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Residency Family Medicine, Moroccan

August 15, 2015

I am a female who was born in Morocco but left at the age of eight and was raised in Canada. I speak Arabic, French and English fluently.  I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MD degree from the Medical University of the Americas.

I had already developed a strong desire to become a family physician by the age of 10 having seen the enormously beneficial effects of the wisdom, skill and commitment of our own family doctor.  I wanted to be like him and directly affect the lives of as many people as possible for the better. This desire has never left me and I have never seriously considered any other profession. I consider family medicine to be more a vocation than a career choice. I cannot imagine my being of more use to humanity than by being a family physician and am passionately committed to becoming as effective in this role as possible.

 I realized, when considering how to enter the profession, that a family doctor, especially, treats the ‘whole person’. For this reason I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology before pursuing my medical degree. This has been of enormous assistance to me in my volunteer, professional and academic work to date. I keep abreast of advances in the subject so that I shall be able to apply this knowledge with greater effect in my interaction with patients throughout my future career.

Family medicine is the only specialization that has ever interested me. I am keen to work with patients of all ages and suffering all types of conditions. I will seek to provide integrated care of a high quality.  I believe that this can only be achieved by forming a constructive personal relationship with the patient. This involves acquiring, and maintaining, knowledge of the family and working environments of patients and their personal circumstances. This knowledge needs, of course, to be underpinned by a genuine interest in their overall well-being.  The family practitioner is in a very strong position in the area of preventative medicine and I see this as one of her major functions.  I believe that much can be achieved to improve health generally by always taking the opportunity to provide appropriate basic health education during routine contact with patients. I also recognize the enormously beneficial effect of routine screening and the role of the family physician in maximizing its uptake by patients.

I have acquired significant and relevant patient contact experience whilst working as a volunteer with counseling services and in my clinical rotations. The most formative of these experiences was when working at the Ottawa General Hospital Cancer Center which seeks to provide a supportive environment to those touched by cancer by offering complementary care based on a ‘holistic’ approach.

I am a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross. I have taught safety awareness and first aid skills to elementary school-aged children and I loved doing so. I have hopes that one or two future medical professionals will emerge from my young students some of whom I believe ‘caught’ my enthusiasm for helping others in distress. I have also been trained to act as a ‘responder’ in the event of small or large scale emergencies or disaster. I hold very positive feelings towards the Red Cross and their magnificent work and intend to continue my association with them throughout my career.

I am used to social and professional contact with people of many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I am very interested in learning about different cultures and particularly how they touch upon attitudes to health and personal well-being.  I am well travelled having visited Morocco, the Balkans, Cyprus, Turkey and the Nevis Islands and have used the opportunities of travel to observe, and to learn from, the cultures to which I have been exposed. Being of a bi-cultural background gives me some insight into the potential problems faced by others who are the products of non-local heritage.

I strongly believe that cultural variations in attitudes to health and well-being are a potential source of useful lessons to be exchanged and considered.  For instance, I am aware of a tendency among some cultures to avoid routine screening and seek medical intervention only when  advanced symptoms arise. It is also well established that some culture’s eating customs are either beneficial or detrimental to health.  I would seek to acquire a detailed knowledge of this aspect of health education and to take such cultural variations carefully into account in my treatment of patients and to apply them.

I am aware that the residency program will attract many well qualified applicants. However I strongly believe that my academic background, experience and personal qualities will ensure that the program will provide significant benefits both to myself, to my future patients and to the medical community that I seek to join. In addition I offer a genuine and heart-felt passion for family medicine that I am sure will not be matched by many applicants.

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