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BSC, KINESIOLOGY, SFU 2003
PHYSICIAN, SPECTRUM HEALTH
PHYSICIAN, VANCOUVER NATIVE HEALTH SOCIETY
MEDICAL STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY MEDICINE, ST. PAUL’S HOSPITAL
CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY PRACTICE, FACULTY OF MEDICINE, UBC
In 1998, I came across the country to SFU for the Kinesiology program, and fell in love with the West Coast! Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was inspired by Drs. Don Hedges and Parveen Bawa whose courses helped to chart my path towards medical school. In 2003, I was accepted to medical school at McGill University. In 2005, I spent a summer elective in Malawi where the AIDS pandemic was raging. This experience inspired me to pursue further training in HIV and global health.
In 2007, I was accepted in the UBC Family Medicine Residency Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Following Residency in 2009, I completed a one-year Enhanced Skills program in Global Health through UBC, which brought me back to Malawi in 2010 for more HIV-focused global health work.
Upon my return, I have worked in a variety of settings in Vancouver including addictions, hospital work, HIV primary care, refugee care and general family practice. Since 2011, I have worked primarily at Spectrum Health where my practice is mainly focused on men’s health and HIV. I also work one day per week at Vancouver Native Health Clinic (VNHC) in the Downtown Eastside where I have become quite engaged with the Indigenous community.
Since 2010, I have been the Medical Director of The Dudes Club, “A Brotherhood for Men’s Health” (www.dudesclub.ca) at VNHC. This innovative model for effectively engaging vulnerable men in their health has received research funding from CIHR and Movember Foundation. We are developing pilot sites in Northern BC and hope to support other communities in Canada to address men’s health, especially in Indigenous communities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my lovely wife and two young children help bring balance to my busy professional and community work.
Why did you choose to go to SFU?
The Kinesiology program had (and still does!) an outstanding national reputation, especially in human physiology and biomechanics. Coming from Montreal, I was also excited to explore the West Coast!
Where did you spend the most amount of time on campus?
I lived in Residence for the first two and a half years, good times for sure! But, I have to admit that I spent most of my time studying and hanging out at various spots around campus as long as there was a breathtaking view of the North Shore Mountains.
What is your favorite memory from your time at SFU?
Meeting my wife Carolyn in English 199 class would have to top the list. But, I would say that getting dressed up in kilts and face paint to cheer on the SFU men’s basketball team would be a close second.
Who was your favorite SFU professor and why?
It’s too hard to pick one so I’ll have to say it is a tie between Dr. Parveen Bawa and Dr. Don Hedges. They inspired me to achieve my potential and challenged me to see the fascinating nature of the human body. We have also become respected colleagues and friends, relationships I value dearly. Drs. Eric Accili and Glen Tibbits were also very inspiring as supervisors for Directed Studies courses.
How has your SFU degree impacted your career?
My degree in Kinesiology helped me establish a strong foundation in Physiology and Anatomy, which helped me sail through the first 18 months of medical school. Furthermore, the focus on exercise applications allowed me to always bring things back to healthy living.
What is your favorite SFU snow story?
Snowball fights in Residence. One word. Epic.
If you could give advice to students today, what would you tell them?
SFU is a very special place to go to university. The location, atop Burnaby Mountain, has always been a very peaceful place where one can have a clear mind and focus on their studies. Find a few spots on campus where you can look out a window and let your mind be inspired by what you see.
What is the one thing about SFU that must not change?
The sightlines to the North Shore and to the city from so many spots on campus!