Fresh Faces: Carly Baisa, MLS

Carly Baisa comes to the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry from Concordia University of Edmonton, where she graduated with a bachelor of science.

Sasha Roeder Mah - 07 October 2021

Carly Baisa comes to the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry from Concordia University of Edmonton, where she graduated with a bachelor of science. Baisa, who lives in Edmonton with her family, is already deep into the joys and challenges of pursuing her calling in the Medical Laboratory Science program, an area that has seen a surge in recognition since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What made you choose the U of A? 

When I was choosing which university to go to, I considered the institutions’ achievements, published research, vision/mission statements, and of course the programs they offer. I also knew I wanted to attend an institution that could help me grow and mould me into the person I always wanted to be. And lastly, I wanted an institution that is not too far away from my family. The U of A was the perfect match! I get to study at a prestigious university, then come home to see my family after a stressful day. 

What inspired you to choose the MLS program?

I always knew I wanted to have a career in the medical field, but I was unsure which one to pursue. During my undergrad, I was exposed to different laboratory settings, which made me realize how much I find comfort working in the lab. Then, when I had the chance to visit the U of A laboratory hospital as a part of research class, it felt like it was my calling to be there. I learned a lot that day about what MLS does and how much they contribute to the diagnosis of a patient. And I knew I wanted to be a part of that behind-the-scenes portion of patients’ lives. 

How does it feel to be new to the U of A campus?

I’ve been living in Edmonton for five years now, but I’m new to the campus. Starting on campus has been overwhelming for me because there are a lot of buildings and different ways to get to different places, and I am that type of person who gets lost along the way. Still, I am excited to explore all the buildings and find good places to hang out or study. And I can’t wait to make memories here! 

What are you most looking forward to in the MLS program?

I’m looking forward to gaining experience when we do our clinicals or Year 3. I think that experience will be very helpful in showing both what I know and also what I need to work on. Clinical rotations will also help me to become more well rounded in different disciplines, and give me the chance to meet professionals already working in the field and get advice from them!  

What are some challenges you’re anticipating as you embark on your degree?

It’s been a month since I started this program and to be honest, it has been intense and overwhelming. There’s already a lot of information to memorize, skills to enhance and time management to figure out. I worry that I might not give an equal amount of studying to each of my classes and fall behind in one of them. Or even get sick because I sometimes choose to stay up late to study rather than get a good sleep. But I am trying hard not to put myself in that position!

How is the pandemic affecting your experience so far?

I live with my parents, who are at risk of getting infected with COVID, so instead of me sharing my exciting experiences or struggles with them face to face, I choose to limit my interactions. There is a constant fear in me whenever I have to be at U of A, and the LRT is always busy with people who are barely following social distancing. While my fears about my family’s health are hard to deal with, I’m still enjoying learning and gaining experience.

How do you unwind when you’re not studying or going to class? 

Since there is a lot of studying to do for my program, I love to sometimes schedule a day or half a day of not doing anything school related and just catching up with some shows that I usually watch. I’ll sometimes hang out with my friends if our schedule allows, or with my partner for just a quick dinner or movie. I find it important to give time to yourself, it's a way of taking care of your mental health and unwinding as well.