Stephanie Austin chose the Health Studies program because it seemed like the “ideal pre-med program,” combining natural and social science courses. The natural sciences were crucial for Stephanie’s MCAT preparation, but she had a keen interest in the social science courses - with the Health Studies program she didn’t need to compromise.
Exposure to diverse subject areas through the Health Studies program reinforced the importance of good quality health research, which led Stephanie to uncover another area of study that she was interested in. After her undergraduate degree at Waterloo, Stephanie pursued a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Stephanie is confident that had she chosen another undergraduate program she would not have been exposed to the tools and concepts that encouraged this choice of study. She explains, "Medical school interviewers were impressed with the diverse background I had. My training in the pure sciences like biology and chemistry has been invaluable, as has my understanding of the social determinants of health, and the psychological principals of health behaviour change."
When asked what she enjoys most about her medical school experience, Stephanie responded, "There are very few things in medicine that I don't love! I have chosen to pursue a Family Medicine residency because the pediatric and geriatric populations are both a joy to work with, the challenge of managing chronic disease is very rewarding, and forming long lasting relationships with my patients is important to me."
Stephanie is currently a fourth year medical student at Western University and begins her residency in Family Medicine in July 2014. In recent years, Stephanie has found great joy in balancing the demands of medical training with caring for her now almost two-year-old son with her husband and fellow Health Studies graduate, Ben Austin.
To future Health Studies students Stephanie suggests,
If medicine is your dream, don't give up!