For Ahmed Jad (MD’15), that was becoming a doctor. From a young age he “always knew” medicine would be his life’s work. Originally from Egypt, he began medical school at the age of 17 in his home country, where medicine is seven years of schooling.
In 2007, after practicing for two years in Egypt, Ahmed made the decision to come to Canada, knowing that a transition into medicine could be difficult.
“I value the importance of patient-centred care and wanted to work in a healthcare system that provided that to its patients,” says Ahmed. “Though I knew there were would be many obstacles, I was willing to do whatever it took.”
His greatest influence
Ahmed says the welcoming spirit from people he met along his journey had a major impact on him. He held many jobs within healthcare during his first four years in Canada, but it was his work as a tissue bank specialist, working with the team responsible for harvesting organs and tissues, that had the greatest influence.
“I built relationships with individuals who were mentors to me and helped get where I am today. It was the tissue bank team who awakened my passion for general surgery.”
And with his new found passion, Ahmed returned to medical school in 2011. For some it would be hard to begin medical school for the second time, but Ahmed’s determination and commitment to his dreams never wavered.
As a single father of two young boys, he says he stayed focused on his priorities – his children and his studies, which kept him moving forward. And he says there was one other thing that provided him motivation– the George and Rusina Loh Medical Bursary.
“The bursary came at a time when I needed it more than I can explain. Medical school is an incredible opportunity and experience, which I’ve never regretted, but financially it is very difficult,” says Ahmed.
“I’ve been very fortunate to receive so much support and guidance from people who just want to help. It has not only inspired me to be a better doctor, but a better person. I am so grateful and appreciative. I hope someday to have the same impact on a medical student.”