Dr. Harvey J. Guyda accepts position as Associate Executive Director of The MCH

From the halls of the University of Manitoba as a medical student, to a residency at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital followed by a three-year clinical and research fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Harvey J. Guyda found his way to the Montreal Children’s Hospital in 1969.

Almost 40 years later, Dr. Guyda has made his mark in medicine not only in Montreal but nation wide as a clinician, teacher, researcher and administrator. He has also received numerous awards, most recently the Alan Ross Award, which is the Canadian Pediatric Society’s most prestigious annual honour, for his significant contributions to child and youth health. And just last week he added to his list of accomplishments by accepting the position of Associate Executive Director of the MCH—a job he has been performing in the interim for the last year.

“Over the last year I think I have made a positive difference here,” says Dr. Guyda. “My goal is to continue to try to strengthen ties between the administration and the clinical groups. I also see the large picture: it takes a team effort to run this hospital, so we need input from everyone. I want to build team spirit. But I want to do all of this in a logical and sensible way.”

When asked why he chose pediatrics, Dr. Guyda claims you don’t really choose: it’s genetic. “You need to have the right genes to work with children. These genes make you willing to empathize with people who are communicating at a very different level than adults. You also have to understand that a child is part of a family construct so therefore you are not just dealing with a patient ...this takes time and patience.”

Pediatrics was just a natural choice for Dr. Guyda, who will also keep his jobs as MCH Physician-in-Chief, MUHC Pediatrician-in-Chief, and Dodds Professor at McGill University, but he plans to step down as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics for McGill. “I love my job,” he says. “It’s just something that you gotta do…help children.”