The Division of Community Engagement

Nicholas Gibson, 1st Year

MD Program, University of Alberta 
From Winnipeg, Manitoba

Hello, my name is Nicolas Gibson and I am a 1st year Métis medical student from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology at the University of Winnipeg, graduating in June 2018. In my free time, I enjoy golfing, playing beach volleyball, volunteering and landscape drone photography.

I chose to pursue a career in medicine in Grade 11 or 12 after witnessing firsthand the impact a physician can have on someone’s life and reflecting on my own strengths and values. I had the opportunity to shadow a physician for half a day to see what a typical work day looked like and to ask questions about the profession. Although shadowing a physician granted me better insight into this career, my decision was largely influenced by values instilled in me by my faith and my family. The idea of being a part of a profession focused on helping others in their most vulnerable times and guiding people to live more healthier lives seems like the perfect mix of challenge and fulfillment.  

While attending University, I spent a lot of time volunteering with many Indigenous organizations around Winnipeg which has enabled me to learn more about myself, and about my culture and heritage. I’ve had the pleasure of tutoring both Indigenous adolescents and young adults in many subjects, but primarily in biology and chemistry. It has been a pleasure seeing individuals from my culture succeed in their studies and attain placements in various training programs. It has also been very rewarding to motivate Indigenous adolescents to remain in school and pursue lifelong goals. As a Métis individual, I am continuously looking for ways to help my Indigenous community prosper and live healthier lives and the IHI program seemed like the perfect program to be a part of in order to accomplish that. Therefore, I intend on using my privileged position as a medical student and a future physician to help create a brighter future for the Indigenous community whether it be by practicing on a First Nations reserve or by advocating for Indigenous rights.  

As mentioned, I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba and my Indigenous ancestry comes from St. Laurent, Manitoba. Fortunately, some of my aunts and uncles still live in St. Laurent and I go visit them approximately once a year. 

Although this decision is far in the future, I do have the intention on going back to Manitoba to potentially work with First Nations individuals in the northern communities. Where I’ll eventually end up will be determined by a multitude of factors but I know I want to remain in Canada and work with the Indigenous community.

As a Local Junior Officer of Indigenous health, it is my role and responsibility to help increase the cultural awareness and sensitivity of my classmates to Indigenous issues in Canada as well as assist Indigenous applicants attain more seats within our Faculty. Therefore, myself and some fellow classmates have started to develop a framework for an Indigenous Medical Students Association which will focus on assisting current Indigenous medical students, Indigenous applicants and prospective Indigenous students. Ultimately through the support and mentorship of this association we hope to increase the Indigenous student body at the UofA FoMD program which will help create more Indigenous physicians leading to healthier, vibrant Indigenous communities.