New FHS researchers: Meet Dr. Chris Doiron
Dr. Doiron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology
How would you summarize your research?
I'm a urologist by training and my clinical areas of expertise are in chronic urologic pelvic pain and urologic reconstruction. In my practice I see a lot of patients, male and female, with chronic urological pelvic pain. For men, their pain is typically related to prostatitis; for women, it's mostly interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. My research really focuses on these disease processes and I’m trying to understand a little bit more about the cause of these diseases. Through my research, I have also been taking a sort of clinical approach to research and focusing on improving patient outcomes.
Why is your research important to you?
There are a number of reasons, really. Firstly, I should say that I have entered into this position under the mentorship of Dr. Curtis Nickel, who is really responsible for putting chronic urologic pelvic pain on the map in many ways, but especially in terms of clinical research. He's built a formidable research program here in our Department of Urology at Queen’s and so I have a huge debt of gratitude to him for all the work he's done, and it's important to me because I feel a huge amount of responsibility to carry on what he has built.
Additionally, this patient population is still fairly neglected and marginalized, and I think it's important for us as clinicians to advocate for patient populations who exist on the fringes of more recognized disease processes. Patients who suffer from urologic pelvic pain are an underrecognized and underappreciated group of people, and so it's important for me and for those of us who see and treat this patient population to advocate for them, and work to improve clinical outcomes for them.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned through your research?
I’ve learned a lot from the clinical care I’ve provided and from my research, whether it’s about diseases’ processes, chronic pelvic pain, or chronic pain in general. More generally, I’ve learned the importance of advocacy, and in particular advocating for people’s quality of life. Quality of life is a huge issue for some of these patients, and, as clinicians, sometimes we undervalue or underappreciate the importance of quality-of-life outcomes, and I’ve learned to pay great attention to these patients. I expect to continue to learn a lot from them and from my experience at Queen’s. I feel very lucky to be here starting my career as a clinician and a researcher. We’re a smaller department but the research environment is very rich and it's a very supportive workplace with incredible opportunity for cross-departmental collaboration, which I think is fairly unique.
What kind of impact do you hope your research will have?
I think all of us as clinician researchers, whatever disease space we're working in, ultimately hope to improve the lives of our patients. Whether we can do that at the local, regional, national, or even international level, it’s just nice to know that we are involved in improving people’s experience. The hope to make things better for my patients is what drives me to continue working hard on what I do. People with chronic pelvic pain can often suffer in a really horrible way, and anything I can do to contribute to reducing that is an accomplishment.
Do you have a secret talent?
My secret talent might be that in a former life I played mediocre bass guitar in a rock band. I know there is a rock band, I believe cover band, that formed in the Department of Medicine and I believe their name is Old Docs New Tricks? I have never seen them perform but I know they exist and that’s exciting to me … I would love to put together a competing rock band from the Department of Surgery but it hasn’t happened so far, and we might need to start poaching some members from various departments. I’d like to see it happen though. I think an all-academic battle of the bands would be really cool, department versus department.