20something profile: Lisa
So far, I think I’ve been pretty lucky. After graduating high school in 2007, I went right into music school to complete a Bachelor of Music in piano. It was four years of fun and hard work, and it was pretty awesome to spend all that time working on my craft.
The plan, however, was never to follow through with a career in music. Nope, my sets had been set on medical school from the start.
Luck was on my side once again, and immediately after graduating my Bachelor of Music, I was accepted into the Doctor of Medicine program at the same university. Okay, maybe it was some hard work, too, but good fortune definitely had a hand.
That was back in 2011, and today, I am just over a year away from finishing with my M.D. It’s not long now until I’ll be thrust out into the real world, unsteady on my feet but excited to dive in.
I dream of being so many things — a family physician, an emergency physician, a freelance travel writer. If fate continues to be kind to me, I’ll be able to do all of these things.
This fall marks the beginning of my fourth and final year of medical school, and I’ve decided to go all out. We’re given a number of weeks to complete various electives, and the exciting part is that we’re able to choose to do our electives wherever we want, in whatever we want. The world is our oyster!
I’ve decided to burn through my line of credit while I have the time and freedom — there’s no time like the present to see more of the world. After spending several weeks doing electives in Toronto and New York, I’m off to see Australia! Infectious Diseases in Melbourne and Surgery in Sydney. And right before I graduate, I’m getting four weeks in Cape Town, ZA, on a Trauma Surgery elective.
It’s going to be a wild year and a great way to end my time in medical school before I start residency.
I’m choosing to go into family & emergency medicine in part because of the flexibility it offers. The more specialized you get in medicine, the harder it is to find a job in the specific location you want — for instance, there is a severe shortage of jobs for orthopaedic surgeons in Canada right now. Can you imagine finishing a five-year residency in orthopaedics and not being able to find a job? You’re a bit overqualified for everything else at that point.
As a family/emergency doctor, I can pretty much move anywhere and do anything. And that’s the plan!