About Dr. Mike
My name is Mike Evans. I am a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. I also run something called the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. My interest is engaging users and people with varied skills, particularly creatives, and mushing them together with researchers and clinicians to re-invent patient education. My recent YouTube release of “23 and 1/2 hours: what is the single most important thing for your health?” is a good example. With over a million views in the first month I think others also thought it was worthwhile. One theme that I see emerging is the need for clinicians to become part-time “curators” of the best health information for their patients, which is what My Favourite Medicine is all about…
When I started in medicine I was most interested in getting things right, what we in healthcare call “evidence-based medicine”. I chaired the provincial guidelines initiative, started a critical appraisal column in Canadian Family Physician, sat on the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee, and chief-edited Canada’s top selling primary care textbook of medicine. Then I got into more of the research on how to improve practice and became the Scientific Officer for Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and became a funded research scholar in Family Medicine. The general theme was there is no “magic bullet” and that multi-faceted interventions work best. I became increasingly interested in the patient-facing parts of these trials.
It was at this time I found my real passion: communicating the best health information to the general public in novel ways. I started the Mini Med School at the University of Toronto, which is a medical school for the public. As one of our students said, “..find me the best health communicator-professor about a common problem and give them an hour to bring me up to speed.” I think that we should also go to where the eyeballs and ears are, and so I have been house doctor for a variety of shows on CITY, TVO, CBC etc.. Currently I am a health columnist for the Globe & Mail and have a bi-weekly radio show on CBC radio’s Fresh Air. As well, I am Chair of Patient Education for the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
My wife is also a Family Doctor and we have 3 kids. I would say we are at the chauffeur-financier stage of parenting. Apparently the former has an end point, but the latter stage continues for some time. We all play hockey.
For a short current bio see here.