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Laurentian to NOSM: How Awesome

By: Miranda Waugh

Ever since high school, I always knew I wanted to be involved in healthcare. I absolutely loved the idea of helping people become the best versions of themselves. It became clear to me early on that medicine was my best career option in terms of becoming a resourceful role model and educator to the people of my community. I entered an undergraduate program that best tailored my passions in life; all while making sure it would help me achieve my goal. My four years as a Kinesiology student allowed me to explore the many facets of the human experience regarding health in Northern Ontario as well as finding unique ways to integrate the arts and movement into a science-heavy field

The School of Human Kinetics Department at LU was an essential part of my journey discovering who I am today and what I wanted to do in the future. I always knew I wanted to go into medicine but I had some reservations. Was I good enough? Would I get in? Was applying worth it despite such low acceptance rates?

The application process was lengthy and required a lot of professional/personal reflection. Amidst the meticulous work, I felt extremely proud that I was following through with my dreams. I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without the continuous support of the faculty at LU, they were always willing to help me out with reference letters showcasing that I was an ideal candidate for the program.

A few months after submitting my written application, along came an email inviting me to the interview portion. Step one: complete. I was so happy that I was one step closer to my dreams of becoming a medical student. However, it wasn’t even close to being over. yet. My interview date was scheduled for the day immediately following my fourth-year thesis presentation. Cue the nerves, the self-doubt, the excitement, the research for interview prep and most importantly, the hope that one day I might be able to consider myself a practicing physician in the North.  The day of the interview I almost didn’t get out of my car when I showed up at the location, just down the road from my home turf (the famous Ben Avery building). It was probably the most nerve-wracking experience I’ve ever had. Nevertheless, words cannot describe the feeling I got when I walked back to my car feeling like I gave my all and that everything was now out of my control.

Fast forward to a sunny morning in May 2017… I was pulling into the parking lot at the Ben Avery building and rushing into my shift at the LU gym.  On my way in, I opened my emails on my phone after hearing it vibrate on my route to work, and there it was. The only word that I read was ‘CONGRATULATIONS’. It was at that exact moment that I knew my life was going to change for the better. I got accepted into my dream school. I was finally going to have the opportunity to study medicine and become a practicing physician in the North.

A student standing outside in front of a house entrance

In my opinion, LU played a huge role in my admission to NOSM. Through my Kinesiology degree, I was able to customize my courses to fit my educational needs and interests. More specifically, I was able to continuously pursue my French education, which allowed me to graduate with a bilingual certificate. In addition, throughout my undergraduate studies, I was able to practice many clinical skills that allowed me to feel comfortable interacting with patients when arriving at medical school. In other words, I believe that a combination of factors played an integral role in my journey to becoming a medical student. These include the highly specialized curriculum, the supportive faculty, the boundless opportunities that were provided to me to get involved amongst the student body and the sense of community and belonging that I felt while attending LU.

I think my biggest piece of advice to anyone thinking of applying to NOSM is to become a well-rounded student. Obviously, marks are extremely important, HOWEVER, engaging with your community and not just solely focusing on school is something that I truly believe in. I am a strong believer in staying true to yourself. My academic life was just as important to me as getting involved with my community and pursuing my other passions such as dance and theatre. I learned a tremendous amount about myself by connecting with community members through collaborative projects and through performance during my undergraduate degree. Not only did this allow me to express myself through art, but it also allowed me to build long-lasting relationships with a variety of people that continue to inspire me in different ways every single day.

A group of people