IMG and IMU Alumni: Where are they now? – Part 4

By: Sarah Boucaud, Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

 

Kevin Teeluckdharry (IMG – Class of 2014)

Good teachers, a great environment conducive to learning. . . These are often things we hear from our alumni. Dalhousie University and the International Medical University of Malaysia have had a partnership for over 20 years. Each year, six IMU students are eligible to complete third- and fourth-year clerkships at Dalhousie leading to a Canadian Medical Doctorate degree. The program is managed through the Glboal Health Office. See what some of our recent alumni are doing now!

Where did you train and practice medicine?

Kevin Teeluckdharry

Kevin Teeluckdharry (IMG – Class of 2014)

I trained in Ukraine and Mauritius.  I practiced in Mauritius as a general practitioner

Why did you choose Nova Scotia?

As an islander, the Maritimes remind me of home!

What was the value of participating in the IMG Clerkship program at Dalhousie?

It enabled me to reintegrate into the medical field in Canada.

What is your intent for practicing in the province?

My intent is to practice as a family physician in a community for Nova Scotia

 

IMU and IMG Alumni: Where are they now? – Part 3

By: Sarah Boucaud, Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

 

Dr. Suha Masalmeh MD (IMG – Class of 2013)

Good teachers, a great environment conducive to learning. . . These are often things we hear from our alumni. Dalhousie University and the International Medical University of Malaysia have had a partnership for over 20 years. Each year, six IMU students are eligible to complete third- and fourth-year clerkships at Dalhousie leading to a Canadian Medical Doctorate degree. The program is managed through the Glboal Health Office. See what some of our recent alumni are doing now!

Suha Masalmeh, MD (IMG - Class of 2013)

Suha Masalmeh, MD (IMG – Class of 2013)

Where did you train and practice medicine?

My first medical school was in Aleppo University in Syria. I worked as an intern in several fields of medicine in Syria to fulfill a rotational internship.

Why did you choose Nova Scotia?

My family migrated to Nova Scotia and I accompanied them.

What was the value of participating in the IMG Clerkship program at Dalhousie?

Participating in the IMG Clerkship Program helped me overcome the barriers that international medical graduates face to practice medicine in Canada. Obtaining the Canadian MD helped me overcome obstacles that IMGs are facing through their journey. Also it helped me identify opportunities for a better integration of IMGs in the Canadian health system.

What is your intent for practicing in the province?

I plan to work in Nova Scotia as a Family Physician.

Any additional comments? 

IMG road to licensing is tough and unclear, despite the efforts of many dedicated individuals and organizations. Throughout our journey, there are many unfair and unnecessary steps, which add cost to our system and society. I also believe that hard work, perseverance and patience are the best qualities an IMG would require for success. Canada is the land of opportunities.

IMU and IMG Alumni: Where are they now? – Part 2

By: Sarah Boucaud, Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

 

Dr. Alison Lopez, MD (IMU – Class of 2013)

Good teachers, a great environment conducive to learning. . . These are often things we hear from our alumni. Dalhousie University and the International Medical University of Malaysia have had a partnership for over 20 years. Each year, six IMU students are eligible to complete third- and fourth-year clerkships at Dalhousie leading to a Canadian Medical Doctorate degree. The program is managed through the Glboal Health Office. See what some of our recent alumni are doing now!

Where are you originally from?Alison Lopez

Malaysia.

Why did you choose Nova Scotia/Dalhousie?

In all honesty, transferring to Dal wasn’t part of my plan initially. I didn’t know much about Nova Scotia prior to moving here. In our med school, we rank all our partner universities and then you go through a matching system and I ended up being matched to Dal. I debated if I should go through with it since I barely knew anything about life in Canada other than it gets cold in the winter. Finally, I decided there was a reason I got matched to Dal and moved over.

What was the value of participating in the IMU Clerkship program at Dalhousie?

For me a major benefit of joining a North American school was the residency system. Where I come from, you have to do at least 2 years of intern training before applying to specialize and that can also take many years. In North America, you go into residency straight out of med school. I also was told by previous IMU students that the Dal programme gave their med students a lot of hands on experience.

