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Why does one go into the medical field? For Therese Massri, it was the constant unknown nature of the profession; to be able to identify what exactly is ailing a patient and implementing a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.

Growing up in Canada, Therese was a curious individual, fascinated with the elusive nature of the human body and outer space – both of which provided a wide array of intellectual challenges to problems that require scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills to solve. However, it was her empathetic nature that drew her to the medical field.

“To me, becoming a diagnostician promises lifelong satisfaction and an insatiable desire to return to work the next morning,” Therese said. “It’s a process, rather than a simple answer. Every piece of evidence you get must be consistent with your leading diagnosis. Medicine cultures intellectual pursuit, technical skills, but most importantly, the ability to help someone.”

After completing her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences, Therese was drawn to the small class sizes and the stunning location that Saint James School of Medicine’s St. Vincent campus had to offer. “Over time, your classmates become your family and your professors have more time to mentor you,” she explained.

While Therese’s academic strengths have not only served her well in being an outstanding student, it also allowed her to provide academic assistance to her peers as a Pathology Teaching Assistant. “I’m passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves,” said Therese. “It’s always a great joy and a privilege to be able to do so. Teaching also helps me remain a lifelong student. No matter how much information I attain there will always be a reason to seek out more.”

Therese sat on the executive board of the United States Medical Licensing Examination Prep Club and spearheaded various projects, such as organizing nationwide health screening clinics for underprivileged residents alongside the Ministry of Health and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

Outside of medicine, she utilized her free time to volunteer amongst disabled children and refugees – providing further insight into her medical knowledge and allowing her to enhance her clinical skills early on.

After graduating in 2019, Therese was recruited by SJSM to serve as a USMLE Counselor to improve the performance of our students. Therese is one of three graduates that SJSM recruited for this purpose this year.

When asked about her experience thus far, Therese said, “It’s refreshing to be able to help someone navigate and escape difficult waters. When you help a patient, you impact that person’s life. When you help a medical student, you impact every patient they are going to encounter over their career, and nothing truly makes me happier than knowing that I am helping as many people as I possibly can by helping shape tomorrow’s physician.”

At present, Therese has submitted her residency application and is waiting to hear back from potential programs. From everyone here at SJSM, good luck in this next journey of your life, we cannot wait to hear all about it.

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days you feel good,” said Jerry West, an American basketball player. “Motivation never lasts, habits do. You are your only limit.” This quote has stuck with Therese throughout all aspects of her life, and she would like to pass it along to students that are finding the implications of COVID difficult. In her humble opinion, “if passion is part of your equation, you can never lose.”

Email Therese at tmassri@mail.sjsm.org to ask her any questions you may have. She welcomes the opportunity to help students on their way to becoming a doctor.

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