Neurology – An Area I Have Always Wanted To Be Involved In

The clock is ticking, last hour… last minute… and last second. Here is the last chapter of your life so you ask yourself, am I a person I wish I were? Did I do the things I always wanted to do? Then you breathe deeply and answer with a smile on your face. Thinking of last moments of life may bring sorrow but it helps letting go of the past, whether it was favourable or not and also embracing what awaits you. Going through a lot of ups and downs in my life brought me to the current stage that nothing is more desirable than being the best version of myself, living my dreams and personal growth a top priority in my life. Coming from a family with physician as an ancestral profession, received my MD from one of the best universities in the middle east, completing a graduate degree as well as preforming several years of research in neuroscience at prestigious institutes could indeed pave my path through success. Although the agony of watching my father struggling with ALS tried to hold me back (derail) achieving my goals, I believed pain is a beautiful transformation to wisdom and power and “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you”. Therefore, I learned to remember my dreams and fight for them and finally (not only) find my way out of despair. (but also complement my…. )I am writing this letter to complement my application for a Neurology residency position in your reputable program in the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences.

My interest with neurology has been in the making for many years. In sum, a combination of knowledge and experience gained through my undergraduate and Internship, extensive graduate and research experience at Neuroimaging and Neurology Departments, working as a physician and CEO at a neuroscience based hospital as well as my unique family experience shaped my interest in neurology. My fascinations with neurology sparkled during medical school when I had many opportunities to develop my medical knowledge and skills for neurological diseases. In particular, I was fascinated by the way that disrupted neural pathways or compromised blood flow can cause conditions, ranging from epilepsy or paresis to subtle conditions. I understood how important prevention would be at various levels in the field of Neurology; moreover, during my Internship, I gained an appreciation for the meaningful patient-physician relationships that can be built while caring for such patients. However, I realized that the knowledge I gained through course work and clinical experience was not sufficient to understand the complexity of the neurological disease. They all led to my interest in performing clinical research in the field of neuroscience. I thus developed my passion for Neurology and pursued a Masters in Neuroimaging and stroke assessment in Toronto.

After receiving my M. D. degree in 2005, I worked as emergency physician and general physician in different hospitals in Iran between 2005 and 2008. In November 2008, I passed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Exam (MCCEE). In January and June 2009, I completed two clinical observerships in Canada. Thereafter, in January 2010, I was admitted to the graduate program at the Faculty of Medicine During my M. Sc. program at University of Toronto, I was involved in an ongoing project aimed at understanding the role of assessment of cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity in children with cerebrovascular disease, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The point of this work was to shed light on identification of stroke before being found with conventional techniques such as structural CT and MRI. As part of my M. Sc. thesis project, I performed a systematic review to study cerebral blood flow abnormalities (CBF). I found that the assessment of CBF could be of potential value in addressing brain abnormalities in neurologically normal patients. This study was presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Boston and published in Pediatric Neurology. As I progressed through my M. Sc. studies, I became more focused on the field of neuroimaging using non-invasive techniques such as MRI and ultrasound. During that period I was given plenty of opportunities to learn MRI and ultrasound techniques, with an emphasis on the brain, which gave me some excellent hands-on Neuroimaging experience.

Near the completion of my M. Sc. thesis, my genuine interest and hard work was rewarded with an invitation to attend the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Neuroradiology to give an oral presentation of my project. I gave this presentation a few days after my talk at the Department of Medical Imaging’s annual Research Day (University of Toronto). In fall 2012, I successfully defended my M. Sc. thesis, titled “Cerebral blood flow abnormalities in children with sickle cell disease. ”After graduation, my interest in neuroimaging motivated me to pursue further the project I had undertaken for my master’s degree. My latest work, which involved a comparison between MRI and transcranial Doppler in the assessment of stroke was recently submitted to the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

My graduate program experiences thus far have definitely confirmed my decision to pursue a career in Neurology; the support I have received from my mentors, Drs. Andrea Kassner, David Mikulis and Prakesh Shah has been tremendous. In March and September 2013, I passed the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) part I and National Assessment Collaboration (NAC), respectively. In addition, I took the MCCQE part II in October 2013 (result pending). In the beginning of 2014, I was accepted into a highly competitive and prestigious postdoc-fellowship program at UCLA to work on a national project funded by Heart and Stroke foundation. However, after a few months of scientific research and discussions about our future project, I unfortunately decided to stop and come back to take care of my family that (were recently shocked and) terribly suffered from my father’s ALS diagnosis. After a few months back and forth, spending most of my time in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Consulting with various doctors and advisors in different fields that could be truly counted as a medical externship, in September 2014, I decided to go back to Iran to continue my clinical practice, although I had to frequently come back to visit my father and to get to know in the process of his condition. This was a real heartbreaking moment for me, which indeed changed the path of my life. Experiencing one of the worst and rare neurologic diseases with my heart and soul was really another motive for me to peruse my career in Neurology. Change is the law of life, Since then, I have been working as an Emergency and general physician at hospitals in Tehran and Karaj, Iran. I found that opportunity to update my clinical experience.

In April 2017, due to my wide educational background and clinical experience, I was elected by Alborz Univerity of Medical Science as President and Chief Executive officer to complete, opened and manage Imam-Hossein Hospital in Karaj, Iran. Following nine months working day and night, thanks to my colleagues’ support, I turn a newly finished 200 beds medical center to a hospital with almost 80% bed occupancy rate and over 2000 visitors per day. Moreover, It’s clinical departments including emergency and OR are now considered as one of the best in the province and in term of patient satisfaction, it always places in the top three of Hospital rankings. They led me to receive also received the note of appreciation and honour by Minister of Health as well as the chair of Alborz Univerity of Medical Science.

My positions in Imam-Hossein Hospital as CEO provided me with opportunities to develop and refine my communication, interpersonal, time management, and problem solving skills that enable me to successfully direct and lead diverse groups of personal of personnel with different background and personalities. Throughout my work as the CEO, I have also sought to expand my medical knowledge. I’ve been actively joining different departments patient rounds in order to follow the latest trends in each medicine specialty.

My present position has honed my management skills related to medical situations as well as medico-legal cases. This further improved my communication and negotiating skills with other professionals such as senior medical consultants, lawyers, police officers and governments officials. I am thrilled to complete my residency in neurology at the University of Western Ontario, a program that offers fantastic opportunities in both research and resident education, as well as a warm and collaborative environment, in what I think is one of the best cities in the world.

Clearly, at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry with a broad range of diverse neurologic disorders, amazing faculty, world-class hospitals, and welcoming, collaborative culture hosting one of the best residency programs in Canada, I am confident that I would receive excellent broad-based training and clinical experience in the Neurology.

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