Where are you currently located and what are your involved in?

I’m currently a 2nd year paediatrics resident at MUN.

What is your intent for practicing medicine?

I wish to pursue a fellowship in Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

Any additional comments?

Despite not initially planning on transferring to Dal initially, things have worked out great. It was hard work adjusting to a new med school/health care system but with time not to mention trying sort out applying for residency. It paid off in the end.

IMG and IMU Alumni: Where are they now? – Part 1

By: Sarah Boucaud, Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

 

Good teachers, a great environment conducive to learning. . . These are often things we hear from our alumni. Dalhousie University and the International Medical University of Malaysia have had a partnership for over 20 years. Each year, six IMU students are eligible to complete third- and fourth-year clerkships at Dalhousie leading to a Canadian Medical Doctorate degree. The program is managed through the Glboal Health Office. See what some of our recent alumni are doing now!

Dr. Randy Aung, MD (IMU – Class of 2014)

Randy Aung

Randy Aung, MD (IMU-Class of 2014)

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma). When I was fifteen, I moved to Singapore, where I completed high school. In 2009, I started my medical studies in International Medical University (IMU) in Malaysia before transferring to Dalhousie Medical School in 2012.

Why did you choose Nova Scotia/Dalhousie?

When I was doing my research on different partner medical schools, I was fascinated with the hands-on North American medical curriculum. I chose Dalhousie mainly because I wanted to pursue residency and fellowship training in North America.

What was the value of participating in the IMU Clerkship program at Dalhousie?

As a medical student, you are given full responsibility for the care of your patients (under the supervision of the staff physicians and residents, of course). You are treated as a member of the team and are able to directly contribute during rounds. Despite the long and demanding working hours, the hands-on experience that you get from the clinical rotations are highly rewarding and will help bridge the gap between medical school and residency.

Where are you currently located and what are your involved in?

I am currently working on a Master degree in Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. I am also involved in a few research projects and working towards publications. I intend to apply for pediatrics residency in the United States this year.

What is your intent for practicing medicine?

Medicine is not only a respectful, but also a rewarding career. Especially in pediatrics, it is indeed rewarding to see smiles on the faces of the children and parents that you have helped and you know that you have actually made a difference in their lives.

Any additional comments?

I am glad that I chose to come to Dalhousie Medical School. The learning environment in the hospital is conducive where staff physicians, residents and nurses are all supportive of your education. I feel that I am well prepared and feel confident to go into residency.

2014 CBIE Conference: The Competitive Edge of Supporting International Students – Part 1

By: Sarah Boucaud, Outreach Assistant, Global Health Office

 

In late November, the Global Health Office’s own Said Msabaha attended the 2014 Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) Conference. This year’s theme was “ Diplomacy of Knowledge” and brought over 800 delegates together to discuss on the topics of strengthening national and international collaboration between institutions, enhancing student services, strategic recruitment models and creating workable approaches to educating future global leaders, among others.  The conference featured over 60 concurrent sessions from recruitment, admissions, and retention to tracking of alumni post graduation.

In attendance was representatives from regional, national and international educational agencies, diplomats, private consultants, educational institutions and federal elected officials. The sessions and conversations among these delegates celebrated the many benefits of having international student programs. However, delegates also rallied around some key challenges Canadian institutions are facing in the “global race for research talent”. Themes to this effect included fostering a supportive medical education environment and tracking post graduate success. In Part 1 of this series, Said shares with us a few key observations from his experience at the CBIE Conference:

1. Transitions:

Several Canadian delegates representing institutions indicated that international students are experiencing difficulty during transition including but not limited to language difficulties, culture related learning differences and academic support issues. I noted some similarities with our experiences with the IMU students in earlier cohorts. Since 2010 our program continues to be more comprehensive and is gradually eliminating transition related issues.

2. Tracking post graduation:

Tracking of international students post graduation is also a challenge for most of our institutions. At the Global Health Office we began tracking our IMU students in 2010 using several measures including social media. This has proved helpful as we now know where and what most of our recent graduates are engaged in.

