For Dr. Shadi Rezazadeh, starting her practice in Teulon meant starting all over. The Iranian-born family physician was a third-year medical student when she joined her parents in immigrating to Canada 14 years ago. But coming to Canada meant a huge setback in her dream of becoming a doctor.
“I was in medical school in Iran. Over there you go straight from high school to medical school for six straight years. And you are a family physician as soon as you graduate and you can practice,” Dr. Rezazadeh explained. “I was in my third year before my parents immigrated to Canada. When I came here, being a third-year medical student, I was told ‘oh no, sorry you can’t go medical school.’ You have to start from undergraduate school.”
That meant starting from undergraduate school, then medical school, and a residency before she could practice medicine on her own.
Could have been a specialist
“I could have been a specialist with a couple of years of experience by now if I was back home. But I went through so much and I’m so happy I made it,” Dr. Rezazadeh said. Over the 14 years since she came to Canada she has lived in Toronto and Chicago. “I’ve been in the Winnipeg for the last three years. I did my residency at the Health Sciences Centre,” she said. Being in Teulon is something very special to Dr. Rezazadeh, who is located in the Teulon Medical Clinic. “This is my first own practice. I’ve never worked for myself,” she said. Last week the Argus sat down with Dr. Rezazadeh for a question and answers session.
What motivates you the most being a doctor?
First of all I love my work. I couldn’t do anything else. When I see people leave my office happy and smiling that’s a great motivation to keep going. Whenever I can help somebody that gives them a little bit of relief about what they’re going through. That motivates me for the next day.
What do you like the most about being a doctor?
I couldn’t do anything else. I couldn’t even be a good dentist. Talking with people, listening to them. I will try not to lose the habit of listening to people.
What is the best day you’ve had as a doctor so far?
Every day is different. Good and bad things happen. I can’t really recall any specific day. I’ve had days where a couple of good things happened at the same time. Since I’ve been in Teulon over the last three weeks, I haven’t had any bad days. I’ve had good and better days, but no bad days so far.
What is the worst day you’ve had as a doctor?
The days that you deliver the bad news. A death in the family. The results of a test that wasn’t favourable. I’ve had a couple of those days.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to work and life?
My biggest motivation in my whole life was to finish medical school and go to residency and start practicing. I was focused on this goal. I didn’t really have a fun life because I was so focused on one thing. Now that I have started working for myself, and I’m free of being a student, I feel better, and I enjoy more my family life, my work, and everything is just coming together now.
What are you most proud of?
I made it through.
What is one thing most people wouldn’t know about you?
When I’m upset or I’m angry, I think I don’t show it. So people really don’t know if I’m upset or not. I don’t want to scare anybody. I try to hold it to myself. I don’t want to embarrass anyone else.
What are one or two misconceptions the Western world has of Iran?
People know more of Iran if they are in the big cities. People have more interaction with Iranian people and know our culture and stuff like that. In the Midwest ... they don’t know us as a culture. They think the government is the same as the people. We are totally like the opposite. Yes our government is stupid, but to me that doesn’t mean the people are the same. We are not someone other people should be scared of.
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