“You can’t become a doctor unless you get a degree in Biology” WRONG!!!
This past Saturday, Quest’s president Peter Englert took 10 students to the University of British Columbia’s pre-medical diversity symposium. The purpose of the event was: “to help dispel the myth that only certain types of people are fit for medical school. The UBC Medical School welcomes applicants from all walks of life and encourages diversity in the class.”
The day started with four speakers that were current UBC med school students who were considered “non-traditional”. One woman had served in the military for 13 years and had to return to school to complete her pre-requisites. Another woman suffered from depression during her undergrad and had to take some years off to recover. Another had financial difficulties and was homeless for some time. The speakers, as well as the organizers and other students who were available to chat with us, all entered medical school through non-traditional paths.
It was very uplifting to speak to so many people who did not have a bachelor’s in science before applying for medical school. This was important for me because Quest is a non-traditional university. Yes, we are able to obtain the pre-requisites, but the process is not as neat as in a traditional university. Furthermore, we do not graduate with a formal science degree.
The faculty from UBC whom were present at the talk stressed the importance of diversity at the medical school. The qualities that they wanted in a doctor were in line with the skills that we harness at Quest: collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills. It is reassuring to know that a Quest degree does prepare students for certain specialized graduate programs like medicine. In fact, this past year (2015) was the first time that Quest students applied to medical school. Out of three that applied, two were accepted and are currently at Queen’s university and the University of Northern Ontario.