Resident Spotlight: Dr. Nadine Khalil, Infectious Diseases

For Dr. Nadine Khalil, contributing to teaching and medical education is a fundamental component of residency training. As a fifth-year resident in Infectious Diseases, a sub-specialty program at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, she is helping lead educational initiatives for fellow residents and medical students at the School. “The experience of mentoring and teaching has been incredibly rewarding and one that I know will be the basis of my career,” she said.

Dr. Khalil is also pursuing opportunities beyond the clinical environment, completing a Masters in Education for Healthcare Professions Johns Hopkins University, as well as research at the local level studying infective endocarditis within vulnerable populations.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of residency?

There have been many heartfelt and rewarding aspects of my residency experience so far, from working alongside such compassionate colleagues to caring for my patients.

I also truly feel like an integral part of the Infectious Diseases program in its decision-making, interview process and faculty meetings. I have had many leadership opportunities within the program in initiating a teaching series and helping shape the curriculum.

The most surprising part of my training is realizing that many of the things I found challenging in the first part of residency now feel like second nature— a transition that I humbly know took much effort to achieve and gives me satisfaction to continue as I embrace more autonomy in my training.

Why did you choose the School’s Infectious Diseases fellowship program?

Schulich Medicine excels in academia, research and innovation, and I believe that my goals and curiosity align beautifully with the core values of the program, the School and the University. Also, I greatly admire the close sense of community at Western, the unparalleled calibre of training, and the focus on resident contributions to teaching.

What is the program’s biggest strength?

The program’s biggest strength by far is its people. I feel so fortunate to have an incredibly supportive Program Director, Dr. Sameer Elsayed, who prioritizes the well-being and goals of his fellows foremost. All faculty members in the Division are equally approachable and have been mentors to me. The program is a rigorous one that challenges me each day and one I can tailor to my interests in medical education.

What types of cases and patient populations do you work with?

Working in the field of infectious diseases, multidisciplinary teamwork, advocacy and a strong mentorship culture are at the core. The patients I work with are complex; their physical, mental and social complexities drive my motivation to continue life-long learning. There is a wide spectrum of acute presentations in inpatients and the management of chronic diseases in outpatients, as well as the diversity of patients, including our most vulnerable populations. They remind me that the connection we make with our patients is as impactful a medicine as the ones we prescribe.

What learning opportunities have you pursued as a resident beyond the clinical environment?

The experience of mentoring and teaching has been incredibly rewarding and one that I know will be the basis of my career. I have undertaken formal and informal teaching by making it a routine part of my day. I have also started the program’s Clinical Case Rounds, where residents present interesting cases with a teaching topic. In addition to lecturing at the medical school, I have held virtual and interactive infectious diseases teaching topics weekly for residents, and review lectures as well as physical exam teaching to senior residents for the Royal College exam.

Prior to my fellowship training at Schulich Medicine, I was selected as Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at the University of Calgary. I am also currently pursuing a Masters in Education for Healthcare Professions through Johns Hopkins University, as well as research in infective endocarditis within our vulnerable populations in London.

What do you enjoy most about living in London?

London offers great options for outdoor activities, especially the trails and parks. In the summer, I enjoy using the bike path through the city, as well as the proximity to the lakes and beaches. I also have family in London and it has been so lovely to connect with them more.