Michener Graduate Dr. Farah Essa: Empowering Healthcare Education in Pakistan

FarahEssa and Pakistani students

Continuing Education at Michener is set to launch an Advanced Diploma in Ultrasound in Pakistan, starting September 2024. At the heart of this endeavor is Dr. Farah Essa, a Michener alumna and the driving force behind the Dr. Farah Essa Academy in Karachi, Pakistan.

Dr. Farah Essa’s journey in Canada began in 2000 when she immigrated from Pakistan, armed with a degree in Medicine. Recalling her decision to join Michener’s full-time Advanced Ultrasound program in 2002, she reflects, “I knew Michener had a solid reputation for training students for health sciences programs and a high employment rate – that’s what immediately attracted me.”

Dr. Farah Essa went on to complete intensive training, clinical rotations and employment at respected institutions like St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. These experiences prepared her for her next chapter in Saudi Arabia, where she assumed leadership roles and spearhead education and training programs at the College of Health Sciences, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, and Princess Noura Binte Abdul Rahman University.

Driven by her father’s legacy as an educator and her own passion for teaching, she completed a master’s degree in clinical education at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. Returning to Pakistan that same year, she took on a role in administration at the department of Radiology in her father’s diagnostic labs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Farah recognized the gap in standardized education in healthcare in Pakistan, and embarked on a mission to provide structured education from the ground up, through the launch of the Dr. Farah Essa Academy.

Speaking about her academy, she states, “It is my desire to promote equity, diversity, and inclusivity. I want to uplift women, transgender people, differently-abled individuals, as well as the youth in Pakistan, not only through education but enabling them to become independent and have strong, financially rewarding careers.”

Farah emphasizes, “With this new partnership, we will be able to attract and train the best of the best in Pakistan. Students will be given the highest quality education to ensure that they are able to deal with the increased demands of an aging society, and also improve the overall standards of healthcare delivery.” The Academy will also provide students with access to the online didactic courses in Pakistan.

Ivetka Vasil, Manager of Continuing Education at Michener, notes, “We’re happy to be working with Farah and her Academy; Farah will facilitate the ultrasound scanning course and coordinate the 33 weeks of clinical education which involves several rotations for students within hospital environments in Pakistan.” The program consists of seven semesters over two-and-a-half years and will be a launchpad for Pakistani students to excel in a healthcare role that is in high demand.

Farah summarizes her journey and vision with a profound insight: “When I look back on my career, I started as a young graduate, and now I’ve trained more than 2,500 students. And it all started at Michener – the confidence that a Michener education gives you allows you to reach your full potential, and that’s what I hope for the students who will enroll in the new program.”