Chief Resident Profile: Dr. Reyhaneh Keshmiri

Reyhaneh Keshmiri

Name: Dr. Reyhaneh Keshmiri, Co-Chief Resident 

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Most people call me Rey, and I’m the 2021/2022 regional and rural Chief Resident. My hometown is Abbotsford B.C. and I’m Persian-Canadian. I’ve been a bit of a nomad though – I first attended McGill for my undergraduate studies where, instead of my intended goal of improving my French language, I learnt about my love of good poutine and Juliette & Chocolat. I then went to University of Toronto to pursue a masters degree, where I regrettably did not purchase property when it was more affordable. My adventures then took me to the rolling hills, sheep, and pubs of Limerick, Ireland for medical school. With fond, rose-tinted, memories of the winters of the Canadian East, I decided to come back to Ontario for my residency in wonderful London, Ontario! 

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Iran and lived there until I was about 7 years old, until we immigrated to beautiful British Columbia.

Where do you practice medicine and in what scope?

I am one of the family medicine residents at the Mount Brydges site, with the fantastic Dr Kyle Carter as my preceptor. We practice cradle to grave medicine including FM clinic, retirement home, hospitalist, emergency medicine, and obstetrics. Outside of the FM blocks, we rotate through London Health Sciences and several community hospitals. 

What are your research interests?

Med Ed, Global health, and health economics/services. 

Why did you choose to pursue Postgraduate education in the Department of Family Medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?

I chose Western because it had the perfect balance between being a strong and well-structured education, and the flexibility to pursue my interests through electives. I also wanted to have my cake and eat it too when it came to urban vs rural, and Western was perfect for this combination. Knowing how many people ventured here and decided to stay long term, also spoke to the overall quality of the program and life in London.

Can you talk about your experience in the program?

It has far exceeded my expectations. The mentorship here is phenomenal both on and off-service. As Chief Resident, I’ve also been able to experience behind-the-scenes of how invested staff are in maintaining a strong program and genuinely listening to resident feedback. 

What has been your greatest challenge?

I’d say my greatest challenge, one which I still struggle with at times, is not having medicine consume me. The thirst for knowledge is unquenchable and it’s so tempting to take on new challenges, courses, research and so on, especially in residency when you’re trying to soak everything up. Fortunately, I have a partner who is squeamish with my medical stories, a family that keeps me level-headed, and staff who model navigating that sweet work-life balance and support me in achieving the same.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your study/practice/research?

This is a hard one to answer as it’s not just one solitary experience, but I’d say it’s those moments when you step back and appreciate how far you’ve come. When first starting out, I had so many bad days filled with self-doubt, and the good ones felt few and far between. I now realize that the good days are starting to outnumber the bad and I’ve come such a long way! Becoming a doctor has been a privilege and humbling experience, and I honestly would not have made these strides in residency without the support and structure of the Western program and its staff. 

What inspires you in your work?

My parents and my partner who have provided unwavering support that has fueled me all these years. I’m also inspired by the people we meet from all walks of life in medicine, and the opportunity that comes with serving them at their times of greatest need. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

First and foremost, I see myself finally getting a dog once I settle down. Actually, probably several dogs of varying sizes! I hope to do a mix of family medicine clinic and emergency medicine, all the while being involved in medical education and research that helps improve disparities in access to care. 

What special interests or hobbies do you have?

Looking at dogs, petting dogs… various sports like martial arts, kayaking, gymnastics, tending to my plant babies, as well as puzzling (you’d be surprised to know that the one I am currently working on features 19 dogs). 

What three words best describe you?

Approachable, dedicated, and… iconic.