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Alum on Canada's frontline service: Lieutenant Daniel Parmar ...

Introducing Lieutenant (Lt.) Dr. Daniel Parmar, MEd, Resident Physician at Federal Government of Canada



You are a Commisioned Officer with the Department of National Defence in Canada. How did you arrive there?

After completing my MEd at OISE with the department of leadership, higher and adult education in health professional education in 2019 – I was subsequently matched to the Family Medicine program at University of Manitoba. Concurrently, I was selected by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Army division for their prestigious Medical Officer Training Program (MOTP) while being appointed as a Commissioned Officer at the rank of Lieutenant. Following completion of training, I will be serving with the CAF as a Medical Officer for Canada, serving not only the men and women of the CAF but also Canadians and international communities at-large.

A fascinating career, thank you for your service. What drew you to pursue the medical education and military field?

It's certainly been an interesting journey. First and foremost, military service has run through my family for over four generations with my great grandfather, Mustaan Singh Parmar, fighting in the Great War as one of the British Sikh Infantry soldiers.

That legacy, heroism, service, and sense of duty at a time of global unrest was something I valued and admired growing up as a first generation Canadian. In many ways, my desire for medicine and healthcare mirrored many of those same feelings–being able to provide fair and equitable healthcare to both Canadians and newcomers, providing a sense of service to marginalized communities, and advocating for both patients' and their respective community’s health outcomes.

The Canadian Armed Forces provided an ideal scenario that allows me to be able to fulfill these goals and provide effective patient care, advocacy, and security to both Canadians and those abroad.

And what is most rewarding about this work? Certainly COVID-19 has presented immense challenges...

Actually, one of the most rewarding aspects is the fact that I’ve been able to work on the frontlines during our current global pandemic. My experiences have allowed me to demonstrate and exemplify both leadership in healthcare and education by working and coordinating care with various different services and interdisciplinary health teams for my patients during COVID-19.

During these unprecedented times, I’ve had the ability to help many different patients from a myriad of different communities and ethnocultural backgrounds. Arguably, one of my toughest challenges and successes has been working with newly emigrated South Asian families to Canada, who chose to come to the West for a better life but have unfortunately been victims of border closures while simultaneously dealing with complex medical challenges. I was happy to be able to write letters on behalf of my patients in order to expedite the immigration process in order for their spouses or families to be able to join them here in Manitoba during these tough times.

Being able to play a critical role as both an advocate for my patients, particularly newly emigrated families, and seeing positive outcomes truly been a strong success thus far.

In what way does your health professional education degree influence or enable you today?

My experiences at the Institute, including my OISE degree, have enabled me to participate in strong, future-driven conversations with both faculty and staff. Particularly, given the strong emphasis on competency-based education, how we as healthcare professionals can better engage and teach healthcare learners in being better equipped with a stronger foundation of both knowledge capital and skillsets.

OISE students would love to hear what advice you have for them?

The best chance you have to rise to the top is always to stay motivated, engage with an open mindset, fear nothing, and work hard. My advice to students is for them to recognize that life is based less on what you’ve learned and much more on what you have inside of you right from the beginning. Understanding your true potential will allow you to open doors and avenues that one never thought possible.

Recognizing your true potential and infinite ways of contribution will allow one to understand that the possibilities are endless!


"Be a Canadian and international leader of the next generation to help shape and augment the future of healthcare and higher education!"

Lt. Dr. Daniel Parmar is a Member-at-Large of the OISE Alumni Association. Want to connect with him? Join Daniel on LinkedIn!