Our life is always a story, irrespective of the roles we play in it. Mine is no different even
if much more public than desired. I regret my role in its creation as shared in the media;
but it does not fully reflect the story. But, I wish to share another story.
One day on a beautiful fall morning while driving back into Cochrane from Calgary
coming to work I had a flat tire. I got on the phone trying to re-arrange my morning and
also trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Not even two minutes, without me
waving for assistance, a very nice young man who I later learned was also running a bit
late on his way to work stopped to assist in fixing my flat tire situation. I was not in any
way in an isolated location. I was not in danger. He did not care if I was a novice or
expert changing tires. He did not think if this was a trick or became suspicious. When he
pulled up he did not know who or what I was. He just stopped to help. This included the
use of his tools and even took the time it required to follow me to go to re-inflate the
spare tire and bring it back. That morning I had a very important career impacting
meeting which my lateness to it would affect how I was perceived and determine a
negative outcome. I was a few minutes late arriving that meeting but the chair was
about an hour late so they were not even ready for me anyway. Needless to say, it all
This shows how one event random or planned, desired or not, small or big; can make or
mar the start of your well planned day or the start of that new job you care for so much.
This young man also demonstrated that when we have an opportunity to be thoughtful,
considerate and kind; an option to choose to do good for the sake of humanity, that
decision assumedly should always be an easy one. I have been given reasons to
wonder about these values in the several years I have been in Canada. This has
changed my decision to decide to speak on my situation as it reminded me what made
me move to Canada and why I have continued to choose medicine since age 9.
I have never sought the attention but physicians have no control on college decisions on
who and what is published, rightfully so. I am quite dissatisfied with the direction things
have taken with the CPSA on the decisions and the publications, and the impact on the
care for my patients and other relationships. I own my own role in all these. Without any
reservations I deeply regret having to be in a position to do this as I know this is a result
of some things I could have done differently.
The story started several years ago within weeks after arriving in Edmonton that very
cold winter day in January with temperature about -36, with my family of 5; myself, my
wife of less than 10 years in marriage, my children of 8 years, 5 years and 7 months old
at the time. The fairytale took a twist within these first few weeks due to wrong
perceptions and attitudes with the subsequent events worsening the situation. For me, it
has remained winter ever since.
I am quite aware of what this looks like. I am sorry for those who feel disappointed and I
do understand. I only hope certain things will come into better perspective in the future
but I can not go into much details as I have been advised. I am eternally grateful for all
those who continue to support and assist. Those who know me and are fair are aware
of my true character and person. None will deny my quite opinionated personality which
can be perceived differently. Those who know me will vouch that I immensely value my
ability to serve people and especially see my career as a special most fulfilling privilege
that drives me. I relocated practice here because of my passion for this country and the
fervent desire to raise my kids here, and have enjoyed practising and living in Alberta
despite the challenges. Thus this remains the last place I want to be causing harm to
myself, my career, my family or the community that I serve. Like many physicians I
greatly value my privacy despite being, professionally and personally, unrepentantly
frank with the tendency to be quite opinionated and passionate about many issues.
Experiences show that the trajectory our life takes is sometimes determined not by what
we ourselves really do but by the events that occur around us. Admittedly, while our
reactions to the events do matter but this reaction will be determined on the kind of
resources available to us at the time, internal or external. I am aware and quite realistic
of the expectations of me as a physician in general, publicly and professionally. I feel
quite sad about this undesirable publicity, and quite shocked by some of the unfair
comments being posted. I fully take responsibilities for my actions and inactions and, Tunde Ali Habeeb
appreciate the privileges I have as a member of the community and as a physician. I am
thankful to God each day for these. Asides from my unfortunate and undesired difficult
circumstances over the years I am aware that certain aspects of my approach to issues,
especially as it relates to speech and certain assumed rights and privileges, can be
improved upon but the characterization of myself or impression of my person as having
bad intentions, being a bad person or having a bad attitude is unfair and untrue.
As humans with our wonderful minds inherently forming stories, I totally respect the
impressions and understand story many would form. I do state now my story is not a
story of failure nor of public disgrace. It is not a story of a doctor shamed, profile
damaged, patients deserting, or friends lost. This is a story of many lessons learned;
about health, living, love, hate, bias, trust, forthrightness and power. In truth, I own the
story. What mostly matters; I am here, in good health. That is my success.
I hope this clarifies certain things for now.
I really deeply appreciate your support.
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