I chose to come to Canada for many reasons. I didn’t need to do much research to find out that Canadian universities are among the best internationally and have a strong reputation for high quality. Needless to say, peace, stability and multiculturalism also attracted me to this country. I wanted to do training in oncology and I landed in Montreal with my husband in the winter of 2003. It was minus 30°C! Yes! I must admit that was a bit too cold for two North African natives, coming from a country where the temperature rarely goes below zero!

It took me a year and half of hard work writing exams and competing before I secured a position at McMaster University to do residency training in Radiation Oncology. Then I did one year of fellowship in thoracic brachytherapy, also at McMaster University. I was inspired by my supervisor, Dr. Ranjan Sur who brought his rich South African experience in lung and esophageal brachytherapy and started the first endoscopic guided brachytherapy technique in treating lung and esophageal malignancies in Ontario in 2004.

I was recruited to the BC Cancer Agency by Dr. Ivo Olivotto, the former head of the provincial radiation therapy program, who I consider a great mentor, in 2011. I worked for one year at the Vancouver Island Centre and in 2012 I joined the radiation oncology team at the Abbotsford Centre. More on that next week!

Thank you for reading!
Maha

Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency Abbotsford Centre