#UofTMed International Student Reflection by Anat
As a pharmacist in Israel with a secure job and bright prospects, relocation to Canada was a bold move for Anat Segal-Shalev. Faced with an opportunity to further her academic credentials, Anat chose a professional program that would allow her to fill gaps in knowledge and train her in critical problem–solving skills in health. As she approaches the completion of her 2-year master’s degree at the TRP, she reflects on her journey.
An Exploration of New Boundaries
I used to have a great job at a big pharmaceutical company in Israel. I loved my job and enjoyed being a part of this global industry, but when an opportunity to move to Canada emerged, I knew I wanted to take the time to study. I started searching for a degree, and my first option was UofT, as it is so well known and has a renowned reputation. My background and qualifications as a pharmacist-led me to the IMS, where, I came across the Translational Research Program serendipitously.
I read about the program and it made me curious and excited. Even though the field of translational research was new to me, I immediately understood how necessary this field was becoming in the healthcare world. In addition, I could not find a similar program almost anywhere else in the world that focused on competencies in problem-solving in healthcare. This made me even more confident that such a program would give me an added value and an eminent advantage in the competitive healthcare environment I was a part of. I, therefore, decided to apply to be part of the 2017 cohort and prepared for a big transformation in my life.
As an international student, my learning experience was intensified by the move to a new country. I had many gaps in knowledge and in understanding the health innovation pathway and often felt different from most other students. However, there is no better program to feel unique in. I had the privilege of meeting phenomenal people, who embrace diversity and differences. They taught me how to see diversity as an opportunity to learn and grow. I learned to think more open-mindedly without getting easily intimidated, to expect the unexpected, and to be willing to ask for help if needed. The program enabled me to grow both as a person and as a professional.
The TRP is a greenhouse for students who are eager to explore their own boundaries and challenge others to do so with them. It offers exceptional opportunities that push students outside of their comfort zones, to look far ahead but also deep inside themselves. The best part is that the learning experience is so rich and varied, that I learned even more than I expected. I never knew I had the ability to develop so many new skills and evolve so much in such a short period of time.
There are so many gaps in our healthcare system, and there is a need for people who will drive change with new ideas and innovations, using the unique approach of translational research. Thanks to the program, today, I am ready to take on challenges in the healthcare environment with a more comprehensive approach.
Bio: Anat Segal-Shalev has ten years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and recently completed her Master of Health Science in Translational Research degree from the University of Toronto. Connect with Anat on Linkedin.