Dr. Carolyn Adams, MD'16, is inspired by her patients. In fact, it was an experience during her undergraduate studies with patient at the Alzheimer’s Society’s Day Away Program that convinced her to change plans to pursue academic chemistry and apply to medicine.
Now the Windsorite is a first-year resident in family medicine in her hometown.
A Schulich Medicine alumnus, Dr. Adams completed her four-year doctor of medicine degree at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in London.
She loved her experience living away from home, but wanted to return to Windsor for residency, as it’s her hope to practice there. She was also drawn to the numerous hands-on learning opportunities the Windsor program offers.
“I feel that I have to be more accountable as there are fewer learners, and that’s strongly promoted my personal growth,” she said.
Those opportunities can make a young resident anxious at times, she explained. And for her and her peers diagnostic uncertainty is something that bothers them the most.
“It’s why we train so hard to identify red flags and emergent medical conditions,” Dr. Adams said.
The challenges of navigating through the residency experience, however, are off-set by the courageous patients Dr. Adams interacts with on a daily basis.
“No career in life comes without some degree of adversity,” she said. “However, watching patients challenging medical problems on a daily basis brings real perspective on the relatively mundane challenge I confront on a daily basis.”
Eight months into her first year of residency, Dr. Adams is really enjoying the range of experiences in family medicine and the continuity of care she can offer. A great example of this started during her first rotation in obstetrics when she delivered one of Dr. Ziter’s patients. She’s been able to follow-up with the young baby and mother ever since.
And when the days get a little tough, Dr. Adams reflects on her great-grandfather’s career as a physician. He graduated medical school in 1916 to provide service in the Canadian army medical corps during WW I, and following the war moved to Windsor. He was one of the founders and investors of the Medical Arts Building – now a residence for the Schulich Medicine –Windsor Campus – and is remembered for his involvement in developing the Windsor Medical Services Plan, which in the pre-OHIP time, helped enable many people in Windsor to have health insurance. Deeply passionate about medicine, he practised until he was in his 90’s.
"Any time I face adversity, I make a point of looking at his picture that I keep on the lock screen of my cell phone to remind myself of true resilience. Every day, I strive to be as passionate about helping others as he was.”
What would your fellow residents find most surprising about you?
I used to figure skate competitively.
Reading or watching Netflix?
Early bird or night owl?
Peanut butter or Nutella?
Web or print?
Coffee or tea?