When doctors and other professionals relocate to Canada, there are a number of hoops to jump through before they are permitted to establish a practice. Dr. Chirag Shah completed his medical degree and residency at the Gujarat University in India before immigrating to Canada to become a retina specialist.

Following Dr. Shah’s graduation, he was offered several fellowships at locations in Canada and the United States. The opportunity to work with Dr. Howard Gimbel, the world renowned eye surgeon, proved enticing and Shah accepted a fellowship in Calgary.

“I heard and watched and read his surgical procedures for cataract surgery,” said Dr. Shah. “When I got accepted into this fellowship in Calgary as well as one in the east, I chose the one here to work with him.”

After his time in Calgary, Dr. Shah accepted a fellowship at the University of Toronto and became a medical retina specialist.

Dr. Shah returned to Calgary to set up his practice and, in 2011, he was awarded the Immigrants of Distinction – Distinguished Professional Award. The accomplishments of the decorated retina specialist now assist other young immigrants pursue medical careers.

“That motivated me to create an award, a scholarship for financial support, which allows immigrant, international medical graduates, to pay their tuition fee, to pay their exam fees,” said Dr. Shah.

The 2014 Dr. Chirag Shah International Resident Awards offers financial bursaries to immigrants from India and China. For young immigrants going through what he experienced, Dr. Shah offers simple but sage advice.

“Don't lose your hope,” said Dr. Shah. “Just keep on doing a good job.”

Patients of Dr. Shah, including Judie Yarish and Ron Fullerton, say they appreciate the retina specialist’s professionalism and thoroughness.

“I really appreciate going to a doctor who's not in flip flops and sandals and socks,” said Yarish. “It makes me feel very comfortable and more professional.”

“He's been very attentive,” said Fullerton, who recently underwent cataract surgery. “I come back every x number of months and get checked up and he's always very cordial and explains everything.”

For what he's doing for young immigrants and his patients, Dr. Chirag Shah is this week’s Inspiring Albertan.

With files from CTV’s Darrel Janz.