Yasman Mohammadzadeh

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A Transformative Education

If you, or someone you know, is interested in a different kind of graduate program, who is motivated to learn by doing and is seeking a transformative education, then we need to talk.

CO(VID): Networking In The Time Of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and the world is swiftly adapting to new normals. At the TRP, we strongly believe in disruptive reforms when faced with obstacles and one such obstacle that we’re faced with is networking. The physical...

A Transformative Education

At the TRP our goal is not to teach. Our goal is not to lecture or have you memorize some datum likely to change before you finish your degree, or that a search engine can find faster than you can formulate the question.

The TRP is a community and a mindset of people who are resources, facilitators, mentors, peers, guides and catalysts whose aim is to help those, who are looking to learn, to explore, to push the boundaries of their experience to seek knowledge.

The TRP is not intended to be divided as a degree of teacher-task-masters and students–those who know one truth and those hoping to memorize that truth. Instead, the program strives to be a community of people motivated to learn, to seek knowledge, to help others to be more and do more. In this community, the focus is not on the content but on understanding the processes, the mechanisms of creative problem-solving and innovation.

Students learn alongside the faculty–we learn together and from each other. We learn from real-world contexts and from failure–not from arbitrary grades or standardized testing–because our collective goals are not to pass a test or earn a grade but to improve lives, to learn to champion change that will improve the lives of others.

Now, we are starting to seek people join our 2019 cohort. Those motivated to learn, those seeking to move beyond their comfort zones, to challenge ambiguity, who want to focus on the processes of innovating of generating new ideas and championing change for positive impact are the kindred spirits we seek–these are the people we seek to join our ranks.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in a different kind of graduate program, who is motivated to learn by doing and is seeking a transformative education, then we need to talk. Come to an information session, read the website, arrange a consultation with someone from our team.

One day soon, we, trainees, mentors, facilitators, students, residents, PI’s, researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals, and many others, will form a global network of professional translators, who think globally but work locally to improve the health and well-being of people in our communities. And together we will transform health, care and medicine.

Join us.

Post-Grad Reflection by Meghan Lofft

A Journey of Self-Discovery

By: Meghan Lofft, #UofTGrad 2018 | June 28, 2019

Meghan Lofft, a TRP alumna Class 2018 presently working as a Research Assistant for the Foundation of Medical Practice Education: A Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to the development, production, and evaluation of educational programs for community-based family medicine and general practitioners. She enjoys empowering people to move their bodies as a Group Fitness Instructor, and posting close-up pictures of flowers on Instagram as a passionate photographer.
One year post-graduation, she reflects on her experiences in the TRP program and candidly shares her journey and advice to current students.

“So, what job does this program lead to?”
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by prospective students of the TRP. Rightly so, these individuals want to ensure that their time, efforts, and tuition money move them swiftly into their career path, a job, and financial stability; a solution, if you will.
Surprisingly, as a student in the 2016 cohort, I was not thinking along these lines at all. Before TRP, I had spent years trying (and failing) to get into a competitive M.Sc. program that would train me to fit a job description. I heard about the TRP from a friend of a friend and was intrigued when I read Joseph’s message on the website. I applied – without time for a second thought – on the deadline for the September 2016 start. After interviewing with the program coordinators, I had a feeling that was refreshingly contrary to the “we’re sorry, but you’re just not good enough” experiences I’d had with graduate programs so far. I was accepted and had no idea what to expect.
Instead of my solution as the end goal, I entered the TRP with a goal to learn, graduate, and figure out the rest from there.
Now, upon reflection, I realize that the “let’s see what happens” mindset I adopted was a large component of my success as a student in the TRP and after graduation. Fast forward to June 2018; I had my M.H.Sc. degree in hand, a successful capstone project and wealth of TRP knowledge under my belt, and the confidence that I would find a great job in my field by the end of the summer. Cute right?
It’s June 2019 and here are three important things I learned in my first trip around the sun as a TRP alumnus.
Lesson 1: Be patient. Be picky. Chill a bit.
Things in the “real world” move a lot more slowly than in the student schedule of an academic year. Keep an eye out for jobs in your field that actually interest you. It will probably take months to find a position that truly draws you in and fits your qualifications without having to stretch your cover letter. Also, you’ve just finished grad school – it’s alright (and necessary, really) to sit back for a while and channel your brain space towards other interests.
Lesson 2: Make a personal connection stand out.
Applying to positions posted online draws hundreds of applications. The best thing I did in my job search was to make a follow-up call to the hiring manager after submitting my application for the job that I now have. Call (not email, call!) with a simple inquiry, a made-up question even, and make sure you leave your name and flex that TRP title. A Master’s degree focused on translational research is very intriguing to many facets of healthcare (for good reason, as we know!).
Lesson 3: Sometimes you’re just a token interview, and it’s obvious. Take the experience to heart, but not the rejection.
Some organizations like playing hard to get – employees on contract often have to re-interview for their job as a formality and in doing so, the hiring department also has to interview other “potential candidates”. So, if you’re asked to interview at 5:30 pm on a Friday in July and the panel seems somewhat distant or uninterested in your responses – spoiler alert – they might just be fitting in that necessary external applicant. Still, every interview is an excellent experience and, even if it cut your vacation short, you’ll look back on it as a valuable part of the process.
Beyond learning the educational content of my Master’s degree, the TRP taught me how to immerse myself as a professional in our healthcare system. Developing and managing my own capstone project with a fellow colleague allowed me to become confident in my ability to apply the knowledge gained in our learning sessions. Instead of fueling my academic competency into a hundred-page thesis, I was experiencing the healthcare system that was outside of the University bubble. I was challenged to address a realized need; the big-picture, overwhelming, real-world stuff. With no challenge, there is no change. If things are good enough, it takes some disruption and different ways of thinking to realize how it could be better.
As a TRP graduate, I am proud to be a small pebble dropped into a big pond; a mover and shaker in my workplace. With the continual evolution of our policies, practices, and population, the TRP is making sure that healthcare keeps up.

Editor: Zoya Retiwalla for the TRP

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