These observations demonstrated common concerns and hopes delegates shared in delivering high quality education to international students. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll offer considerations flowing from these observations!

For more on this conference please see Part 2 of this series.

cbie

Image courtesy of www.cbie.ca

2014_CBIE_Conference_WEB-220

Image courtesy of www.cbie.ca

Part 2: Reflections from CCGH 2014

By Andrew Watson, Nursing student, Dalhousie University
 

Andrew Watson is a Dalhousie nursing student who attended the Canadian Conference on Global Health 2014.  Andrew’s insights from this event are so inspiring we wanted to share them all with you.

A collection of plenary addresses, symposia, orals, networking events and poster presentations over the course of the 3 days of the Canadian Conference on Global Health constituted a thought provoking gathering of the minds. The depth and breadth of subject matter being too vast to cover on this platform, I thought I would discuss a few highlights and key deliverables from a nursing student’s perspective.

1)   Partnerships for Global Health

The overarching theme of the conference came shining through, time after time, across various disciplines and contexts. Intersectoral collaboration, public-private partnerships, academic alliances, from all corners of the world, were just a handful of the highlighted partnerships heralded as means of effecting real, sustainable change in developing contexts. As the world is a highly interconnected network of systems, we must draw on the strengths of partnerships in addressing global health issues from various lenses.

2)   Avoiding the “patchwork approach”: Health Systems Strengthening, Social Determinants of Health, and Governance

Upstream thinking. It is impossible to ignore the context in which people are healthy or fall ill. The health systems and human resources that serve the health needs of populations, must be understood, analyzed and strengthened in order to provide for the most vulnerable among us. Paramount to individual behaviours, the social/economic/political contexts in which we live our lives are important factors in creating and maintaining health. It is an exhausting and inept goal to prevent diarrheal related deaths simply by rehydrating patients (although this plays a key role in reducing morbidity and mortality when needed) when the community as a whole lacks access to a source of clean water, and the government, reduced in their capacity to provide for their citizens due to natural/man-made disaster, does not receive the necessary aid from the underfunded and inadequately governed multilateral organizations on whom they have come to rely. We must look upstream to understand the factors truly at play in creating the conditions contributing to poor health outcomes for the populations we strive to serve.

3)   Engaging communities in Capacity Building: “For us, with us”

Communities, varied in their composition and geographical distribution, are the key stakeholders in the projects discussed at this year’s conference. Impactful and sustainable initiatives require the recognition that communities are well aware of the issues affecting them, have a vested interest in improvement of their health status, and are central players in any development initiative. Empowering communities to take the lead on development and health initiatives engages them for the long-term and creates a shared sense of responsibility for and ownership of the outcomes.

In an era of globalization, advancing the global health agenda is all of our responsibilities.

To read post 1 in this series please click here.

Partnerships for Global Health: Reflections from the CSIH Canadian Conference on Global Health 2014 Part 1

By Andrew Watson, Nursing student, Dalhousie University
Post 1 in our Blog Series on this event
 

Global Health; adjective \ˈglō-bəl\ noun, often attributive \ˈhelth\

An area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care. – Expert Panel on Canada’s Strategic Role in Global Health

This thoughtful and comprehensive definition of the vary subject that brought together students, academics, health and allied-health workers, government and non-government organizations and the private sector, came alive throughout the course of the 21st annual Canadian Conference on Global Health, in Ottawa (Nov 1-4, 2014).

Image Credit: CSIH http://www.ccgh-csih.ca

Image Credit: CSIH http://www.ccgh-csih.ca

 

A Student and Young Professional Summit was hosted leading up to the main event, creating a space for the fledgling leaders in global health to engage those who have gone before them, speaking on the incredible opportunities and challenges of working in global health, perspectives from the field, and practical information for launching a career in global health – irrespective of degrees. The event also featured a simulated humanitarian aid intervention as the result of a natural disaster in a politically complex situation. Students were assigned roles as key players and allowed time to create a ‘game-plan’ to tackle the existing humanitarian issue within the challenging socio-political context. The combination of inspirational speakers and engaging activities created a comfortable environment for students from different disciplines to connect and inquire about each other’s pasts and hopes for the future, while at the same time empowering those of us in the early stages of our global health trajectory to have the confidence to engage our global health heroes in conversations, both during the SYP summit and the larger CCGH.

