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Dr Graham Slaughter: PhD, MD. General Internist

"A lot of effort at the right time makes all the difference."

This interview has great insights from a heavily qualified and caring health care professional, Dr Graham Slaughter.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Graham about his career journey in May 2020, during the COVID19 pandemic. Watch the interview here.

Graham Slaughter is a General Internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from high school early, at the age of 16 (1990); but he stayed in “school” for many years, graduating from medical school in 2005 (and then pursued even more studies until 2009).

Graham has a most interesting journey to his position, and persevered because medicine was a “calling.” He came from a medical family; his father was a doctor, and mother an ICU nurse. He was strong in the maths and sciences in high school.

When I asked Graham to share his qualifications (I made sure to avoid an error!), this is what he sent me:

Dr Graham Slaughter, PhD MD FRCP(C) 

BSc in Microbiology & Immunology, University of Western Ontario 1994

PhD Molecular Biology University of Toronto 2002

FRCP(C) Internal Medicine 2009

D.A.D. 2010 with 3 repeats (2012, 2015, 2019... Owen, Henry, Leah, Nora.)

I love Graham's last qualification the most, since I remember him from high school! (Old friends are the best. He sat in front of me in Calculus class.) :)

Graham says what he loves about his work:

  • "it’s getting somebody through a difficult period;

  • teaching residents and seeing their growth."

Advice he has to share with young people, and his “younger self:”

  • "a lot of effort at the right time makes all the difference;

  • being able to put forward a lot of work in a short period of time, you can’t sustain it. But being able to focus really hard can get you where you want to be.

  • focus and finish.

  • chunk a large project into manageable bits, but as long as you keep your eyes on the ultimate goal, you get through those chunks and they’re high quality.

  • you can achieve a lot in a short amount of time."

What skills are needed for medical school hopefuls?

  • "intellectual curiosity;

  • good research skills;

  • good study habits;

  • the ability to synthesize information, evaluate it properly, handle a large volume of material, and balance this with not burning out."

For medicine:

  • "make sure it’s what you want;

  • it’s a calling;

  • you’re going to give away most of your twenties and thirties to get where you need to be professionally. That can be a large sacrifice, a lot of time, effort, and money involved.

  • talk to someone you know in the medical field;

  • you need a mentor."

Thank you Graham for taking the time out of your busy schedule (at work and with your family) to share your stories and insights. This is valuable information and we are listening!

This video was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic, in May 2020.


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