When he’s playing hockey, Dr. Justin Pandoo is the goalie responsible for protecting the goal and stopping the puck. As an internal medicine physician, he is responsible for protecting his patients and stopping diseases. Dr. Pandoo grew up in Toronto, Canada playing a lot of hockey and baseball. In fact, he’s played competitive ice hockey in Sweden, Finland, Canada, and the U.S. Growing up with one sister, he says he has a very supportive and close-knit Caribbean family. Both of his parents are from the island of Trinidad and Tobago. His interest in sports led him into medicine. He said, “You see a lot of amazing things the body can do and endure, both hard-hitting physical nature and the grace and precision needed to achieve your goal. I always loved science and to see how the body works, what happens when it gets broken and how it heals is something remarkable and special.” He went into internal medicine because he says it is a great balance between the different fields of medicine, and you have to know about a bit of everything. He enjoys working with different specialists and learning more from them. Striving to always learn helps him stay focused and as he said just like in life and hockey, you’ve “gotta practice harder than you play.”
Dr. Pandoo and his wife recently celebrated their one-year anniversary, and he laughingly says he’s still trying to learn not to argue and that he is never right anymore. He and his wife enjoy traveling which he says is a reminder of how lucky we are and it is important to learn and appreciate different cultures and cuisines around the world. Food is a passion of his, and although his all-time favorites are burgers, pizza and wings, he is trying to eat more salads for a healthier diet. He says life is about balance though, so he enjoys his foods and exercises a lot with sports. He also loves movies and stand-up comedians. His love for his work shines through as well, especially being able to interact with his patients and teach them about their conditions and the power they have to control them. “Education is a powerful thing, and when people learn about their body, what they can do is truly amazing,” he said. He wants his patients to know that our health is the most precious gift we have and we need to take care of it.