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When I see patients, I try to understand what underlies their concerns, and how I can provide reassurance. And reassurance doesn't always come from ordering a test or treatment. In fact, sometimes a test or treatment may not be needed and can lead to harm.
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When medical students don their white coats for the first time, they take an oath to devote themselves to the care of their future patients. My oath carried a commitment to 'ensure patient well-being as my main focus and my primary obligation.' Although I wholeheartedly appreciate the notion of caring for my patients with all my energy, to state that one's health aside from my own is my primary obligation speaks to the dangerous sacrifices expected of medical students.
The government is reducing the number of training spots for family physicians in the coming years. And now they are implementing cuts and clawbacks that are not only resulting in established physicians packing up and leaving the province, but our new grads are planning to leave in droves. The future isn't as bright as we once thought, and if something isn't done to prevent the loss of our physicians in training, it will only get much worse.
As a medical student taking part in a Social Paediatrics course at The Hospital for Sick Children, I was recently immersed in the lives and healthcare needs of low-income families in Toronto. This experience reshaped the lens through which I now view healthcare and helped me recognize that societal factors greatly influence the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and their families.
Canada Day is a time to celebrate a great Canadian citizenship. For immigrants such as myself, it gives us a rare chance to celebrate great milestones. For instance, Jemy Joseph has only been in Canada just over a decade but she has achieved more than her share. As a medical student, she's a shining example of what immigrants contribute to the fabric of Canada's identity.