Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Frankly, I love research. The process of identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, transforming them into reality, and learning something new from them is thrilling. More concretely, the MD/PhD enables a life at the nexus between medicine, engineering and academia - the life of a clinician-scientist and of a leader in healthcare. With the rapidly increasing role that technology and software play into our lives, being able to understand and utilize both engineering fundamentals and clinical knowledge is becoming even more vital than ever before.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
My supervisors, Prof. Robert Rohling and Dr. Christopher Nguan, are a dynamic duo. Prof. Rohling is a world-renowned ultrasound expert with several patented inventions and a startup. Dr. Nguan is one of BC's only renal transplant surgeons, and is responsible for almost 10% of Canada's kidney transplants. Together, they create an outstanding environment and provide me with non-stop challenges, support, and freedom. UBC itself offers diverse research opportunities through its network of academic hospitals; illustrates a dedication towards innovation and clinical translation with emerging health technology initiatives and incubators; and prioritizes bridging medicine and engineering in its School of Biomedical Engineering. Combining outstanding supervision with a world-class institution, and an amazing city, made UBC the ideal institution to pursue training as a clinician-scientist.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Medical Doctorate program at UBC is among the best in North America, and impressively serves the entire province of BC and 13% of Canada's population. I'm fortunate enough to be in the Island Medical Program, which has its own outstanding culture around teaching, learning, and community. The MD/PhD program in itself has high quality training, illustrated through the tremendous track record of successful trainees and graduates, all of whom have achieved significant milestones. These factors are well aligned to my goals of becoming a compassionate practicing clinician and a leading research professor.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I've been at UBC for over a decade actually, since starting my undergraduate here in 2010. What surprises me is that it is still constantly changing and growing - it looks nothing like it did when I started. It's virtually a city on its own.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Having the luxury of time and exploring a few different paths before deciding where I would like to end up.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
For fun, I love connecting with friends (frequently over brunch), agonizing over football games, and attending live music nearly monthly.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Three tips. 1) Your relationship with your supervisor is fundamental to your grad school experience. 2) Connect with and learn from as many people as you can, as you never know where inspiration will arise. 3) Be mindful of your journey, and celebrate all the victories, big or small.