Officially Graduated from Medical School…and Residency Starts Tomorrow!

Malaika Awori

It has been a beautiful past few weeks as I celebrated my graduation from medical school. It was not the conventional graduation ceremony but rather interacting with family and friends in virtual ways and in small gatherings. Even though I was initially disappointed about not having an in-person convocation ceremony this year and being unable to physically see family and friends from overseas, it has turned out to be so special! I have been so encouraged by the love and support I have received from family and friends across the globe! I thank God for His grace and blessings!

I have also been reflecting on how grateful I am to have had 3 months at home with the kids. It was busy with homeschooling, studying for and sitting my licensing exam but there were also so many wonderful moments of rest and relaxation with family and friends. Such precious memories that I will always hold dear! I am thrilled to have been featured on my dear friend Brenda Dogbey’s faith, career and motherhood blog careerslaymama.com. where we discuss my journey to Medicine, as well as tips for balancing motherhood and medical school. Do add her blog to your list of blogs to follow. It is insightful and inspiring!

I am excited to be starting residency this week. Each incoming resident has been assigned a senior resident “buddy” to help us transition to this new phase of our training.  I am also grateful that I will  be co-residents with several of my awesome classmates from medical school. We have our schedules for the year and I will be starting off with a 4-week rotation in Family Medicine and Procedural Skills Clinics with five evening shifts in the ER.

The Medicine Journey continues!

Medicine Journey Updates…Residency Preparation Begins!

SMH

My base hospital where I’ll be starting residency in July! Photo credit: wikipedia

Today was a beautiful day as I visited the base hospital where I will be starting residency in July. I parked my car some distance from the hospital so I could enjoy a 10 minute walk in the brisk fresh air. I had flashbacks of me walking the same route before dawn during my Surgery rotations in medical school!

Today, we were scheduled to have our hospital ID cards done and be fitted for our N95 masks. It has been nearly 6 months since I was last there and it was nice to be back wandering the halls of the hospital revisiting memories of my Internal Medicine, Surgery and Geriatric rotations that I had the privilege of doing there last year. Of all the hospitals that I rotated through during medical school, this one really won my heart for its collegial atmosphere and community spirit. It also has a wonderful view of the St. Joseph’s Oratory standing majestically on Mount Royal.

Saint Joseph's Oratory, Montreal

Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal. It is the largest church in Canada and one of the largest church domes in the world. Photo credit: Canadian Immigrant

Today, despite the fact that the hospital  was much quieter than one would expect for a week day, I received friendly nods from behind faces with masks and one or two people with twinkles in their eyes as they asked if they could help me find what I was looking for. It really is an answered prayer that I was assigned to this hospital for residency as it was my top choice!

It was really special to see some of my medical school classmates who I have not seen in person since schools and universities were closed 2 months ago, and it was a pleasure to meet new residents from other regions who will be joining us on the 2 year journey to completing our residency in Family Medicine.

This week, I  managed to schedule a date for my first licensing exam (the MCCQE1) which I will sit on June 14th. I also have a few pending immunization requirements to complete. I’m getting really excited (and of course slightly terrified) to be starting residency in 1.5 months. It will be a new phase, a new journey, with new challenges in a COVID-19 world but I remain optimistic that it will be a wonderful journey despite the challenges.

Done With Medical School!

I am happy to announce that I have completed medical school!!! It is a bitter sweet moment as the journey came to a somewhat abrupt end in the wake of social distancing. There were no physical goodbyes to classmates, teachers or mentors and our graduation ceremony was cancelled. I experienced some heartfelt disappointment that I will not get to see beloved family members and friends who were planning to travel to Canada to celebrate graduation with me.

But I am also so thankful that I made it to the end of this medical school journey. It has been a life-changing experience that has stretched me beyond what I thought I could manage. I am so grateful to God, my husband, kids, extended family, friends and readers for supporting me and encouraging me through this journey.

COVID-19 has impacted the world in unimaginable ways, some terrible but some also refreshing and positive. I am very thankful that the timing worked out such that I can be home with my kids, at least until I start residency in July. Homeschooling the kids while attempting to study for my first licensing exam (MCCQE1) has been quite an adventure! More on that in my next post!

Photo: McGill University, Montreal, Canada