Meet Karissa Brabant, 2nd 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: Karissa Brabant, 2nd year
Hometown: Regina, SK, with family history tracing back to the Little Black Bear First Nation
Hobbies/Interests: I really (and I mean REALLY) enjoy video games PC and console (Playstation). I enjoy puzzle, fantasy RPG, and strategy games. My favourite game is Portal (1 and 2). I also enjoy reading. In the summers I like to spend time outdoors. I am a dog person. I'm allergic to cats so I didn't have much choice in that one.
Why Medicine: I wanted to do something applied, as opposed to research. I enjoy helping people, and I enjoy a challenge. I feel like I would have been bored with anything else.
Role models: My parents have always been great role models they both worked very hard to provide for my siblings and I, and I want to do the same for my future family. I have many role models. Adam McInnes (who is also being interviewed for this article) is a good friend of mine who encouraged me to apply to medicine. I often go to him for advice and encouragement, and an idea of what to expect as he is a year ahead of me. Weve worked together on many extracurricular projects, and I'm excited to work with him throughout my career. I watched M*A*S*H a lot as a kid with my mom. Hawkeye and Colonel Potter were my favourite characters, because they took the situation they were in and made the best of it, while doing a great job as surgeons. I want to be like that when I grow up.
Any obstacles to getting into Medicine: Honestly, the greatest obstacle was myself. I was thinking of medicine early in my university career, but didn't apply for the longest time because I thought I wouldn't be good enough. I was afraid of blood, unsure about how I would be able to deal with bodies, and almost certain that the workload would be too much for me. Then I hit my fourth year of university and realized that I had no idea what else I would do when I was done. I finished my biology degree, and applied to medicine under the assumption that if it was too hard, I could always quit. However, I absolutely had to at least try. I knew that if I didn't try, I would regret it forever. Now, I know I would regret quitting. The field of medicine never gave me a choice, it's all I ever want to do.
Type of Medicine she hopes to practice and where: I hope to become a family doctor (general practitioner) specializing in surgical skills, obstetrics, and emergency medicine. I want to focus on these fields as it opens up my options for both rural and urban practice. I want to open my own clinic someday.
Advice for young Aboriginal kids who dream of becoming a doctor: Don't let fear hold you back. No matter what you are worried about, there will always be someone here whos got your back. Give it a try!
Advice for Aboriginal students applying to Medicine: My advice to all students applying to get into medicine is to enjoy the experience. The interviews are intimidating, but fun if you let yourself relax. If you don't get in, try again next year. If medicine is what you really want to do, then it will happen for you. You just gotta keep trying. If you do get in, brace yourself it's gunna be an exciting, difficult, exhausting, and invigorating 4 years.