Written by: Madeline Kubiseski, Master of Health Administration
Interview with: Linda Hernandez & Ali Yousefi
Linda Hernandez and Ali Yousefi will be graduating from the IMG Clerkship program this spring, both going on to complete their residencies in family medicine at Dalhousie. I had the opportunity to sit down with them to learn more about their experiences in the IMG Clerkship Program, why they chose the program, and their future plans after the program.
Can you tell us how you decided to continue your education with the IMG Clerkship Program at Dalhousie?
Linda: During my fourth year of medical school in Mexico, I did a visiting elective rotation at Dalhousie where I learned about the IMG Clerkship Program. After moving to Canada, I kept this in mind and my desire to increase my medical knowledge and learn about the Canadian healthcare system led me to apply to the IMG Clerkship program.
Ali: I had a friend who went into the IMG clerkship program before me and was really happy with it. He introduced me to it because I wasn’t aware such a program existed before this and was an option for me. It is a good program for many reasons but I really wanted a smooth transition to residency and this program could help me do that by providing me two more years of experience.
How practical was the IMG Clerkship Program and did you have exposure to clinical/hands-on experience?
Linda: Very practical. We had hands-on clinical experience from day one of clerkship year.
Ali: The IMG Clerkship Program is very hands-on and practical. We have the same exposure as any other medical students, with the same high-quality standards as other Canadian students. While it is very practical, it is really up to you how much you want to practice and the staff are supportive in allowing you to do things under their supervision. The program, and in general the medical program at Dalhousie, is very focused on communication skills as well which I enjoyed.
Can you talk about some of your other goals coming in the Clerkship Program, and whether you’ve been able to reach them?
Linda: One of my main objectives coming into the program was to become completely familiar with the Canadian healthcare system, a goal which was achieved during my clerkship years.
Ali: My main goal coming into the program was a smooth transition to residency and I know I will be able to achieve this goal. I now feel much more confident in my abilities and in transitioning to residency.
Did you get involved in any extracurricular activities with your local community?
Linda: Yes, I volunteered at the refugee clinic with Transitional Health Clinic for Refugees (THCR) in the summer of 2017.
Ali: I play intermediate tennis with Halifax tennis rec in my spare time.
If you could give one piece of advice to prospective IMG applicants from Nova Scotia, what would it be?
Linda: See this as an opportunity for increasing your mastery of medical knowledge, but with new perspectives and insights, and different teaching systems.
Ali: Be open minded, be open to the new information you receive and go with the flow. I really have enjoyed this program and I am so happy I had the opportunity to do this, if I could go back in time I would do it again.
Where are you currently going after graduating from Dalhousie?
Linda: I have been accepted to DAL Family Medicine Residency Program in PEI.
Ali: I am staying in Halifax for family medicine residency. After that I plan to stay here on the east coast and practice afterwards.
To learn more about the program and outcomes thus far, please find the IMG Clerkship Program report here.