From a nursing student’s perspective, this event was valuable for a number of reasons. Firstly, the event had a focus on fostering the passion and curiosity that draws students from all disciplines into the global health sphere. The speakers, coming from various backgrounds themselves, touched on the importance this passion brings to your career, regardless of the letters following your name or the stage in your career trajectory. Also speaking on issues of ethics, health systems strengthening, intersectoral collaboration, the impact of climate change, national and global governance for healthy people, and of course Ebola, the summit provided a thoughtful and insightful preview of the current and future directions of global health, both in research and in practice. Another key element of the summit was the focus on mentorship. Through effective mentored partnerships with seasoned professionals (facilitated by CSIH through MentorNet or through personal connections) and reflection on motivating factors and future career aspirations, it became apparent to all participants that careers in global health could be a reality. Next….the main event…

To read part 2 in this series please click here.

Our Volunteers From Canada World Youth

By Sarah Boucaud, Outreach Assistant, Global Health Office

We want to give a warm welcome to our new volunteers from Canada World Youth (CWY)! Oksana and Priscilla arrived in the city of Halifax on September 18th, 2014. They have been busy getting to know Dalhousie and the city of Halifax ever since. It’s a great opportunity for Dalhousie to host such inspiring individuals, eager to learn and volunteer their time! In fact, they won’t only be learning from the great initiatives at Dalhousie, they will also be sharing their experiences with our community.

CWY is a program founded in 1971 that offers international volunteer programs to youth from Canada and abroad. Through participation in community-driven development projects, these youth acquire the leadership skills to become agents of change. Youth are between the ages of 18 and 25 years and are paired with a counterpart from another country. All participants are living with host families during their stay in Halifax and will be spending the second part of their time with CWY abroad.

It’s about youth and their capacity to create sustainable change – CWY

Oksana and Priscilla have been spending most of their time with the Global Health Office and so far have worked on helping to support the recruitment of high school graduates into the health professions at Dalhousie. They have also worked with Dalhousie’s Health Promotion group and supported events during mental health week.

 

CWY logo, courtesy of CWY website

So, without further delay, we wanted to give the opportunity for our keen volunteers to say hi:

Oksana

Hello everyone! My name is Oksana. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and am currently in Halifax for the next 3 months. I am so excited to be on the east coast and am hoping to try some lobster sometime soon.  I was interested in volunteering at the Global Health Office because I find it interesting to look at health issues beyond geographic borders. I think it’s important to help decrease health inequities around the world, regardless of race, culture, gender or social class.

As part of my experience with CWY, I am excited to learn more about new cultures. I am also hoping to learn more about myself and become a more independent individual.

Priscilla

Priscilla is my name. I come from Tema, in Ghana, which is in the Western part of Africa.  It’s been exciting being a volunteer for CWY. I hope to learn the distinct culture of people living in Halifax. Volunteering with the Global Health Office has been a step to help me realise what I really want to pursue since I have an interest in health. I hope to learn more about health and possible careers in order to create a platform to educate my home country more about their health and well-being. My stay here so far in Halifax has been fun and I’m looking forward to visiting new places around the city.

Courtesy of CWY website

Courtesy of CWY website

Be sure to offer our students a warm welcome if you see them! They will be with us for a total of three months, dedicating their time to various health related initiatives on campus and in the community.

For more information about Canada World Youth, please visit: http://canadaworldyouth.org/

Youth PhotoVoice Exhibit: Healthy Communities

All were welcome last Thursday to browse a very important collection of photos at the North Memorial Public Library. This collection was the result of the dedication and hard work of youth from St George’s YouthNet and the Needham Community Centre. They came together to engage in a community based participatory action project, facilitated by a group of medical students at Dalhousie University. Although this team of 8 medical students reached out to initiate the project, George’s YouthNet and the Needham Community Centre were the key drivers and youth leaders were involved in each project session.

