Dr. J. Patrick McConkey & Dr. Mark McConkey
Dr. Mark McConkey, an orthopedic surgeon at Lions Gate Hospital, has the distinction of being the third generation of his family to work in orthopedics at VCH and a fourth generation physician.
Mark’s now-retired father, Dr. J. Patrick McConkey, was an orthopedic surgeon first at St Paul’s Hospital, then UBC Hospital and Squamish General Hospital. When at St. Paul’s, Mark’s father worked with his father, Dr. Arthur S. McConkey, who was chief of orthopedic surgery at the hospital.
Mark’s great-grandfather, Dr. W. Arthur McConkey was chief anesthetist at St. Paul’s Hospital in the early part of the 20th century. “Apparently there is a picture in one of the hallways at VGH of my great-grandfather giving anesthetic as an intern,” says Mark.
When Mark’s dreams of being a professional baseball player were dashed – according to Mark by lack of talent – he ended up going with his fallback plan, medical school. Growing up and seeing his father’s work with high-level athletes, professional and Olympic teams, and Mark’s own experiences as an athlete inspired him to also go into sports medicine.
“My main inspiration is my dad and the way he carried himself during his career and treated his patients,” he says. As a first-year med student, Mark recalls learning to scope a knee from his father. “It reminded me of being 16 and him trying to teach me how to drive stick on his ’83 Bronco. There may have been some yelling and a few tears both times,” he jokes.
Mark has been at LGH since 2012 and when asked about what he likes about working here, Mark spoke of how well the OR functions. “We have a great nursing team in the OR and the entire team gets along with one another, plus the ED is very helpful and supportive. It’s an exciting place to be because we get a good mix of ‘big city’ complicated cases and trauma cases related to our proximity to the mountains.”