May 31, 2024

IMS Graduate Spotlight: Salma Amarin

Current Students
Salma Amarin

Salma Amarin, an accomplished immigrant doctor from Libya, is set to graduate from the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) next week with her master's degree. Salma shares her unique story as an internationally trained clinician, graduate student and parent of four young children. 

What has your experience of transitioning to life in Canada been like?

Joining ACCES, a settlement service for newcomers in Canada, marked the beginning of a transformative journey for me. It was there that I met Dr. Cindy Sinclair, who not only guided me through my academic pursuits but also became an integral part of my life and my children's lives. Her mentorship extended beyond coursework, offering invaluable support as I balanced my roles as a student and a parent. With her wisdom and guidance, I never felt adrift or isolated. Encouraged by her, I joined the Immigrant Women Medical Doctors of Color Circle, where I found a supportive community of fellow immigrant women medical professionals of color. Together, we navigated the unique challenges of our profession, exchanged insights, and offered mutual encouragement, enriching our personal and professional lives in the process.

Why did you decide to pursue graduate training?

I was concerned about the rising prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, asthma, hypertension, and neurodegenerative diseases in Libya. Unsure of where to begin my research on the efficacy and safety of drugs used to treat these conditions, I met Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan in the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors program at Toronto Metropolitan University, who encouraged me to pursue further education and enhance my professional development. 

What does your research focus on and what sparked your interest in this field of study?

I studied under the supervision of Dr. Sanjeev Kumar at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. My research focuses on polypharmacy in patients with dementia and agitation, specifically by examining these patients' concurrent use of multiple medications and its affect on health outcomes. My interest is this research area was inspired by my desire to improve patient care and the overall well-being of those affected by dementia.

What have been some of the greatest highlights of your time at IMS?

One of my greatest highlights has been meeting individuals who share similar clinical backgrounds. Connecting with peers and faculty who have walked similar paths has been incredibly inspiring and enriching. Collaborating with like-minded professionals has provided a sense of camaraderie and allowed me to gain diverse perspectives on clinical challenges. These relationships have been instrumental in broadening my understanding and have motivated me to strive for excellence in both my clinical practice and research endeavors.

What are you most looking forward to as you embark on the next chapter in your career?

I am excited about the opportunities the dual career path as a clinician-scientist offers. My ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes and advance our understanding of complex medical conditions through a harmonious blend of clinical practice and research.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Build a strong network by actively participating in seminars, workshops, and social events. Collaborating with peers and seeking guidance from faculty can provide valuable insights and support.