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Vol. 74, No. 1
ISSN: 1488-2159
February 2008


This month's JCDA cover features Dr. Thomas Yu of Toronto. Dr. Yu recently completed his master's in periodontology at the University of Toronto and is coauthor of an article on delays in diagnosing head and neck cancers with Drs. Howard Tenenbaum and Robert Wood.

A 2003 graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Yu's talents extend beyond the dental operatory into the world of classical music. Dr. Yu has earned national and global praise as a concert pianist, most notably when he won the 17th International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs in Paris, France, in 2006. He has also been victorious at the Canadian Music Competition and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association Piano Competition.

Dr. Yu admits that balancing his 2 life pursuits can be a challenge. “Dentistry is a great profession that has allowed me to pursue both passions in my life,” he says. “Everyone in both music and dentistry has been very supportive of my crazy schedule — one that I would not even wish on my worst enemies!”

One such supporter in dentistry is Dr. Yu's co-author, Dr. Tenenbaum, who is impressed with Dr. Yu's ability to excel at both dentistry and music. “These 2 endeavours are extremely demanding and exacting, and Thomas' dedication to both is obvious,” he explains. “It doesn't seem to matter whether the ‘ivories' are intraoral or on a keyboard, Thomas has learned to handle both with excellence.”

Dr. Yu's involvement with the University of Toronto faculty of dentistry has reinforced for him the importance of research. “I believe it should remain a priority for all schools to strive for excellence in research, both in basic and clinical sciences.” He also feels that there needs to be a continued effort to improve links between clinicians and researchers. “With the dizzying amount of dental products and discoveries, it is important to approach new ideas with a scientific mind, demanding only the highest standards of evidencebased research,” he continues. “Otherwise it gets too confusing…like learning a Prokofiev sonata!”

Dr. Yu plans to continue pursuing his dual talents. “I'm not sure what the future holds, but I am certainly thankful of how things have turned out so far.” To learn more about Dr. Yu's musical prowess, visit

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