University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

Farshad Nassiri

Class of Innis – 2010

While an Innis student, Farshad Nassiri, was a highly-involved community member. Recipient of numerous leadership and academic awards, Farshad has continued his successes in medical school where he is one of three neurosurgery residents in the city. He has also won an AANS Summer Research Award and gave a plenary talk at the 2013 AANS Meeting. Farshad also helped organize the inaugural Surgical Exploration and Discovery (S.E.A.D) Program.


In a few words, please outline your career path. What are the next steps?

I entered Innis College in the hopes of studying medicine. I finished my undergraduate degree in neurosciences and went on to study medicine. It didn’t take me long to realized that I wanted to pursue neurosurgery; I am currently a neurosurgery resident at the University of Toronto. The next steps for me are to finish my residence and decide whether I would like to have an academic practice or clinical practice.

Why did you choose to specialize in neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery was a clear choice for me. I enjoy working with my hands; I enjoy meticulous work that is complex and requires careful cerebral consideration. My mentor once told me that in neurosurgery you meet patients who are literally at their very worst day of their life – and it’s a privilege to be able to be there to help them along their way.

How has your undergraduate experience at Innis College helped prepare you for medical school?

Medical school is more than just the books. In fact, many doctors will tell you that the practice of speaking to patients is what matters most your career. Innis College was a tight knit community that gave me ample opportunities to build my interpersonal skills that are critical for a career in medicine.

What is one of the biggest difficulties you have had to face so far while studying medicine? What is the most important lesson you have learned during your career so far?

No matter how good you are you will make a mistake. Everyone does, we’re all human. In medicine, it’s important to check…and then double check. Most importantly, it’s vital that you know your limits and realize when you need a colleague for help.

What is your favourite memory from your time spent at Innis College?

I can’t say that I have only one; I’ve had a lot of great times at Innis. Some of my best friends I met at Innis. If I had to choose one, playing king’s court in the Innis residence quad at 2:00am certainly makes it to the top of the list.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current Innis students?

Be kind to people. You never know what they’re dealing with in their lives. The more kind you are to others, the better you will be treated in your life…so go on now – change the world already.

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