Scoring an acceptance letter into medical school is no easy task, with stiff competition for those coveted seats.
At least four students from the coast of Labrador were recently accepted to Memorial University’s fall 2015 medical program.
With 80 places available each year in MUN’s undergraduate program, that’s an impressive number. Three seats are reserved for applicants of Aboriginal ancestry who meet the Newfoundland and Labrador residency requirements.
‘To me, medicine is rural medicine, because that’s all I know; and that’s what inspired me to pursue this.’- Brittany Chubs
Ramsey Powell and Brittany Chubbs, who are both from coastal Labrador, spoke with the St. John’s Morning Show about their acceptances.
Both Powell and Chubbs found out about the news a couple of weeks ago, and were accepted on their first try.
Medicine wasn’t first choice
Powell, 22, is from the community of Charlottetown, which has a population of about 300.
He’s currently in his fifth year of Memorial’s engineering co-op program.
Powell said medicine was not his original choice in university.
“My principal at the time was kind of a mentor to me, and he directed me into engineering. But I found out half way through my program that engineering wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said.
“That’s when I started exploring other options, doing different volunteer opportunities. I discovered medicine and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Powell said he’s interested in all aspects of medicine, particularly rural medicine.
“Whatever I do, my intention is to go back to a rural area,” he said.
“I didn’t have a chance to have a family doctor. I’d like to give other people that gave so much to me, to give back to them as much as what I can. I think the dynamic of practicing in a rural area would be really interesting as well.”
Rural medicine was inspiration
Chubbs, 22, is originally from Lodge Bay, and in 2014 graduated with an undergraduate degree in biology and Aboriginal studies. She is currently completing a masters degree at Memorial University in medical ethics.
She said she’s known since she was a teenager that eventually she’d enter one of the health care professions.
‘That’s when I started exploring other options, doing different volunteer opportunities. I discovered medicine and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.’- Ramsey Powell
Chubbs is leaning toward family medicine or obstetrics, and like Powell, wants to return to a rural setting to practice.
She is also considering an Aboriginal setting.
“I think I’d definitely want to return to a rural area, just because that’s all that my exposure has been, to rural medicine,” she said.
“To me, medicine is rural medicine, because that’s all I know; and that’s what inspired me to pursue this.”
Jeremy O’Brien and Cody O’Brien are the other two Labradorians accepted to start medical school at Memorial University in the fall.