Hana Alazem - 2013 Winning Essay

Hana Alazem

As I child attending a school that catered to children with disabilities I was surrounded by wonderful educators and health professionals who made a difference in the lives of my classmates and their families. Through my schooling I found myself attracted to jobs and volunteer activities that included working with children with disabilities.

I was an aquatic therapy swimming instructor in high school and ran 24 different summer camps, as well as worked in a physiotherapy clinic during my undergraduate studies. These opportunities led me to a Master’s in physiotherapy. I found I still had a lot to learn about children with disabilities so I pursued medicine. I am currently in my fourth year of medicine at the University of Ottawa.

During my medical training, my extra-curricular activities have been focused on working with children with various abilities and disabilities. From teaching nutrition and sun safety in the elementary schools and mentoring a child with cancer, to working in a children’s hospital for children with disabilities in Nepal, I have truly found my passion in pediatrics. It is rewarding to work with children and families with daily challenges due to their complex medical conditions. Building such relationships and making profound impact fulfills my professional aspirations.

My current obstacle is pursuing a residency in the competitive specialty of pediatrics where I hope to run multi-disciplinary clinics addressing children’s rehabilitation and medical needs. My plan is to continue my persistence to go for my dreams no matter how long it will take.