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Networking Within the Medical Field
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Dr. Mohammad Ahadzadeh came from Iran in 2006 in search of a better health system, freedom, and more opportunities for his two sons. Back in Iran, Dr. Ahadzadeh worked as an Orthopedic Surgeon for 8 years. Currently he works at Alberta Health Services as an Ortho Surgical Assistant.
To become licensed as a doctor in Canada, Dr. Ahadzadeh had to prepare for and pass three main exams, which costed over $10k dollars and took 1.5 years to complete. Due to lack of the credentials during this time, he was unable to find professional jobs in the first couple of years landing in Canada.
After passing exams, it was a requirement to gain work experience and that was when he started learning about the importance of networking. He participated in the Medical Communication Assessment Project (MCAP), which was a 6-month program at the University of Calgary that helped internationally trained doctors with their medical communication skills, for successful integration into Alberta’s health care system. During the program, he also had the opportunity to observe and shadow doctors in a medical clinic.
This program helped Dr. Ahadzadeh expand his network, volunteer, and gain strong references from medical doctors in Canada. After the entire process of passing exams and obtaining his license, he sent many emails and went in person to the Department of Surgery to look for work. After a few months passed, an opening became available and they hired him to work as a Surgical Assistant in Orthopedic Surgery in 2008.
Some advice that Dr. Ahadzadeh would give to newcomer medical professionals in Canada: “Medical professionals should be prepared to be unemployed before they get their medical certificates in Canada. It is important to have sufficient financial support to cover further education, training, or exams. Be flexible and ready to adapt to the different systems in Canada”.