Athanasios (Thanasi) Psihogios graduated from the University of Ottawa after completing a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with a focus in health sciences and philosophy. He is currently a senior research assistant with the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) working on the KNOW database. As a student researcher at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center (OICC), Athanasios is currently working on a pediatric oncology program through survey work and a future scoping review (of which he was the recipient of the 2018 Innovation Fund Award from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine). Through continued research and clinical investigation, he hopes to help populate the naturopathic oncology knowledge base and promote evidence-informed decisions in order to ensure safety and efficacy in practice. Once he has completed his current final year of clinical training at CCNM and completed training as an intern on the Integrative Cancer Care (ICC shift), Athanasios plans to pursue continued education through a cancer-focused residency.

How did you get into Naturopathic Oncology?

The first time cancer caught my curiosity had to be when I was 10, during a family visit to the palliative care wing of a Montreal hospital to visit a family member. It was a scene I had never experienced before. The hanging IV bags, tubes running to-and-fro and the cluttering of unfamiliar machines, all against the backdrop of hospital white walls, made her almost unrecognizable. I vividly remember asking my uncle what the bags and tubes were for, to which he replied, “they keep her inflated”, a comedic relief that everyone in the room welcomed. From the eavesdropping I was doing on the adults, as many children do, the comment that has still stuck with me was “is there anything else they can do?” Since that time, and over the years as my interest in medicine grew, this question of “what else can be done” has influenced my decision to go into integrative oncology and provide patients with an answer to this question. Through research, preceptorship and clinical exposure, I came to the realization that I could not see myself doing anything else other than integrative cancer care. All in search of an answer, to a very simple childhood question.

What do you do on your downtime and/or what do you do for fun?

  • Drinking and trying different types of teas from around the world, with favorites being Gyokuro green tea, YamaMotoYama sushi bar style green tea and jasmine dragon pearl tea.
  • Growing up in a Greek household, cooking, and food has always been an area of comfort in my life. I try to cook often, making favorites dishes such as spicy sausage & mushroom sauce with gnocchi, pizza dough from scratch and Mediterranean style salmon fillet. Feeding this love of food, trying new foodie destinations and trying new types of food from different cultures has become one of my favorite pastimes.
  • When time allows it, I love to read fiction, specifically anything written by Stephen King, with my favorite book of all time being The Stand.

Favorite quote

Here is the quote that I think I use most often to guide my studying and to give me some inspiration to keep learning as a student.
“Student, you do not study to pass the test. You study to prepare for the day when you are the only thing between a patient and the grave”
by Mark Reid, MD