Today I’m finally going to be talking to you about my journey into medicine. I grew up in Surrey, BC and although I have my fair share of Surrey jokes I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else. The people around me, the mentors that I had, and the Opportunities that were available to me really made me who I am today. It is cold out here. For me high school was amazing. I played basketball, soccer, volleyball, field hockey, Badminton.. and I was also a part of many clubs as well I really wanted to do everything But study. I would have much rather been playing sports, spending time in my community, Volunteering, I even picked up sewing at the time And I really enjoyed that. I basically wanted to do anything but schoolwork. At the time though I did know that my grades were important And I knew that I needed to have good grades in order to go to Universities that I wanted to. So what I did was I basically did the least amount of work possible To maintain an A and for me that was an 86%. Before school started I would play basketball, after school ended I would play basketball, on the weekends I was playing basketball And then I did the schoolwork that I needed to in between in order to finish high school with an 86% average When it came to choosing a university my only criteria was really, schools that were outside of BC I didn’t know about any schools, but I did know that I wanted to leave Surrey. Because I was born and raised there I really wanted to push myself out of the comfort zone I had created in my own community and go somewhere where I didn’t know anybody I applied to a lot of schools in Ontario. Again, I had no idea What the schools were about, I knew nothing what the cities they were in, but they were far enough away from home that there were Good choices for me at the time. In the end I ended up choosing Queen’s, and I couldn’t have been happier with that decision Here’s the thing about Queen’s my time there was great I couldn’t even think of a better undergraduate experience if I were to dream one up; however, Queen’s was also very difficult for me, academically. The transition from high school to university Was a tough one. One of the reasons why I think I had a difficult time was because in high school I was so busy all the time. Being busy really helped me to manage my time better and all of a sudden I moved to a new place, and I was only in school. I wasn’t playing any sports, I wasn’t involved in my community, and because I had all of this extra time outside of class I didn’t really know how to spend that time effectively. As a result my grades suffered First year my GPA wasn’t very good, and I thought okay, This is my first year And I know a lot of people struggle in their first year of university. Second year was coming and I was going to buckle down Try harder, and hopefully bring out my grades. Second year came And I did even worse. Second year was tough Academically, just because of the courses that we were taking. And there were such heavy courses all in a short amount of time But it was really defeating knowing that with an even lower GPA Than what I thought was already a low GPA, the idea of medical school was slowly Slipping away. I wasn’t one of those kids who thought from a very young age That they knew they wanted to go into medicine For me it was always an idea, but coming into university that idea Didn’t really seem like it could be attained for me. Moving forward I started to do other things in my day-to-day life at Queen’s Starting at the end of second year when I realized how poorly I was actually doing I Started doing research in a lab. One of my friends at Queen’s Somehow convinced me to join the rowing team, so I was coxswaining a men’s eight boat, and I also started playing Intramural basketball as well Finally on top of all of that, I started coaching basketball at a local high school. And I know this seems counterintuitive I’m not doing very well in school But I just started doing all of this extra stuff on top of that Limiting my time even more. But in reality what this did was it gave me the sort of lifestyle I had previously one that I thrived in I was able to do all of these things in my life And my grades ended up getting better I really think that it allowed me to focus on what I needed to For the amount of time that I needed to, in order to do well third and fourth year was great I was able to pull my grades up and I also took courses that I was more interested in Just because the nature of upper-years in undergrad My prerequisites were done, and I got to explore different subjects that interested me I know a lot of people apply to medicine after their third year of university But because I had two years of not so great grades I didn’t apply that year because I had a very strong feeling that I wasn’t going to get in This meant that I had a gap year after undergrad, or I should say at least one gap year, I wasn’t really sure When I was going to apply next. One of my mentors in undergrad someone who I was doing research with it gave me the idea Of a master’s program and at the time it did sound like a feasible option for me The only problem was that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do my master’s in. At that time I was doing basic science research But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue that for a master’s program. And the last thing I wanted was to rush into something That I didn’t really want to do or that my heart wasn’t truly in. What I did was I sent some emails out And I ended moving to Calgary after my undergrad to work there full-time for that summer I also chose to apply to medical school for the first time. I was rejected pre-interview but it was really good because schools give me feedback and I had an idea of Where I stood in the application process that summer in Calgary was great. I was doing clinical research Working on a lot of clinical trials, and it was just a really positive experience for me after speaking to my supervisor about it My