pandemic, mother/daughter doctors in Sudbury find time to celebrate Mother's Day
SUDBURY -- It'll be a nice and quiet Mother's Day at the family hobby farm for Dr. Michele Brule, a surgeon who's working during the pandemic at Health Sciences North.
Brule, who has been practising medicine for 27 years, is also a proud mom of three children. Her daughter, Dr. Kara Nadeau, is a surgical resident at HSN who has been inspired by her mom, to say the least.
"I've been so privileged to have her in my corner helping me all the way along -- the best mentor and role model that you could ever hope for," said Nadeau.
"We're also staying together right now, so I have the privilege of her knowledge outside of the hospital, as well, and we've had the opportunity to make great memories that we never would have been able to have otherwise."
Nadeau has been working away from the hospital, while her mom has been on a reduced workload because of the pandemic, doing maybe a third of her usual surgeries.
"We're still doing lots of emergencies, and general surgery is typically non-elective for emergencies and oncology cases," said Brule. "So we've slowed down at the hospital. It's much quieter, just doing emergencies and urgent cases."
When not at the hospital, the two live on a hobby farm where they've been rescuing animals. Their menagerie includes dogs, cats, horses, a donkey and a pig named "Reggie."
"There's always work to be done, but I kind of have the animals on self-serve, I call it," said Brule.
For Mother's Day, Nadeau is planning a quiet day at the farm with her mother and preparing her homemade eggs Benedict.
"So originally I was on call, but now I'm on call the day before, so we'll be home," said Brule. "My favourite pastime is walking and going for a walk on the trail with the animals, so that's usually the plan."
Both say they are proud of what the other has been able to accomplish. Once she's finished her residency, Nadeau's goal is not only to work in Sudbury, but to be in an operating room alongside her mom before she retires.
"It's very interesting to see my mom in a whole new light," she said. "When I was young, she would disappear for hours on end and come back. But now I see how attentive she is, and how caring she is with her patients and every little detail that matters. She's really a great role model and I couldn't hope for anything more."
Following in the footsteps of your parents is one thing, but following in the footsteps of your mother who's working on the frontline during a pandemic is something else entirely.
It's never phased Brule, though, who she says she doesn't worry about her daughter because she's so confident in her abilities.
"I think, you know, if people practise social distancing and wash their hands, you know they're going to be well," she said. "So instead of worrying about, it I think it's important just to do it." "We tend to see each other a fair amount, we have about 10 surgeons here in Sudbury and so one out of 10 are pretty good odds for working together," said Nadeau. "I work with the whole team, as well, but we do spend a fair bit of time together in the operating room and I'm very lucky to have that."