Winnipeg native and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate Preeti Brar, MD, always envisioned returning home after medical school but knew it would be tough given the limited options of Canadian residencies. But just like during her academic journey, Preeti never wavered from the end goal.
“I wasn’t going to let anything deter me from my dream of finishing and going back to Canada,” said the future family medicine resident who matched in one of two spots at her No. 1-ranked program, Northern Remote at the University of Manitoba. “I worked hard to get the right experience so I could go back, and it worked.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in science, Brar pursued clinical research to better understand medical diagnoses but quickly realized she yearned for patient interaction. During clinical rotations, she found family medicine to provide the best of both worlds. “I wasn’t left wondering what happened to the patient. I could learn about their issue and research treatment options but also talk with them about their medical history so I could understand the whole picture.”
Last year, Brar had a unique opportunity to complete a seven-day elective in Canada, which coincidentally helped solidify her future with Northern Remote. Soon after completing the elective, the attending physician — who also served as the dean of admissions at the affiliated medical school — offered Brar a position as a clinical assistant. “For that year, I saw family medicine from every angle — doctors managing acute care and chronic diseases, busting myths about vaccinations and providing home visits for palliative-care patients — all while building a close rapport with patients. That’s when I knew family medicine was for me.”
The bilingual graduate and her husband of five years, who enjoy outdoor activities and taste-testing foods, will soon welcome a new addition to their family. But for now, Brar fondly recalls her first week at RUSM. “I will never forget what they told us on the first day — stay late, ask questions, keep involved and you will eventually shine through. I stayed proactive and I’m proof that it works.”
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