MD spring graduate inspired by physician parents to help others

May 30th, 2024

Kelly Foss

Memorial University spring graduate Dr. Adil Al-Mehiawi was inspired to help people from an early age.

Adil Al-Mehiawi leans against a building on a sunny day. There is a gold sash in the upper left-hand corner that says "special feature" in it.
Dr. Adil Al-Mehiawi is graduating with a doctor of medicine degree at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre during spring convocation ceremonies.

Originally from Iraq, his family moved to Libya in 1998 shortly after his birth to escape war.

In 2010 they moved to Ontario, but returned the following year at the start of the Libyan civil war and revolution.

“My parents are both physicians, as well,” said Dr. Al-Mehiawi, who will collect his doctor of medicine degree at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Thursday, May 30. “They worked in Libya for over a decade and volunteered with the Libyan Red Crescent before moving to Canada.

“I’ve seen everything they’ve been through – moving across the world and then dropping everything and going back to a war zone because they felt a sense of duty and obligation to help people,” he continued. “It’s why medicine was the only career I imagined myself doing.”

Staying for residency

After the war, the family returned to Canada in 2012, where Dr. Al-Mehiawi finished high school.

“As I was finishing, my dad got a job opportunity in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said. “I had already been accepted at McMaster, so they left, and I stayed in Ontario. They spent more than seven years in the province, and I would join them for summers and Christmas vacations.”

He was thrilled when he was accepted to Memorial’s medical school, only to see his parents move back to Ontario a year after his arrival.

“I tried to chase them and be close, but I guess I didn’t get the hint,” he joked.

This March, Dr. Al-Mehiawi learned he would continue his medical training at Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine.

He says he thought his medical school applications were the most gruelling experiences he could have — until he went through the national residency placement process.

“Most of my classmates are also staying in St. John’s, which is awesome.”— Dr. Adil Al-Mehiawi

He applied to a number of programs and a few different specialties and ended up matching into orthopedics at Memorial.

“So, I’ll be staying here for another five years for my residency. Most of my classmates are also staying in St. John’s, which is awesome.”

Dr. Al-Mehiawi met his fiancée at Memorial. The pair just bought a house together in St. John’s.

In his spare time, he enjoys horseback riding and recently began flight training in Gander, with the goal of getting his private pilot’s licence.

“Flying is a lot of fun and a bit of an adrenaline rush, but driving out there and back is a great break,” he said. “I try to do everything that comes to mind that sounds fun, because when you realize how short life is, you have to capitalize on the time you’ve got left.”