The Student Spotlight is a glimpse into the lives of McMaster medical students through portraits and storytelling. The goal is to highlight the wonderful diversity of our student body.
Some of Wendy’s favourite things…
Book/piece of literature: The Breadwinner Trilogy
Movie: Not much of a movie watcher – but I love Law and Order SVU
Song/album/artist: Too many to pick!
Character/superhero: Hermione Granger or Olivia Benson
“I enjoy watching professional Dota2. I don’t actually know how to play, but it’s a very entertaining spectator sport.”
Although Wendy claims to have had “a pretty vanilla journey to medical school”, we think she’s stellar. She completed an HBSc in physiology and biochemistry at UofT and now is going to do a MSc in biochemistry while in Medical School! She feels “extremely fortunate and privileged to have a smooth journey to medicine.”
The Spark to Medicine (And Research)
“When I first started at McMaster, I was so awkward and flustered at taking a patient history that I was convinced I had chosen the wrong profession and that my patients were going to be the ones suffering for it. I started looking into things like pathology and radiology where I won’t have to interact with patients as often.” But as with all things, time was the best teacher and Wendy grew more comfortable with patients and “regained a sense of what attracted me to medicine in the first place – the patients’ story and their experiences.”
Her love for research is matched by her love of talk to and helping people. “I remember one particular experience where I witnessed the compassion of a palliative care physician during a volunteer shift and it made me realize that I would like my work in the future to have that kind of impact on an individual’s life.” Then during her undergrad, a clinician scientist gave a talk that made the connection between scientific physiology and the patient. This inspired Wendy’s interest in research and bringing research into the clinic.
Moments of Inspiration
“Definitely my parents.” We aren’t surprised.
“My dad always had the ‘American dream’ of coming to Canada, getting his post-graduate degree, and owning a little house in the suburb. He took the risk of immigrating to Canada not only for his dreams, but also to create better opportunities for me. My mom sacrificed everything to follow along. Both my parents worked difficult, labour-intensive jobs when they arrived due to the language barrier. My mom would tell me of stories where she was kicked out of a beginner’s English class because her English was so bad.”
“My parents taught me how to persevere and work hard to accomplish my goals – and I owe all my success to their support and encouragement.”
Going along with her dual interest in research and patients, Wendy hopes to improlve current treatments and produces in medicine while listening to her patients and their concerns. Together, she hopes to be able to directly impact patient health through her research. Currently she feels that “there is a huge disconnect between clinical practice and basic science research, and I want to play a role in bridging that gap.”
“Throughout middle school, I wanted to be a music teacher. In high school, I wanted to study environmental science and work some sort of government manager role. At some point in my life, I thought I could be a wedding planner or the owner of a bakery (I make wicked chocolate chip-nutella cookies).” We here at the Placebo hope to sample some of these cookies.
“I’d like to think I’m doing some combination of the above in an alternate dimension 😛 (A music-playing, environment-loving, wedding planner who makes her own wedding cakes???)” One can only dream.
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