While his path to medicine was arduous, the rewards have been worth it for Dr. Habib Shaikh, BSc 98.
He currently works at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital with a focus on lymphoma and gastrointestinal malignancies. Shaikh says that what drives him every day is the opportunity to help people through a difficult disease, such as cancer.
How did Concordia contribute to your career?
My experience at Concordia not only laid the foundation for my current career, but was also formative to the person I am today. I was looking for an education that would give me the opportunity to apply what was I learning in a meaningful way. The biochemistry Co-op program offered that and more.
From knowledgeable and caring faculty, to well-designed lab experiments and the great work rotations, I was able to learn not only didactically but also experientially, allowing for a deeper understanding of the material and allowing for more advanced training in the future.
What is your advice for Concordia students who are contemplating a career in medicine?
Get experience by volunteering at hospitals or clinics because unless you want to work in a lab, the doctor-patient relationship should be something you are passionate about. Basic research is also important as a way to differentiate yourself. I was able to work in the labs at Concordia, which helped build my résumé when applying to medical school.
What was the most moving experience of your career?
In 2017, I was able to go on a medical mission to Bangladesh to work with Rohingya refugees. As an oncologist, I see the resilience of the human spirit on a daily basis working with cancer patients. I saw that same resilience on another level working with refugee patients who have been subjected to horrific circumstances and conditions.
I also learned that things we take for granted — such as physical safety, a full stomach and a bed to sleep in — truly are blessings that we should be thankful for.