Melanie McPhail

Regulation of innovative health technologies
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I knew while I was in law school that I did not want to pursue a traditional legal career. I was introduced to health law and policy and felt I could have a greater impact doing research to support legal and policy change. Prior to starting my graduate career, I worked doing research on conditional regulatory and reimbursement models to support the diffusion of precision oncology and expensive drugs for rare diseases. I decided to pursue a graduate degree to round out my practical research experience with theoretical perspectives and deepen my skill set.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Growing up in the Vancouver area, I was thrilled at the opportunity of continuing my graduate studies close to home after spending over a decade in Ontario. Additionally, studying at UBC provides me with the opportunity to work with Dr. Cristie Ford, a leading scholar in regulatory governance.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The UBC Faculty of Law provides an incredibly supportive and encouraging environment for graduate students, with many opportunities for connecting with peers, developing career skills, and support during the program.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

Since I grew up in the area, not much surprises me. However, after spending most of my adult life outside of BC, I have a strong appreciation for the natural beauty of the area. I don't take the ocean and mountain views for granted!

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I love that I get to dedicate so much time to thinking deeply about a topic that is interesting to me. I also enjoy learning about the amazing research being done by my peers.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

My previous studies and research experience have provided me with a solid academic foundation to pursue a doctoral degree. Additionally, throughout my academic and professional career I have been fortunate to have met several mentors that have provided me with invaluable guidance, support, and advice that has significantly influenced my academic trajectory.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Surprisingly, I read! Fiction, non-fiction, topics directly related or adjacent to my research area or totally different. I also love being active, spending time outdoors hiking or gardening, and cooking.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take advantage of the supports and opportunities offered at UBC, even those that have nothing to do with studying.I spent my first year trying to find the best croissant on campus (the answer is Loafe).


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