Department Spotlight: Dr. Saadia Hameed


Saadia Hameed, MBBS MClSc(FM) CCFP DipPDerm

Associate Professor, Co-Academic Post Graduate Director
Department of Family Medicine
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University

Tell me a little about yourself: 

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Nigeria, Africa, spent my childhood living in Brunei in Southeast Asia and Pakistan which is my country of my forefathers.

What degree(s) do you have, and from what university (ies)?

I did Medicine from Punjab University in Pakistan, Post graduate residency in Family Medicine and Graduate studies (Master of Clinical Science in Family Medicine) from Western University and a Diploma in Practical Dermatology from Cardiff University in Wales UK.

Where do you practice medicine and in what scope? 

I practice comprehensive Family Medicine from cradle to grave. I am privileged to care for elderly in their homes or in a long-term care institution, I am a medical examiner for patients of sexual abuse and domestic violence, provide care for people with mental illnesses, addictions, palliative care in home and in hospital. I also see dermatological illnesses in my practice and from colleagues and perform small skin procedures such as removing skin cancers and other lesions.

Why did you choose to pursue teaching at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?

I think I am a born teacher! Being the eldest of five children, I have been teaching my siblings and cousins all my life -  and it seemed only natural that teaching carry on into my professional life as well. It has since become a passion. I was lucky to have been given the opportunity to do an academic fellowship at Western in the form of the Master of Clinical Science in Family Medicine, which provided me the skills to learn and teach the art of family Medicine. The fellowship was instrumental in accentuating my passion for teaching and ignited a love of research! I am very lucky to now be co-teaching Dr. Ian McWhinney’s course, “Theoretical Foundations of Family Medicine,” in the graduate program which allows me to continuously be a small part in the network of current and upcoming leaders in Family Medicine.

What inspires you in your work? 

Clinically, seeing patients become self-efficacious, healing and becoming knowledgeable about their health. In teaching, seeing learners blossom into confident and caring Family Physicians within a span of two years and in research, the wonder of discovery! Also the mentorship and role modeling from other female faculty members.

What special interests or hobbies do you have? 

I am very interested in the role of social media in networking and communication among professionals in the medical field. I am also interested in data management and use of the electronic medical Records (EMR) and its impact on family practice and the benefit of Practice Based Research Networks (PBRNs) in family medicine exploration.

What are your research interests?

Most of my research to date has been on mental illness and access to psychotherapy. I am also interested in the philosophy of institutional and behavioural change. I would love to do more exploration in the prevention of mental illness.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your career as a faculty member?

The development of the Behaviour Medicine Curriculum for our post graduate training program in family medicine. This curriculum has been well received. I was able to implement my research in mental health in developing this curriculum which made my research very worthwhile from the perspective of a medical teacher. I was nominated for and received the Ian McWhinney teaching award for this curriculum, which was a wonderful and humbling experience at the same time!

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I love reading, water colour painting, crocheting, roller blading, watching movies and shows with the family and just being a mom to three wonderful children, 14, 11 and two years old. I enjoy long drives and walks with my husband and watching Sci Fi and mystery shows together.

This year we celebrate the Department of Family Medicine's 50th anniversary, what does that mean to you?

I am in awe of the enormous national and international impact the Department of Family Medicine at Western has had over the last 5 decades, in establishing the discipline of Family Medicine. The alumni of the department are spread wide and far on the face of the globe. They continue to propagate the spirit and practice of Family Medicine that was kindled by Dr. Ian McWhinney 50 years ago, with the development of the first academic department of Family Medicine in London, Ontario. I am very proud to be a part of the institution that continues to lead the discipline and am excited to explore what the next 50 years will bring!