Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry confers degrees on 139 new doctors

Friday, May 14, 2010

Someone can take away your possessions, but they can't take away your knowledge; it's a lesson Samir Raza says his parents taught him early in life. On Friday, Raza will graduate with both a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and a Bachelor of Engineering Sciences (BESc) degree from The University of Western Ontario.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry will hold its convocation ceremony for 139 new doctors Friday, May 14th starting at 9:30 a.m. at Alumni Hall.

Raza originally enrolled as a National Scholar in Western's engineering program but soon discovered a passion for medicine. He'll graduate with a concurrent degree in medicine and mechanical engineering. "During my first four years, my aspirations shifted from using my engineering skills to solve technical medical problems, to using my knowledge of engineering and medicine to solve global health and development challenges, whether through overseas work, policy change or research," says Raza. He is a dedicated volunteer, and has played a leadership or founding role in Engineers Without Borders, the Clinical Mentorship Program and the Medicine and Law Interest Group. He plans to continue his volunteering while doing his residency in general internal medicine. Raza is also one of the success stories featured in Western's Annual Giving Campaign to illustrate the difference education can make in a person's life. His brother Danyaal graduated from the same programs last year, and will be attending the convocation to see Samir graduate.

While each graduate has a story to tell, some others that media might find interesting include Dawid and Karolina Martyniak. Dawid got permission to transfer from Ottawa to Schulich Medicine after second year, and married Karolina that summer. Now the couple is staying in the area to do their residency in family medicine. Mario Elia is another Londoner who is staying here to become a family doctor.

This will also be the last medical convocation for Dr. Carol Herbert who steps down at the end of June after 11 years as Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "Convocation is always a high point for me. I can't help but feel a sense of pride, looking at these young people as they join this wonderful profession. It has been an honour to be involved in training so many physicians during my tenure as Dean."