Community members who came to see the exhibit

Community members who came to see the exhibit

The project ran from Spring to Fall of 2014. The objective was to provide youth with a creative and safe means of self expression in order to explore what a healthy community meant to them. Dalhousie’s medical students were eager to take their education outside the classroom and engage with and learn from youth in the community. As the team put it, “We felt that the youth perspective is often unheard especially with regards to issues that affect them.”

We felt that the youth perspective is often unheard especially with regards to issues that affect them.

Dr. Ingrid Waldron speaking with an attendee

Dr. Ingrid Waldron speaking with an attendee

This is how the PhotoVoice team of medical students described their role in the project:

Our role as facilitators was to ask the youth important questions about their lived experiences within the context of the community they reside. After engaging youth with some critical questions, we then asked the youth to take pictures of elements in their community that affected their lived experience. The youth then explained why they took certain photos and what some of the issues they were trying to convey through the photos were. At this time, youth also discussed how the photos meant different things to them and how their perspectives about issues affecting their community paralleled or differed. It was an opportunity for some of the participants to also share aspects of the history and events that occurred in their community, linking past municipal and provincial choices to their current situation.   

Community members were invited to write their responses to the images

Community members were invited to write their responses to the images

The goal of photoVoice is to promote action. It is hoped that the youths’ ideas and thoughtful work, once made available for the community to see in this way, will spark interesting discussion among community members about what actions the community would like to take based on some of the narratives and photographs from the youth.

Dalhousie PhotoVoice team

Dalhousie PhotoVoice team

To learn more about PhotoVoice please visit their website.

Courtesy of Youth Photovoice Exhibit

Courtesy of Youth Photovoice Exhibit

Association of Black Social Workers 35th Anniversary Conference

By Warren Kelsey, BSW at Dalhousie University

 

This conference was held in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW), entitled “Moving Forward: Pathways to ‘Culturally Competent’ Practice with People of African Descent”. It ran from September 25th-27th, 2014. The ABSW is a volunteer charitable organization which consists of Black Social Workers, Human Service Workers, and other helping professionals throughtout the province of Nova Scotia. Their key mission is to act as a support group and professional development resource for African Canadian workers.

It was important for me to participate so that I could interact with Social Workers already working in the field and gain a broader understanding of the spectrum of social work and all the needs/issues the profession addresses. I was also exposed to the challenges and barriers facing Black social workers, and other Black professionals.

nova_scotia_conference_flyer

Courtesty of ABSW

I will use this conference, and my volunteer work in youth crime prevention, to continue the battle for social justice, social change, and equality for everyone.

The attendees included social workers, educators, and some health care workers. I really enjoyed the workshop discussions such as racism, justice, spirituallity, health, family preservation, child welfare, mental health and addictions, and intimate partner violence.  I was impressed with the level of expertise, experience, knowledge, and quality of the presentations and Q&A sessions.  The presenters were all excellent speakers.

I’ve learned that in some ways, people of African descent have made inroads in the battle against racism, discrimination, and inequality. However, much work still needs to be done to achieve an even playing field where skin color and cultural diversity are celebrated differences, not barriers used to oppress and separate people. I will use this conference, and my volunteer work in youth crime prevention, to continue the battle for social justice, social change, and equality for everyone.

The conference has reaffirmed my perspective that social inequality, racism, discrimination, and oppression are alive in Nova Scotia. Previously, a Dalhousie nursing student from Africa in his late 20′s told me he had not experienced racism until he came to Nova Scotia about 3 years ago.  One of the conference attendees from Maryland, USA, had told us she hadn’t been aware that Canada had a history of enslavement.

ABSW-logo2

Courtesy of ABSW

I would highly recommend this, and similar conferences and experiences, to anyone and everyone interested in social justice, social change, cultural diversity training, and growing professionally and personally. I was able to network with people from different countries, backgrounds, experiences, education and cultures.  Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this.

For more information: http://www.nsabsw.ca./