What got me started
Growing up in a small town in Northern Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie is a small industrial town in Northern Ontario, where a multicultural quilt of nationalities demonstrates how a good life is created through community and hard work.
Being the eldest of two sons, I had the typical elementary school experience. I was small for my age, so I was not very adept at sports. Instead, I found my interest was for more intellectual pursuits. Trying to fast forward through that socially awkward adolescent stage and get to the bright lights of university.
My undergraduate days at the University of Waterloo were mercifully kind, I was successful in entering a professional program, and had completed my doctorate of Optometry at 22 years of age. However, I still felt that I was capable of more. So, two years later I entered McMaster Medical School in Hamilton.
The life lessons that I learned by growing up in a small Northern Ontario town taught me that a sharp focus on what you really wanted and the energy to work hard towards that goal were usually rewarded, and that you were only limited by your own imagination. It was important for me to understand the basic principles on how things worked, rather than rely on sheer memorization of facts. The McMaster Medical Program was tailor made for me, and my experience was the most energizing and fulfilling times of my academic career. Upon graduation, I continued my passions first through my Internal Medicine Residency in Ottawa, and Dermatology Residency in Edmonton.
Some people seem to have a native talent for the work they do. Others need to master things through hard work and practice. For me, mastering the basic concepts allowed me to understand complex issues, and also made it easier for me to incorporate new ideas and concepts. I also found that it helped me to teach others and help them to understand in ways that were unique to them. For me, this forms the essence of what a doctor stands for.
It is said that love can be found in the most interesting places. I first met my future wife at the McMaster University Medical Library, or Club Med as it was known to us. I followed her to Ottawa, and she then followed me to Edmonton. What started as a five-year pit stop in Edmonton turned into over twenty years. We share our lives with our two Shetland sheepdogs, Meeghan and Aurora. Whatever free time we have is split between Edmonton, San Francisco and La Jolla, California.