Monday, December 16, 2013

How hard is it to do this???

This morning while I was enjoying a cup of java with iPad in hand, getting caught up on the happenings of the world... I read this from our Son, Shawn on my Facebook Feed...

"I am now a Pediatrician in two Countries. Passed American Boards..."

He makes it sound so simple... too bad we all couldn't do this. Shawn's dream started back in Sudbury, Ontario, when he finished Grade 13 at Lockerby High School. He was an excellent student there, and made the Honour Roll. (Also played a lot of hockey... after all, it was Sudbury!)

He wanted to continue his education, and applied and was accepted to attend The University of Waterloo, located in Waterloo, Ontario.

University of Waterloo is a huge property, which serves thousands of students daily. Shawn took a 5 years program, and that gave him a Degree in Science, and Business. Of course you need the Science Degree to get into Medical School. Shawn also received a full Co-op Program at Waterloo, which helped in the money department as he was paid for numerous periods of work at a variety of different Employers, ranging from The Bank of Nova Scotia, to Ontario Power Generation at one of the Nuclear Facilities, and Environment Canada, out in B.C. If my memory serves me correct, but don't quote me, it was somewhere in his second year at Waterloo, that he phoned Judy and I and told us he wanted to pursue being a doctor.

When Shawn completed the 5 year Program at Waterloo, he applied and was accepted to attend the Saba University School of Medicine, on the Island of Saba, which is a Dutch Antilles, located in the Caribbean, just off the southern Coast of St. Martin. He attended School here for two straight years, completing that portion of his Education. I always figured, if you have to go to school somewhere... it might as well be in the Caribbean! I still remember him calling Judy and I after the first day of class in Saba, telling us that they were working on the cadavers! Might as well get your feet wet the first day!

After two years on the Island, he had to complete two years of Medical Rotations, working in a variety of Hospitals on the U.S. Mainland. The Saba University School of Medicine is based out of Boston, but the Campus happens to be in the Caribbean. Some of the rotations were in Chicago, New York City, Rawleigh, North Carolina, and Rochester, N.Y. Judy and I made visits to see him in Chicago, and New York City. Also we took a holiday to the Caribbean with my Mom, to visit the Island of Saba. (That was a great day!)

Once the Rotations were completed, he was accepted in Johnson City, Tennessee, for a 3 year Medical Residency in Pediatrics. By this time, Shawn and his wife, Jennifer were married, and Emmie was a couple years old, while Paige was born in Johnson City! Shawn excelled here in Tennessee. They all loved this area of the U.S. During this time, countless exams had to be passed to qualify to work in the U.S.A. as a Dr. When the Residency was completed, he was a Pediatrician.

Shawn wanted more. When he finished up in Johnson City, he applied for and was accepted at CHEO, in Ottawa, Ontario for a 3 year Fellowship in Neonatology. (High risk infant birth and care.) The Family moved to Ottawa, and now enjoy real winter! Shawn will complete this Fellowship in June of next year. While working at CHEO, Shawn decided to write all the Medical Exams necessary to work as a Pediatrician in Canada. This was enormous. These exams are 8 hours long, cost thousands of dollars to take. The prep time before the exam is huge! Shawn has now mastered them all!

It sure has been a very long road for Shawn and his Family.

His dreams could not be fulfilled without his wife, Jennifer. She has been nothing but 100% in support of Shawn since day one! You can not imagine the hours Shawn has had to spend at Hospitals, many shifts exceeding 30 hours, over the years, while Jenn was caring for the kids and working. It has sure been a long road, and it is soon coming to an end. Shawn and Jenn are now starting to make decisions as to what they will do after the Fellowship is completed next June. Shawn is now applying for jobs as a Neonatologist, and is looking all over North America. Time will tell as to where they will end up.

So, as you can see, it is certainly not an easy thing to do. Not including High School, I count this as the 15th year of his Medical Education! 5 years of University, 4 years of Med School, 3 years in Residency, and 3 years in Fellowship! What a committment to make, for both of them!

I asked Shawn once, what was the hardest part of being a Neonatologist, and he said that none of his patients can speak to him! Think about that!

Congratulations Shawn, Mom and I, and the entire family are proud of what you have accomplished, and wish you all nothing but the best for the future, wherever it may lead you!

Till tomorrow...



  1. Holy Moly. I had enough trouble just keeping up with the *description* of his accomplishments, but he DID all that.
    That's pretty amazing.
    Proud parents indeed. Congratulations all around.

  2. You can shout out loud with joy and pride. It is well deserved. Congratulations to Shawn and his family - your too, obviously - for the dedication and focus required to complete such a huge educational task. He deserves the just rewards he will have coming his way now.

    Yes....something to should and be proud of you two!!!!!

  3. That sure is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to Shawn and the entire family. You have every right to be proud. I hope Shawn finds the job that is perfect for him. Sounds like any hospital would be lucky to have him.

  4. Wow that sure is an amazing accomplishment congratulations.

  5. You did a tremendous job of modesty in writing this post John but I can read between the lines the incredible pride you and Judy feel in Shawn's accomplishments. And - rightly so!!

    You deserve to be able to shout your pride in Shawn and Jenn from the rooftops and I'm sure there's not one person in blogland who would object.

    It has taken an incredible amount of work, brains and talent for Shawn and Jenn to get where they are today, well all the while raising their two beautiful daughters Emmie and Paige. Jenn's job as a Mom is every bit as important I'm sure you all agree - especially Shawn.

    Here's hoping Shawn finds the perfect job and location that will allow him to now enjoy the fruits of his hard work and dedication.

    You and Judy have every right to be bursting with pride. Well done, Mom and Dad!!

    One more note to Shawn - if babies could talk and he asked them how they felt they'd simply reply "I'm fine, never felt better".


  6. CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. SHAWN AND ALL THE FAMILY !!!!! What a long, long, road...... Sure hope the job and location of their dreams comes along in the future....
    What a beautiful family !!!! Thanks for sharing and explaining the time, effort and fortitude it took to arrive at the finish line and claim the Medical Speciality ..... HOW LUCKY EACH OF THE SICK BABIES WILL BE TO HAVE Dr. Shawn as their advocate !!!!!