contract was extended And I began working there full-time after the summer ended. A few things happen in Calgary that I’m so fortunate about Firstly, I was able to do a lot of research Outside of my main role as a research assistant there, I also got to work on my own projects I was able to publish and I was also able to present at some conferences. If there’s one point that I can’t emphasize enough It’s to take ownership of the work that you’re doing set goals, and make sure you do anything you can to achieve those goals. For me that was to publish while I was working in Calgary I had multiple conversations with my supervisor To let him know what I wanted to do and what I wanted to achieve While I was there. As a result I was able to make those things happen with the help of the people around me Secondly, I was able to learn about Medicine from a first-hand experience for the first time While I was in Calgary I was able to shadow physicians, I was able to attend Grand Rounds I attended specialty rounds, and I was able to talk to patients one-on-one while enrolling them in trials And it was at this point Through my experience there that I knew that medicine was in fact the right choice for me There were a few other factors as well But this was a big reason behind my decision to pursue it fully to the best of my ability. Thirdly Throughout our work and the trials that we were doing ,I was exposed to a lot of preventive medicine and public health Approaches to improving health of Canadians. Through this exposure I really became interested in public health and at that point I decided to apply for a public health master’s degree. I ended up going to UBC for this and The program was really great. They have this format Which is called distributed learning and the way that the distributed learning worked is that all I had to do was attend classes for four days of the month So we had four classes and each day was one full class and for the rest of the time you were basically on your own It was a self learning format, geared towards professionals who are either working or For people who had families and other things that they had to do during the day During this time, I lived in Calgary, and then I would fly back to Vancouver once a month for an extended weekend And I would take classes there and through this I was not only able to begin my degree But I was also able to continue the work that I was doing in Calgary Because I really enjoyed it so much and I didn’t want to stop working just to live in Vancouver My master’s program was the first time that I really enjoyed what I was learning. In the summer after my first year we had to do a Practicum and basically it was anything that was public health related I was fortunate to receive an internship with the Public Health Agency of Canada and that took me to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory My summer in Whitehorse was Absolutely amazing. In my previous video where I was explaining my journey to Prince George I know it sounded a little bit weird that I was moving to Prince George and my Experience in Whitehorse as a part of my practicum was a huge reason Why I wanted to come to Prince George as a part of the Northern Medical Program I got to work on a mental health project with a Chief Medical Officer of Health And when I wasn’t working on this project I tried to travel as much as possible. (Just A side note here if the noise outside is bothersome, or if you can hear in this video I apologize. There is construction going on Conveniently next door right now) So anyways My entire time in the Yukon Couldn’t have been any better the people I met there, the work/life balance How welcoming everyone was, the tight-knit community; there were just so many reasons That I was attracted to the city of Whitehorse It was also during this time I was submitting my second application to medical school. The other thing about my master’s program In combination with my time in the Yukon was that it really solidified my desire to go into medicine That was definitely stronger after Calgary, but during this time I knew what I wanted to do.So fast forward a year And I was accepted into Medical School in May. My master’s program was done And I found out that I would be moving to Prince George. If you have any questions about my journey into medicine Feel free to comment below. I do read all the comments and I try to reply back as quick as possible If you enjoyed this video give it a thumbs up and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button


  1. Hello Priv, did you have to contact the med schools to get feedback about your application the first time around? Thanks!

  2. Hi! Love your videos, I was just wondering, how did you decide who to put down as a reference and what do you think are the criteria of appropriate referees for med applications? Thanks in advance 🙂

  3. Hi i am just starting off, going to my third year of med school and i have been interested in conducting some sort of research with faculty but i havent received any replies. I was just wondering how you got into research because i really look forward to that aspect of science as it will allow me to become more hands-on

  4. Sorry if you have mentioned this, but when did you write the MCAT and how did you find it? I am in a very similar boat regarding the first 2 years of university, so I'm going back to UBC for Nursing to boost my UG GPA (I took Kinesiology previously so I'm very confident in the sciences). However, I am writing the MCAT this August and applying this Sept for the first time to a few Canadian med schools! Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  5. Hello Priv, great video…I like your work ethic! if you don't mind me asking what GPA did you apply to med school with?

  6. Do you mind sharing which masters your were doing at UBC? Sounds like it offered great flexibility and is actually achievable for someone working full-time. Thanks and take care!

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