Resident spotlight: Dr. Samantha Benlolo - Embarking on a new adventure

Dr. Samantha Benlolo joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology because she was prepared for a change that would inspire her professional and personal growth. Originally from Montreal, the first-year resident explained Schulich Medicine & Dentistry offers the necessary resources to continue her training while giving her the opportunity to create strong relationships with new colleagues and patients.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.

What degrees do you have, and from what universities?
Bachelor of Science in Anatomy and Cell Biology, with a minor in Jewish Studies (McGill University)

Doctor of Medicine (McGill University)

What special interests or hobbies do you have?
I have always enjoyed working with people with special needs, and it has been extremely rewarding to have been trained to ski with visually impaired people. My favourite hobby is skiing with my brother who is blind.

My other hobbies include: traveling, reading, cooking, spending quality time with family and friends, hot yoga, and exploring London, Ontario.

Why did you choose to pursue your residency and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?
Having completed all of my post graduate studies at the exceptional institution of McGill University, I felt ready for a change — a new challenge and a new place that could be explored. Coming from a tight-knit community in Montreal, I appreciated the blend of the small-town feel and the downtown core that London had to offer.

I have always tried to do my best to excel in any endeavor that I took on, and that includes being a well-trained and skilled physician. The Obstetrics and Gynecology program at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry is one of the best in Canada, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. From the state of the art facilities to the supreme surgical training, I knew that I would have an excellent training experience while working with exceptional co-workers and colleagues. I am often impressed by how approachable and welcoming staff and colleagues are, despite the fast pace of the busy tertiary centre.

What inspires you in your work?
The daily grind. It amazes me to no end that we as physicians have the privilege of taking part in peoples’ most intimate and personal moments, whether they are of joy, sadness, or fear. I am continuously grateful that I can share so many of these private and life-changing moments with my patients. While there certainly are specific encounters that have stood out over the years, the daily experiences, relationships formed, and the difference we make in patients’ lives is my constant inspiration.

Whether it is observing the awe transpire across parents’ faces during the birth of their child, or providing antibiotics for a simple infection, I know I will never be bored. Each new patient inspires me as if it were my first day all over again. Perhaps I just haven’t been jaded yet, but this is what I hope to keep with my in the future.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your residency?
There have been many memorable patient encounters and experiences since the start of my residency. To be honest, I was just amazed by how certain I was that I chose the right field for me. Choosing a field to specialize in for the rest of your life is not an easy one, so it was gratifying that the choice felt so right. I have also met incredible people since my move to London, and I look forward to the many experiences we will undoubtedly share.

What do you do when you're not working?
I appreciate the break by spending quality time with family and friends in London, Toronto and Montreal. I also try to maintain an active lifestyle, explore new gourmet cooking recipes and wine, curl up on the couch with a nice book and a warm drink, and look into my next vacation destination.