Dr. Sarah Makhdoom, a member of RhPAP’s Board of Directors, has a passion for teaching.
Dr. Makhdoom has practised as a family physician in High River, Alberta since 2003. During that time, she has been a mentor to over 100 up-and-coming physicians.
“It’s just important to pass on your love for medicine and for teaching to the next generation,” Dr. Makhdoom explains.
Dr. Alicja Kennedy, a resident physician, recently completed her rural placement with Dr. Makhdoom and had nothing but praise for her mentor.
“[Dr. Makhdoom] is amazing,” exclaims Dr. Kennedy. “She gives me lots of opportunity to be independent, while also having the confidence in me to create my own management and treatment plans. She’s also very approachable for things that I’m not sure about.”
Dr. Makhdoom is originally from Pakistan. She came to Canada with her husband and two sons in 1999 and spent two years in the Rural Alberta South Family Medicine Residency Program.
While based in Lethbridge, she spent much of her residency practising in the smaller communities of Crowsnest Pass, Fort McLeod, Taber, and Milk River.
“That was the beginning of … my love for southern Alberta,” adds Dr. Makhdoom.
It feels like a village. We are all looking after each other. – Dr. Sarah Makhdoom
In 2003, she began her family medicine practice in High River. At the time, there was a huge demand for female physicians who loved obstetrics.
In no time, she was delivering up to 100 babies a year.
“I have so many families in my practice that are four generations, and it started with that one woman who came to me to have a baby, then she brought her parents to me, then she brought her grandparents to me.” Dr. Makhdoom recalls. “So it feels like a village … We are all looking after each other.”
Dr. Makhdoom embraces the safe and laid-back lifestyle of rural Alberta. She recalls the time when her dad came to visit her from Pakistan, and she was called in the middle of the night to deliver a baby.
“I was leaving [for the hospital] and my dad said, ‘hold on and I’ll come with you,’ says Dr. Makhdoom. “And I’m like, ‘Excuse me, dad’. And he said ‘No, girls shouldn’t be going out alone in the middle of the night.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, I’m so Canadian now.’ He said, ‘No, I’ll come with you or wake up your husband or one of the boys and take them with you.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, dad, that’s not going to happen.’”
I wanted to do it as a way of thanking RhPAP, because I used those services as a resident. – Dr. Sarah Makhdoom.
Dr. Makhdoom recently transitioned out of obstetrics and into senior care. She has the same passion for treating her older patients as she did for the moms she saw in the delivery room.
“[She’s] super engaged with her patients. They definitely love her,” Dr. Kennedy adds.
Dr. Makhdoom is also passionate about her appointment to the RhPAP Board of Directors and sees it as a way of giving back for the training and accommodations that she received from RhPAP early in her career.
“I wanted to do it as a way of thanking RhPAP, because I used those services as a resident,” says Dr. Makhdoom. “The beautiful houses that [RhPAP] provided us in those small towns and all the backup support, everything that RhPAP did for us, I can never forget it.”