The Division of Community Engagement

Lauren Cormier, 3rd Year

MD Program, University of Alberta 
From Calgary, Alberta 

I graduated from Acadia University in 2016 with a Bachelor  of Science with a Major in Biology and was accepted into the MD Program at the University of Alberta in the fall of 2016. Throughout my undergraduate degree I was always fascinated with the human body and how it worked. When I graduated I knew I wanted a career in health sciences but I wasn’t sure which profession. I’m not really sure what led me to medicine but now that I am here, medical school is so much more  than I could have imagined. The most rewarding part of the MD program is developing well-rounded skills to treat patients not just the illness. I finally understand what people mean when they say the ‘art of medicine’ because it is so much more than treating just the illness. The personal skills you develop in the program not only make you a good doctor but also a better person. 

Part of being a good doctor is understanding where people come from and their present situation. My early exposure to other cultures and groups has helped me to see this in my current practice with patients and will help me connect to my future patients. As a Métis student, I, along with the Indigenous perspectives included in the curriculum, work to inform and educate students about Indigenous peoples so that they have a better understanding of Indigenous culture and history. I think this has made Indigenous health and history more approachable and has also been an important part of reconciliation, which to me means to acknowledge, understand, and provide care that recognizes people as a product of their environment including the historical legacy of Indian Residential Schools. 

At the moment, I am interested in pursuing a career in physiatry. I really like this field of medicine because there is so much diversity. I can see a wide variety of patients from very young to very old and from serious injuries to minor muscle pains. I’m not sure why I choose this field of medicine but something inside me just clicked and I knew that physiatry was something I wanted to pursue. Outside of school, I still do a bit of horseback riding which is something I’ve done since I was 10. I’ve also started exploring other outdoor activities and volunteering at a variety of places.  I recently did some vascular and diabetes research and I got involved in some of the clubs for medical school students. While medical school is a big change from undergrad and I don't have 
as much free time as I used to, it has been a most rewarding experience. Even though it is a lot of work I really enjoy what I learn. I don't need to motivate myself to study for most things because I always want to know more.