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Shima Shakory


When Shima Shakory was an undergraduate biology major at Queen’s University at Kingston in Ontario, Canada, she developed an interest in the connection between environmental and human health.

As the environment’s health worsens, through climate change, for instance, human health also suffers.

“To ensure good health for generations to come, environmental sustainability and climate change will continue to be a focus of mine as a public health physician.”

After medical school, she practiced in an urban setting and saw the same factors mirrored in social determinants of health: A patient she cared for who had severe substance use disorder and a background of childhood trauma abstained from drugs with appropriate medical care. But he relapsed once he was discharged from the hospital to a shelter.

 “I can prescribe anti-craving medications, but I cannot change housing, income, education, or life experiences,” Shakory said. “I appreciate that high-quality medical care is important, but it is just one determinant of health.”

Her drive to address upstream factors that affect health led her to simultaneously attend residencies at the University of Toronto in both family medicine and public health and preventive medicine. The MPH at the Bloomberg School will give her the expertise she needs to become a public health doctor, she says. She is looking forward to working at the population-level, whether to improve health locally in Ontario or abroad. She plans to continue practicing clinical medicine, while not losing sight of social determinants of health and environmental health.

“When people think of health, I’d like for them to think about it across many dimensions, including the health of people, communities, and the planet,” she said.

Profile photo of Shima Shakory

BS, Biology, Queen’s University, 2015; MD, University of Toronto, 2020; CCFP, University of Toronto 2022