Hello from Toronto! My name is Jolene. Surprise…surprise… I am neither a pediatric nor plastics resident….yet…read on and you’ll find out why.
Right now, I’m a Family + ER Medicine Resident from University of Toronto based out of North York General Hospital and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
My first mission with ORC was in 2014 prior to the start of my residency year, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was lucky to be part of a mission with a great cause. It was a trip I thoroughly learned and enjoyed, especially working with Dr. Bhanji, whom I am very grateful to for his gentle and calm guidance. Working with children was my first passion before medicine. Being able to create smiles on a child’s face was the best part of the mission for me. Not to mention, the smiles from team members such as Sheny Bhanji and Sophie Ukani, that never failed to warm my heart and acted as a silent reminder to me, why we are all in this together.
Prior to my first ORC mission, I was fresh from spending a solid 3 months in the rural regions of Angola, West Africa. It was a humbling yet rewarding experience. Everything from resuscitating my first 2-day old twin with congenital malaria, sick with malaria myself, setting up a bush clinic inside a dormant volcano crater in blazing heat, flying in a four-seater plane, injecting into 40 eyeballs for cataract surgery a day, to showering with buckets of rain water. I had taken a gap year after completing medical school to pursue my dreams of doing humanitarian work. As soon as I graduated, I began an intense 3-month mission training with SIM Canada, a Christian organization who started as Sudan Interior Mission in 1893. SIM has active missionaries serving in 70 countries to date. Upon completion of the training, I embarked on the next 3 months of my solo journey in West Africa. Since my SIM story is a whole other book in itself, I will leave it as is. However, feel free to ask me in person about my experiences in West Africa if that sparks your interest.
Dr. Jolene Low