May 9, 2006 —
They are determined, enthusiastic, motivated, and committed to the medical profession. Here is a look at some of uOttawa’s 2006 medical graduates who will be celebrating their accomplishments during a convocation ceremony on May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (100 Laurier Street, Gatineau).
Tabitha Rogers was working at The Ottawa Hospital as a social worker in the Psychiatric Emergency Services when she decided to take the big leap towards obtaining her medical degree. She says she always knew she wanted to work with individuals from all spectrums of society. “Social work was an amazing opportunity to work with individuals who bring a diverse life experience. However as a social worker I wanted to know more about the experiences people were facing, specifically in medicine”, explains the Nova Scotia native. Throughout her four years of medicine, Rogers has continued to work as a permanent part-time social worker in the emergency department at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus. She has spent her weekends working with individuals in crisis, often dealing with traumatic deaths, sudden accidents, etc... “I enjoy this personal experience that gives me more of the approach to developing a strong bedside manner that complements my future career in medicine”.
James Wong wants to take advantage of everything life has to offer. Active in school politics for seven years, a skier, snowboarder, and beach volleyball player, he is also a taekwondo instructor and a skydiver. This Ottawa native has always wanted to be a doctor. He was accepted into medicine after finishing an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. After graduation, he will pursue a specialty in urology. “During my third and fourth year, I flew coast to coast doing electives in 10 different cities in Canada. I did urology electives at every program where urology is taught in English in Canada. This was a phenomenal experience because not only was I learning about urology, but I got to see the vast contrast between the landscapes and cultures in Canada, something that I probably would never have gotten to do otherwise.”
Bimpe Ayeni was born in Montreal, and raised in West Africa (Nigeria) before moving to Kapuskasing, Ontario. She has studied anthropology at Yale and Oxford universities, completed a master’s degree in public health at Columbia University, and then decided to follow in her father’s and brother’s footsteps and study medicine. She is now embarking on a career in plastic surgery. “I had my first exposure to plastic surgery in medical school and the plastic surgeons I worked with in Ottawa were wonderful—patient, encouraging, and eager to teach me about the field. I chose plastic surgery because I like the variety of cases and the intricacy involved. I've also enjoyed exploring the research in plastic surgery.”
Sonia Fairfield, an eastern Ontario Franco-Ontarian, was drawn to the medical profession by her various life experiences. She started considering that career path after having studied criminology and human kinetics, as well as having worked in international sales for an Ottawa software company and having traveled. Fairfield explains that she was specifically attracted by the continuous learning environment medicine offers as well as the possibility to help people through her work and to have day to day challenges. She will be starting a residency in family medicine this summer and would eventually like to start a family practice in a rural community, possibly her home town. Fairfield has great memories from her years at the Faculty of Medicine. “My experience at the University was great because they allowed me to study in my native language (French) while providing me with the opportunity and the tools to work in English, making me a bilingual MD.”
Originally from Lebanon, Kay-Anne Haykal immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of 10. Her high-school teachers thought she would become an engineer. But to everyone’s surprise, she applied to the optometry program. Upon completion of her diploma, Kay-Anne applied to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. For the duration of her medical studies, Kay-Anne worked part-time as an optometrist. In addition, she was a member of the Ottawa chapter of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. The upcoming year will be just as busy as past years. Kay-Anne begins her residency in family medicine at the Montfort Hospital in July. She is also expecting her first child in late August.