While enjoying her work as an Occupational Therapist at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Malika Hudani had a friend who had recently graduated from Saba University School of Medicine come join the staff at Foothills Hospital.
Though she had received her Masters in Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta (where she earned her undergrad degree as well), Malika had always thought someday she would pursue an MD degree. Talking with her friend, and now co-worker at Foothills Hospital she began to learn from him about the opportunity that Saba presented for Canadians.
“I heard from both my friend at the hospital, as well as another friend that also went to Saba about their success stories, and the fact that many Canadian students who graduated from Saba are coming back to practice in Canada.”
Inspired, Malika began to look into her options for an MD. “I found that there are a lot of international medical schools that you can pursue. I could have gone to Australia for example. I really wanted that MD though, and Saba also had a reasonable tuition which is important coming from Canada.” Once she applied and was accepted, she marveled at the fact that about 80% of her classmates were Canadian. “I had three roommates in my Hillside dorm, and we all became the very best of friends and we still are. I was in 2 of their weddings this year.”
Diving right into student life, she got involved in multiple Saba clubs and activities, serving as Student Government Vice President, and as a TA in Neuroscience while also participating in the Global Health Club and AMSA. “Being involved in alot of activities and clubs really helps you become part of the Saba community.”
In sharing her Saba clinical rotation experience Malika offers “I really feel that I exceeded expectations in clinicals. The standards are pretty high at Saba, particularly in comparison to other Caribbean medical schools. That’s why Saba has such a high match and success rate.”
Knowing that Family Medicine was where she felt the greatest need, she felt well supported through her clinicals and the match to achieve her goal. “I always wanted to do Family Medicine. It is really the front line of people’s illnesses. When it came time for the match, the clinical team at Saba gave me great feedback on my personal statement and were so helpful. It was a crazy time but I felt very well supported.” Matching into her first choice for her Family Medicine residency at All Saints Family Medicine Residency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Malika broke the ground for the Saba grads behind her. “I was the first Saba student accepted at All Saints. Now they are interviewing many Saba students, and we are in the top quartile”.
Not surprisingly, Malika has excelled in her residency, and was recently awarded the Medical College of Wisconsin Outstanding Medical Student Teaching Award. Every Family Medicine resident is assigned two medical students to teach per month. The Family Medicine team across the six programs is large (over 100 in total) so it is quite an accomplishment for Malika to receive this award.
Her passion for teaching extends as well to her participation on the Education and Didactics Committee at the hospital and clinic as well as her various volunteer efforts. Malika will be graduating in June 2020 and will be joining a medium sized private practice back in her home city of Calgary, Alberta practicing broad spectrum Family Medicine.
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