Profile of a graduate: an eye on the prize – Dal News

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This article is part of a series about the Dalhousie class of 2022 spring graduates.

Freddy Lee was raised in a family with no medical training, so his very early interest in the human body surprised his parents. While most young people devoured fairy tales and nursery rhymes, Freddy read about digestion and the content of our blood.

Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Halifax, Freddy was drawn to medicine from an early fascination with the human body to treat disease and a desire to work with people to improve their health and impact their lives. life.

“For me, there was never an epiphanic moment,” he recalls. “But it was really a gradual, conscious decision to go on this long, long journey of medicine.”

Freddy completed a master’s degree in neuroscience before entering medical school, eager to apply what he had learned to patient care.

With a strong commitment to student leadership, Freddy excelled during his training. He was president of the Dalhousie Medical Students’ Society and co-president of the class of 2022, received various awards, including the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Leadership Awardand has also developed several initiatives to alleviate some of the burden associated with COVID-19.

Mitigating the Pressures of a Pandemic

The onset of the pandemic has resulted in the closure of public schools and daycares across the province. As the demand for healthcare professionals grew, so did the need for childcare for these frontline workers. Led by Freddy and fellow medical students Clara Long, Margaret Sun and Kristin Ko, a childcare program run by volunteer student paramedic programs has helped ease that pressure.

“We weren’t able to get involved in patient care as medical students, but we wanted to make a meaningful contribution during this difficult time. Fortunately, we had many amazing volunteers who really made this possible.

Childcare wasn’t the only issue Freddy knew he had to deal with during the pandemic.

“As the COVID-19 outbreak grew, there were growing concerns that the availability of alcoholic beverages would become unreliable as provincial liquor stores threatened to close, as seen in other provinces,” explains Freddy. “People with severe alcohol dependence were particularly vulnerable to acute adverse effects of withdrawal, chronic health consequences, poor mental health and social exclusion.”

Working with Dr. Leah Genge – Senior Physician at Mobile street health (MOSH) – and other Canadian alcohol management program sites, they have developed an emergency alcohol management program at MOSH aimed at preventing and reducing the harms of hazardous alcohol consumption , including non-beverage alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and hazardous drinking. The program focused on stabilizing patients with severe alcohol use disorders and strengthening social isolation to reduce the risk of spreading infection. As the pandemic persisted, the program evolved from a dispersed site model to a centralized community program that is ongoing and now managed by MOSH.

A lot has happened since Freddy Lee walked through the doors of the Tupper Building to begin his medical training in 2018. When he walks through the stage at the Rebecca Cohn on May 24, he’ll be contemplating the next leg of his journey – residency in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences here at Dalhousie.

“I was drawn to ophthalmology by patients,” he says. “I loved working with this patient population, and realized that restoring and optimizing patients’ vision has a huge tangible impact on how people interact with the world and their loved ones. Being able to participate in the delivery of this type of care is incredibly rewarding.

Freddy plans to become a full ophthalmologist and hopes to engage in medical education through an ongoing connection with medical school.

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