Convocation Spotlight - Brandy Love, ‘21 MD

Mother of two embraces lifelong learning as future neurologist.

Kirsten Bauer - 23 June 2021

As your medical-school journey comes to a close, what advice do you have for new students?

Set your intention at the beginning of your day. This helps me get my head into the right space. If I start my day worried about how much work it's going to be, how tired I am, or all the things I am missing out on, I guarantee I will not get as much out of the experience as I could. Every day is a new opportunity to show up, to learn something new, and to have an impact on the lives of the people you interact with!          

How did you engage with student life on campus?

I had to be pretty judicious in what I chose to engage with. My personal life is very busy with two kids and now a dog. If something really caught my interest or I thought it would be really fun, I would make arrangements to attend. I feel like I missed out on some things, but I know that taking the time away from school for myself and my family was well worth it.  

What was your most memorable University of Alberta experience?

I think the times studying together before an exam. We would get together in group-use rooms, take out a package of whiteboard markers and spend hours reviewing and teaching each other the exam content. There was always coffee, snacks and lots of laughs. It was always incredible to me to see just how much I really had learned in such a short time and I loved hearing the different styles of learning and explanations from my classmates. Inevitably, the stresses from these days would be managed with a sandwich run to Farrow, a gym session, or a river valley group run. We were all in it together. 

What was your favourite class during your program?

The labs in which we dissected the brain. This was my first spark of what would be a true love affair with neurology.    

Who was/is your mentor or favourite professor?

So many. My top three would have to be Dr. Walji, because he is the consummate educator; Dr. Rayner, because of his down-to-earth pep talks; and Dr. McCombe, because she has shown me that I can be a mom and a neurologist, and maintain my own life while being exceptionally kind and approachable.   

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a U of A student?

You never stop being a U of A student. Literally, this is my third degree here! But also, I know I am a student for life, in a philosophical sense.                          

What inspires you about your chosen field?

Neurology is like this endlessly unfolding flower. As I start to learn more about each layer, exponentially more starts to reveal itself. I feel like the field is on the verge of some truly remarkable breakthroughs, and I am so excited to be a part of it.   

What have you learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how do you think this will affect your career? 

Be kind. Be kind to yourself, because you cannot do all the things you used to in the way you did them before. Be kind to others, because you never know what happened before you met them. Be kind to the Earth, because without this we are nothing.