You know when you meet someone who wrote a book when they were twelve-years old or competed in the Olympics at fifteen. You know that sense you get, they will just fly high with success throughout their life. Well Dr. Sandy Buchman is one such person.
Sandy, our guest on episode 20 of Hatradio!, was born and educated in Toronto. He dropped out of high school at the end of grade 11 because “I was unhappy…..bored….”. So you’re thinking he went to work in a gas station. Wrong. He started his own school with other guys in his situation and it was accredited by the Ministry of Education. The school rocked.
“I studied everything from calculus to Zen Buddism. For Shakespeare we hopped on our bikes and rode to Stratford to see it performed.” Funnily, their school required an adult be the ‘principal’ so his buddy’s dad was. “My grade 13 diploma was signed by him. He was a used car salesman.”
Sandy has always been like that, a creative independent thinker. Later on he wanted to get into medical school. The entrance interview at McMaster University. included the question, what have you done in life where you had a problem and you need to determine a solution. Sandy’s response was, ‘I started a school in grade 12.’ He got in. They liked that.
Sandy became a family doctor. He did because, “family medicine was about the social dynamic between the patient and the physician. within the context of their family and lives.” In essence he liked family medicine because it was about relationships.
About 15 years ago, Dr. Buchman’s family practice evolved into that of palliative care where he felt he could help minimize the suffering of his patients, be compassionate toward those who are dying and accompany them on their journey.
Since then Sandy has tended to many people in a loving, caring fashion including his work out of a hospice for the homeless. He is deeply saddened by the reality the average life expectancy in Canada is 83. For a homeless person it’s about 40. This driven doctor is currently launching a Jewish hospice in Toronto, the first of its kind, called Neshama (soul). So far he and his team have raised $11 million out of the $18 million required.
Sandy has traveled to Guayana, Zimbabwe and Malawi with non-profits, to play a role in medical care in these very poor countries. He is also part of a team of physicians who participate in medically assisted dying.
In short, Sandy is a type-A person and has been that way since the launch of his school at sixteen. He has worked hard to alleviate the suffering of many through countless programs and projects, many of which he’s founded.
Sandy is an inspiring human being, someone who feels deeply blessed for what he has. Listen to Episode 20 and be inspired and challenged by Dr. Sandy Buchman.
Hatradio! The show that schmoozes.