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The Healthcare Corner - Event Recap

Written by Kyleigh Ing January 16th 2022

The Healthcare Corner on November 27th was presented by Youth Insights and included a panel of three professionals in the industry. Dr. Danielle Ward, Dr. Dashaé Smallwood and Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir were our esteemed guests who gave a very valuable insight into the world of healthcare. To conclude the event, attendees had the chance to ask the panelists any questions.

Dr. Danielle Ward is a plastic surgery resident physician and formerly an urgent care physician. In addition she is the author of “Atypical Premed: A Non - Traditional Student’s Guide to Applying to Medical School,” a public speaker and blogger of “Aspiring Minority Doctor.” On top of all this she is also a mother to her daughter who motivates her to be a good role model. Dr. Ward has obtained a bachelor and master of science along with a doctorate of osteopathic medicine. She has completed her rotating internship and is currently working to complete her residency in plastic surgery. She has wanted to be a doctor ever since she was little and followed to pursue her dreams. Her love for medicine was partly because of how many different options the medical field had to offer. Other females succeeding in the world of medicine has inspired her to get into the industry as well. Her drive has also come from seeing the need for more diversity and to prove that she is as capable as anyone. Her routine includes rotations in residency, completing her rounds, occasional surgeries, clinic work and continuing to study and learn all the time. The advice she gives for aspiring students is to choose a path in medicine on their own without having influence from anyone else. Making sure that it is something you are passionate about is important. To have passion, grit, flexibility and perseverance are qualities she deems are important especially for this profession. Although getting to the end goal is a long journey, in the end it is very rewarding. During the Q and A one of the key points was to keep in mind going into your third year of medical school, to keep an open mind when deciding which specialty to pursue.

Dr. Dashaé Smallwood was another panelist who spoke about her career at this event. She is a physical therapist who works in pediatrics (childrens 0-18). Her blog and Instagram help to guide, mentor and motivate students working towards a career in the medical field and giving an insight to life outside work. She works in home health which means she accommodates the patients from their homes. She has worked to obtain a bachelor in science; majoring in kinesiology with a focus on sports medicine. Later she completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Dr. Smallwood knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare but didn’t know until she further studied her own physician that she wanted to become a physical therapist. She had the opportunity to study under other physical therapists to confirm that this was the path she wanted to take. From personal experience, she has discovered that being adaptable, empathetic, collaborative and active are necessary to succeed in this profession. As she works in home health she schedules her patients herself and accomplishes visiting about 6-7 patients a day. At the end of the day, she completes paperwork taking note of necessary events in the session and progress for family members and insurance companies. Her general work focuses on strength and endurance, range of motion and flexibility, balance and coordination, posture and gait (walking); with modifications to specifically tailor it to the patient’s individual needs. Especially since she works with children, Dr. Smallwood has to be creative to make physical therapy fun and it shows progress. Advice that Dr. Dashaé Smallwood leaves us with, is to understand that we don’t have to be pressured by society’s views or expectations and it’s ok if we don’t have our whole life planned out yet. Finally, don’t focus on others' successes. Although it’s important to be supportive to your peers, don’t compare your success with theirs, just keep working hard to get where you dream to be.

Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir was a previous bank teller and MCAT prep course instructor. He has worked hard to obtain an MD, PhD and FRCPC in cardiology and internal medicine. He is a cardiology and internal medicine specialized physician in addition to a clinical epidemiology and healthcare research scientist. He has completed his residency in internal medicine, residency in adult cardiology and a fellowship in echocardiography. He is an immigrant who came to Canada at the age of 16 and his love for science and math became stronger. Dr. Abdel-Qadir also loved the continuous journey of learning and researching which gave him an indication to pursue medicine. He currently works at Women’s College Hospital, Toronto General Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Canada and alternates between these three centres throughout the week. He runs cardiac tests at WCH, deals with cancer patients at TGH and does a variety of other tasks at CCC. Some advice that he provides for the younger generation especially, is that debt is ok as long as it is a smart investment. He also makes a strong statement that you have to actively try and find the career that is most suited to you. Your future won’t just appear but instead experiences, research and talking with professionals can help to develop a plan for your future.

On behalf of everyone at Youth Insights and the community we would like to, once again, thank Dr. Danielle Ward, Dr. Dashaé Smallwood and Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir for speaking at ‘The Healthcare Corner.’ Their insight into the health industry will surely spark an interest in aspiring youth to lead the next generation into success and hopefully dissipate some uneasiness for deciding their path for the future.

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