My Medical Career

There is something about intercultural experience that often lends the curious traveller to ask questions about how societies, their traditions, and their cultural myths arise. Dr. Wael Haddara has become engaged in a research program that epitomizes the benefits of experiencing a wide range of cultural norms. Just as a curious global citizen might, as a medical education researcher Wael has brought a profound curiosity to bear on the fundamental cultural conceptions of medicine.

Wael began his career as a researcher in the biological sciences and then as a practicing pharmacist. After honing his craft in the pharmaceutical sciences, Wael found himself being pulled toward medicine and its broader concerns in both physiology and in the human experience. While completing medical school, residency, and fellowship, Wael found himself doing an increasing amount of teaching. The challenges of teaching, and the creativity required for it to be done well, had a lasting influence on the shape of Wael’s career. These early teaching experiences flung open the conceptual doors that Wael had discovered during his multicultural childhood. Through education research, he discovered a framework for exploring the words and ideas that are the most fundamental to our culture’s understanding of the purpose and work of medicine.

As a medical education researcher, Wael examines the writings of clinicians and researchers as a way of explaining their behavior and thoughts. In doing this work, Wael understands his duty as a researcher to be one who empowers educators to intimately know the internal lives of their students and the effect their teachings will have. In his work on interprofessional collaboration, for instance, he uncovers how two mutually exclusive notions—utilitarianism and emancipation—may complicate our ability to integrate IPC during a student’s education. Teasing out the inner logic behind fundamental concepts is at the core of Wael’s research; his new project on the rhetoric of altruism and professionalism will continue in this vein. Through his discourse analysis-based program of research, medical educators will have a better understanding of the foundation upon which competency-based education is to be built. Without this knowledge, contemporary medical educators risk witnessing the growth of competency-based curricula without purpose and grounding.