Words of wisdom for new and returning learners
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2021
By Chonglu Huang
A new academic year can be exciting but also daunting, especially as we continue to navigate evolving scenarios with COVID-19 while juggling classes, deadlines, work commitments and extracurricular.
To help cheer on our learners, here below, we would like to share some tips and encouragement from fellow students and teachers at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine:
Don’t let the pandemic stop you: Adapt to a new way of connecting.
“Pursuing a PhD during a pandemic sounded daunting at first, but I've come to realize that although it might take more effort, it is still possible to create connections during these times and can be even more rewarding than before. This year I hope to connect with my peers, adapt to this new way of learning and take advantage of networking and collaboration opportunities. I'm excited to see what's ahead and look forward to my journey as a doctoral student!”
— Romina Fakhraei, first-year PhD student in epidemiology
Take ownership of your learning.
“Take initiative, ask questions, and do independent research. If a particular topic interests you or you’re struggling a bit, dive in a bit more. See studying as not always ‘for the test,' but rather for your own ownership of that material. This lays the foundation for your professional skills: your future career whether in science or not, will benefit from your initiative and research skills.”
— Dr. Lisa D'Ambrosio, assistant professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
Get involved in your interests and passions.
"Preceptors are really helpful and supportive, so do not be afraid to ask questions. Get involved in activities that you are interested in and passionate about, and, most importantly, enjoy your medical school experience!”
— Kristina Yau (MD 2023), Anglophone Stream
Don’t be shy about practicing your second language.
“My advice would be to ignore the fear of speaking in your second language and having an accent (whether in French or English) because the pride that comes with being able to help people in their mother tongue is far greater than the fear of making syntax errors. By communicating with my patients in both French and English and remembering the importance of this, I am exercising a unique privilege that will follow me throughout my career in medicine!”
— Niève Séguin (MD 2023), Francophone Stream
Stay positive and don’t give up.
“Starting school can be overwhelming and you may feel like you’re doing everything wrong or not doing enough; this is typical! Just remember that you are here to learn, to make mistakes, to figure out which specialty you want to pursue. If you keep trying your best, even if that includes taking a day off to binge-watch Netflix, everything will fall into place.”
— Farhan Mahmood (MD 2023), Anglophone Stream
“For every success, you will have some failures and setbacks; stay positive and persistent in every endeavour you pursue in your career.”
— Dr. Ali Jalali, professor of functional anatomy and associate dean, External Relations, Engagement and Advancement
Consider supporting the University of Ottawa.
The Student Assistance Fund At The Faculty Of Medicine provides financial support to all students enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine.