On August 21, 2012, over 200 new students gathered in the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building to attend their first lecture as McGill medical students. Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine David Eidelman, welcomed students warmly with an overview of what lies ahead in their journey to becoming health professionals. The presidents of McGill’s student societies were also on hand to help orient the newcomers. Selected from over 2,000 applicants based on a rigorous process that takes into account academic and non-academic achievements, the students come with exceptional talents, diverse backgrounds and very individual aspirations.
In Christine Nadeau’s words, “I guess I was ready for medicine, and medicine was ready for me.” Becoming a doctor has been a dream from a very young age for Nadeau, who is a McGill BSc graduate. She remembers at six years of age seeing a small child who was on his way to the emergency room to be treated for electrocution. Watching him cry, she experienced an overwhelming desire to “fix him.”
The story is similar for fellow student, Sophia Bachilova, who also received her bachelor’s of science degree from McGill. Her own experience in hospital, recovering from a severely broken arm and severed nerves, was formative: she fell in love with medicine. But as is the case for many, the idea of medical school was daunting. “I had to convince myself that I could achieve something exceptional to pursue this path, and that’s what I did!” says Bachilova.
The avenues that lead to medicine are as varied as the students: Ashley Wyane first completed a master’s in public health; Mathieu Rousseau set out on a research career in molecular biology; Katya Traore was already working as a nurse when she decided to return to school; and Pascal Chavannes was a practising psychologist. But, they all shared a common desire. As Chavannes explains, “I realized there were moments I couldn’t help the patients as much as I wanted to…I wanted to help and understand people more, and to impact their lives to a greater degree.”
Now that they have arrived, what are they looking forward to most? For Nadeau, it’s both the first moment she gets to interact with a patient in a meaningful way as well as, the technical and physical aspect of putting in a central line. “I really, really can’t wait,” she says. Carl Boodman is excited to find his specialty . Steve Roy has is looking forward to exploring emergency medicine and the neurosciences, while gaining a broader understanding of the populations he will serve. Other students, such as Jennifer Picado, are simply “looking forward to being amazed.”
The Faculty of Medicine welcomes all medical students and looks forward to not only teaching, but also learning from them as they work towards their degrees!
September 1, 2012