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Fellowship in Canada: Adult Critical Care, KSA

I am a Saudi trained physician, a graduate of the prestigious King Faisal University. Following graduation, I successfully applied to join the highly competitive Emergency Medicine Residency Program at King Fahd National Guard Hospital, the sole ER residency in the country. My goals now are to enhance my skills and knowledge by joining a challenging and supportive program and, ultimately, to undertake research, educate other physicians in my home country and serve my community by delivering EM treatment, especially the underserved area in which I was born.

During my four year residency training, I had the opportunity to work in the Intensive Care Unit and this experience fired a great interest in its work. I quickly became aware that the specialty demanded certain characteristics of its practitioners. The physicians with whom I worked demonstrated a very high level of dedication to their patients, they worked calmly and decisively under intense pressure, they were excellent team workers, and they had the ability to communicate sympathetically with distressed relatives. I began to develop these and other relevant skills such as the interpretation of laboratory and monitoring values, medical imaging, and the mastery of various invasive procedures. I was also attracted by the scope of the work and the case management role of the specialist in this field. I have never regretted my choice of specialty which I now consider more of a vocation than a choice.

Once I had completed the Residency, I was determined to find an opportunity to continue my Critical Care training. I made several applications for sponsorship from the Ministry of Higher Education and was eventually successful. After the award of the EM Board Certification with honors, I took up a post as Assistant Consultant at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital and was gratified to be rapidly promoted to Associate Consultant in the Emergency Department with responsibilities in residency teaching and skills development. In order to become a more effective ‘learning facilitator’, I enrolled in the Masters of Medical Education Program at King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences and anticipate completion of the program in February 2012, the program has been enormously useful to me. 

Emergency Medicine is a relatively new specialty in Saudi Arabia and so trained specialists are in short supply, indeed in some areas of the country they are not available at all. The shortage affects not only the subjects and many temporary residents of the country but the millions of pilgrims who come for the Haj. My main goal is to be a significant part of the solution to this shortage by directly serving patients and providing excellent training to other physicians. I realize that this will only be possible by acquiring the very best internationally available training and interaction with other dedicated and enthusiastic specialists in this field. It is my hope that, in equipping me with enhanced skills and knowledge, the program will, through me, also equip a significant number of other physicians in a country where their services are sorely needed. I know that this is a substantial responsibility and would not presume to accept it without having carefully considered it and concluded that I genuinely possess the drive, passion and potential to achieve these ambitious goals.

I believe that the qualities required of an excellent practitioner in this specialty overlap significantly with those demonstrated by an excellent researcher, especially determination and excellent analytical skills, which I am convinced that I possess. I am aware of the techniques applied in research work and I hope to assist in research and would be especially interested in an area relating to enhancing education in critical care and emergency medicine.

I am aware that cultural sensitivity is particularly important in the provision of critical care. While I am not widely travelled, I have happily worked and socialized with people of various cultural and social backgrounds in Saudi Arabia. I look forward to extending this experience in Canada and sharing information about my own culture and country with others. I am a native Arabic speaker I also communicate fluently in English.

I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for this prestigious program; however I do consider myself to be an excellent candidate.  I believe that my background proves a commitment to the specialty that will be hard to match. I hold relevant qualifications with honors; I have significant experience in the specialty at a senior level; and I am an experienced and effective teacher; I shall be able to share useful and interesting insights from my experience and training and thus ‘add value’ to the program. My main recommendation, however, is a genuine passion for this specialty together with a determination to enhance my skills and knowledge as far as is possible and to share that learning for the immediate and long term improvement of my country’s health service. I undertake to participate in the program diligently and very enthusiastically.  

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