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MA, Medical Education, Pakistan

January 3, 2013

Discrimination, cultural hatred, lawless violence and persecution are things that most people, and thankfully so, will never experience.  Having been born into an Ahmadiyya Muslim family in Pakistan, before I was ten, I knew what all of these concepts were, couple with the constant fear of violent religious intolerance.  Moving to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and into a community whose very motto was “Love for all.  Hatred for none”,  I have been truly blessed.  And yet, my unique worldview refuses to forget what I know still exists, and have dedicated my life to reversing the cycles of hate born of ignorance through my academic, volunteer and professional endeavors.  Reaching out to others through my volunteerism, community involvement through sporting activities and now the path of compassionate care in the form of medical service, it is my sincere hope that I can bring a stronger sense of community to the people I will go on to aid.

My undergraduate education began in medical radiation services, but proved disheartening, as it laid the groundwork for becoming a technician, a step removed from where I wanted to be, working with people, interacting with patients.  Switching to Life Sciences was the natural choice, and has further solidified my certainty that I was exactly where I needed to be.  Indeed, growing up, I was fascinated by human anatomy and the mind.  Without access to cadavers, I dissected small animals, carefully removing organs, observing their colors and textures.  When at last during my first year of university I got my first experience with cadavers, exhilarating moments in time I will never forget, impressing upon me the importance of a firm grasp of gross anatomy.  At this time, I envision engaging in the study of Cardiology, but have not ruled out respiratory or neurology.  Whichever area I specialize in, I am intent on gaining an excellent understanding of medical anatomy and pathology, going on to practice medicine in the US or Canada.

 Medical professionals are a community’s role models.  To this end, I have volunteered in many community services through my Ahmaddiya Muslim Jama’at religious community, conducting many charity functions such as food and clothing drives, cleaning up the community, or collecting donations for larger charities.  Having been involved in charity plays, I have helped with scripting, and acting in lead roles, activities that have enabled me to speak in front of groups of people, as well as interact with teams of people to bring a project to fruition.  Moreover, the immense feeling of satisfaction when bringing proceeds to organizations that provided aid for tsunami and Hurricane Katrina victims, made the 200 plus hours of rehearsal for each play all the more worthwhile.

 Additionally, I keep my body in excellent condition while also leading sporting events.  As sports director for the Hamilton region, I coordinate large sporting events, and captain sports teams during province-wide competitions.  I make no secret of my competitive nature, and this has manifested itself in my winning of an MVP trophy.  More importantly, I feel that these experiences have only increased my appreciation for teamwork, concepts that will translate well to the multidisciplinary medical team environment.

 Bridging the cultural gap in the medical profession is just as important to me as being able to communicate effectively with people from many differing cultural backgrounds.  In the most practical terms, my being able to speak four languages fluently will help me to reach out to patients in their arterial language.  What I bring with me to St. Matthews’ student body, though is a strong sense of humanity, one that has been enhanced by my experiences in Hamilton, combined with world travels, and a worldview that refuses to forget that what really matters is the elimination of ignorance.  Only through this can their be love for all, and hate for none; the world a much better place for all, not just some.

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