Written by: Muhammad Morshed, PhD, SCCM

DR. PATRICK DOYLE: Cruize the Globe when COVID-19 is OVer

Patrick Doyle, MD

Dr. Patrick Doyle, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, retired from the clinical practice of Medical Microbiology on March 31, 2019 after a 34 year career, and recently retired as Clinical Professor at UBC in January, 2020. Pat’s most recent work place has been the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory (PHL), where he is currently continuing as a part-time consultant on a team working to bring myehealth to BCCDC lab reports. Pat spent the largest portions of his work life, first at Metro-McNair Clinical Laboratories, and then at Vancouver General Hospital.

Pat was born in Vancouver, but spent 8 years with his family in Portland, Oregon, moving back to Canada when he was going into Grade 11. He graduated from high school at Vancouver College in 1972. This was followed by 3 years in Honours Physiology at UBC, then Medical School at UBC. He obtained his MD degree from UBC in 1979, and his FRCPC in Medical Microbiology from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada in 1985. Later he also completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology at UBC in 1999.

Upon completion of his Medical Microbiology training, Pat joined Metro-McNair Clinical Laboratories and also worked at Saint Paul’s Hospital. Since then Pat had a busy and interesting career. He also consulted for Metro-McNair at labs in Prince George, Trail, and Regina. He did lab inspections for CAP in places such as Kaiser Permanente, Portland, Oregon and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Alaska; and was Lab Director at Viridae Clinical Sciences, worked at BCCDC in Communicable Disease Epidemiology; and worked at the Canadian Red Cross Society and then at Canadian Blood Services where he was in charge of Lookbacks and Tracebacks at the Vancouver Centre, to name a few. Pat anchored himself at Vancouver General hospital as Consultant Pathologist from 2001 – 2016.

Although Pat’s primary focus was on medical Microbiology, his interests were very broad. He saw Travel Medicine patients for many years, and was also very keen on teaching. To my knowledge, Dr. Doyle was the longest serving Program Director for Medical Microbiology Resident Training Program (2001-2015) for the Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. He mentored the Medical Microbiology residents during his time as Program Director and they are now practicing throughout British Columbia and beyond in various leadership positons in the field of Medical Microbiology. Dr Christopher Lowe, current Program Director for Medical Microbiology wrote a nice piece in a previous pathology newsletter along with many residents expressing their feelings about Pat, which says everything about him (February 2019). His long standing passion, respect and dedication in teaching was not only recognized by his residents but also by the UBC faculty of medicine, by giving him UBC Clinical Faculty Award for Career Excellence in Clinical Teaching in 2017. I am sure his accomplishments, the knowledge and experience he shared with his resident physicians, and his intellect will continue to exemplify the very best in laboratory medicine.

Pat was always thinking on how best we can disseminate information which will help not only the patient, but also help physicians globally to get access to information. He had many accomplishments in his stellar career. He established the Professional Advancement Learning Series (PALS) which focused on the non-medical expert CanMEDS roles and pioneering establishment of Geo-Sentinel Surveillance Network in BC, where he served as first Site Director and continued that from 2008-2013, to name a few. Pat is a person who always thinks about the big picture. For an example, at BCCDC PHL Pat took a lead role for creating elab for Public Health laboratory and this allowed our clients on-line access to all of our test information online.

I came to know Pat in 1997 when I joined BCCDC Public Health Laboratory, but we became close friends when Pat joined as a colleague at BCCDC PHL in 2017. I found him the sincerest person in his responsibilities with the highest morals. He always acknowledged and respected others. He is a quality driven individual and as I saw him, he took each and every task seriously. One notable thing, Pat took every physician/ patient consult in his heart. For complex cases he would run from lab to lab at BCCDC to find complete information on the patient he was dealing with, rather than on a single test result, and always gave the patient the highest priority. Occasionally Pat and I discussed about how Clinical Microbiology practice was being transformed from using traditional microbiology i.e. culture and microscopy to molecular technique such as PCR, typing, and sequencing in a decade time. In our generation we worried about losing expertise in certain areas such as identifying parasites using microscopes, culturing interesting bacteria on agar plates or looking at Tuberculosis bacteria directly from sputum under microscopes. I asked Pat to tell me about some interesting experiences he had over this career. His most memorable event was SARS in March 2003, and he remembers reporting their case at VGH to BCCDC Epidemiology. Toronto had also just reported 2 cases, and the next day the WHO issued a worldwide travel advisory, as SARS had gotten ‘out of Asia”. He said it was “fasten your seatbelt”, the next 2 months went very fast. They had no spread at VGH, and one reason could be that they trained people how to take their gear off without contaminating themselves, and that later for example became very important with Ebola management.

Pat, his wife Patricia, and their dog Caylee love to travel. Their favourite travel destinations are on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. However, Pat and Patricia also travel abroad as well, recently they visited Norway, Spain, and Japan. One interesting thing Pat always learns some words of the language of the country they plan to visit.

Outside work, we shared many stories including family, national and global politics, and also about his next travel over lunch.

On behalf of BCCDC PHL colleagues, co-workers and friends, I wish Pat a long, healthy, extremely enjoyable, and well-earned retirement from the UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.