DR. TAHER CHUGH

SPORTS PHYSICIAN AND GP PSYCHOTHERAPIST

MD, CCFP(SEM), FCFP, Dip sport med

Serving as our medical director, Dr. Chugh is a sports physician with extensive training in behavioural medicine and psychotherapy. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s medical school and the University of Ottawa’s family medicine residency program, his interests in health, performance, athletics, travel, languages, cultures, arts, music, philosophy, psychology and social welfare fuel his joie de vivre. From early on his career, his commitment has been for “thinking outside the box” to find the most effective, evidence-based – even if “unconventional” – means for empowering patients with the freedom to realize healthier versions of themselves.   One of his first clinical experiences upon graduation was with a young gentleman who presented with the DSM diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder  Dr. Chugh spent two consultations understanding the patient’s situation in a holistic sense. Rather than recommending medication, he recommended assertiveness training. Assertiveness training  is a treatment with plenty of medical evidence that a was first-line therapy in the 70s and before, but fell by the wayside in the face of the monetization of healthcare. Dr. Chugh performed the assertiveness training in the context of helping the patient prepare for dental school interviews, leveraging the patient’s enthusiasm for the therapy and engendering hope. After all, is not hope a powerful drug? Does not big pharma control for hope in their trials? And call it placebo? That is, don’t they have to prove that a drug helps above and beyond the positive health effect of hope?   Five sessions of assertiveness psychotherapy later, the patient was invited for a dental school interview for the 3rd time in 5 years, but this time with a new set of skills. He was accepted to dental school. And the patient began a rich career with the freedom to realize his dreams through serving our country in the armed forces, to serving the impoverished abroad.   This is a spirit of which Dr. Chugh wanted to always be a part. On the heels of this success, his enthusiasm for helping patients access services to most effectively improve their health saw him identify many health care inequalities in the community, his most notable clinical contributions being in the rehabilitation of: physical injuries in seniors; post-concussion syndrome ; and mental health.   In the same spirit of most effectively helping patients, Dr. Chugh continually receives further education and qualifications, locally and abroad; and implements the same in our clinical practices for our patients’ benefit.