Meet Adam McInnes, 3rd year Medicine student
- EFN Staff | February 28, 2014
Each year, an increasing number of Aboriginal students enrole in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine, in part due to initiatives taken to recruit and retain them. Eagle Feather News recently profiled four of those students.
Name: Adam McInnes, 3rd year
Hometown: Shaunavon, SK, with Métis ancestry from the Red River region of Manitoba
Hobbies/interests: camping, fishing, traditional skills, sports, astronomy and the future of space exploration. I also enjoy designing and building things, and learning about history and sciences.
Why he chose Medicine: I have wanted to be a scientist for almost as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was always trying to learn more, and enjoyed making things, but I was fascinated with history. I had originally wanted to be an archaeologist...I took a semester of archaeology, but realized that, though I loved it, I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life. (Much later), I was sitting at home, and I happened to be watching Oprah. It was an episode with Dr. Oz, and they were paying tribute to Prof Randy Pausch (of "The Last Lecture" fame) who had recently passed away. Dr. Oz was talking about what he loves about medicine, how he gets that wake-up call every day about what is important in life from his patients, and that he can make a major difference in their lives. I realized right then that I wanted to be a doctor. The very next thought was that I didn't want to be in school for that long and have to work that hard, and I tried for two weeks to talk myself out of it. But I couldn't do it, so a few months later I was back in university, and on my way to becoming a doctor.
Role models: scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, Chris Hadfield, and Stephen Hawking; also people who have tried to make the world a better place to people to live in, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Cree leader Poundmaker.
Any obstacles trying to get into Medicine: Mostly psychological and financial. I was an older student when I came back to school (I was 25), and, though I could still learn academics quite well, the change is lifestyle was more difficult to adapt to. But these obstacles are small in comparison to the intrinsic rewards of what I am accomplishing, and the opportunities that this creates for me.
Type of Medicine he hopes to practice and where: I want to work in regenerative medicine and/or bionic medicine. These fields are cutting edge, and have a great deal of potential to revolutionize the way we practice medicine. Having grown up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan, I would appreciate opportunities to be in rural communities, but I don't know how feasible that will be.
Advice for young Aboriginal kids who dream of becoming a doctor: One of my heroes, Chris Hadfield, gave this advice to a young person about them wanting becoming an astronaut, which I think is very fitting (and I also have hanging on my wall at home): "Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become."
Advice for Aboriginal students applying to Medicine: Don't forget who you are or where you come from. Work hard, learn for the love of learning, help others, get involved, and try to make the world a better place.