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Dema KadriUWindsor grad Dema Kadri says her opportunities to engage with patients have been the most rewarding experiences of med school.

UWindsor grad and medical student says patients, mentorship make it all worthwhile

UWindsor alumna and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry medical student Dema Kadri (BSc 2010) is already a few months into the clerkship phase of her medical education and is still feeling somewhat awestruck by her experiences. Clerkship is the practice of medicine by students in their final years of study.

“I’m in OB right now and the other day I helped during a delivery,” she said. “I put the baby on the mother, and she was so thankful and so happy—it makes it all worthwhile.”

For Kadri, the opportunities to engage with patients have been the most rewarding of her medical school experience, and she says that it is the gratitude patients extend to the students that adds to the reward.

“Here we are training in Windsor and people are sharing their stories, their fears and their concerns with us so that we can learn, and they are thanking us, when really we should be thanking them. It’s very humbling.”

Kadri, a Windsorite, always imagined going to medical school. She earned an honours bachelor of science degree at UWindsor and then completed a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. It was while observing robotic surgery during an internship at Beaumont Hospital that Kadri realized she could apply her behind-the-scenes research knowledge to front-line care.

When applying to medical school she reached out to two important mentors: her former professor, Sirinart Ananvoranich, and Lisa McCaffrey, a physician and longtime neighbour.

The guidance offered by her mentors, as well as the mentorship of Schulich faculty and upper-year students has provided needed support to Kadri during her 27 months as an undergraduate medical student.

It is this culture of mentorship—part of Schulich’s fabric—which led the protegé to become a mentor.

During her second year in medical school, Kadri became a member of the Student Support Team and says it was a turning point in her own development. She and other support team members provided their own mentorship to first-year students and became the group younger students could turn to if they were stressed, had questions, or needed guidance.

“We are all in this together and helping each other along makes us all stronger.”

Through her work on the team, Kadri says she came to learn more about the in-depth involvement of faculty with mentorship initiatives and was struck by their commitment to its importance.

“It was nice to see how involved the school was with the Student Support Team,” she said. “Faculty are always thinking of ways to make our experience better, and seeing their plan showed me how much they cared. Faculty are at the stage that we are working toward, and we are grateful that they are there to pass on their wisdom.”

—courtesy of Jennifer Parraga, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry