Career Mentor – Dr. Lori-Ann Lach
25 successful years, 25 career mentors
Dr. Lori-Ann Lach [BSc/93, MD/97] is one of 700+ Career Mentor volunteers who devote time to meeting University of Manitoba students. Each year, career mentors share their knowledge and advice to guide the career plans and contribute to the success of students. In celebration of 25 successful years, 25 career mentors have agreed to share their career stories and advice…
Briefly, tell us about your job. What do you find most rewarding? What are your greatest challenges within this profession?
I am a family physician at University Health Service at the University of Manitoba. I see patients of all ages, from all over Canada and the world, for a variety of health concerns. I really feel it is a privilege to treat people when they may be at their most vulnerable and to share in their health care journey. I really enjoy helping people improve their health, enabling them to pursue their future goals. There are several challenges in this profession. It is a very fast paced job, requiring one to think quickly much of the time. Health information is always changing and it is challenging to keep up with the changes. It can be an emotionally draining job as you treat and support people through very serious or even terminal health conditions.
While you were completing your degree, what experiences and activities helped bring you to your career decision or helped you succeed in your occupation?
I became a peer advisor during my third year of university. I feel that this experience provided me with valuable skills which allowed me to succeed in my medical studies. It taught me how communicate more effectively with people and how to approach people who may be distraught or dealing with serious issues. I was given the opportunity to present to groups of my peers, which was invaluable to my future success. It helped me give me more confidence in my abilities which sustained me through medical school and beyond.
Describe your career planning journey. Please include any highlights, bumps or roadblocks.
I knew that I wanted to be a doctor at a young age. Once I entered university, I was very directed toward applying to the Faculty of Medicine. The biggest hurdle I faced occurred when I entered residency. I realized shortly after starting residency that it was not a good fit. I approached my program director, and she and others were very helpful in allowing me to choose another career path. I feel very fortunate to have had such support from my faculty.
What inspired you to be a Career Mentor?
As a peer advisor, I had worked with what is now called Career Services and saw what a difference career mentors could make. I also felt that I would like to share what I had learned and continued to learn on my journey through medicine. I also wanted to give back to the university community who had supported me throughout my degrees. As a result, I jumped at the chance to become a career mentor.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in following in your footsteps?
Medicine can be a difficult and challenging career that requires a lot of sacrifice not only from the physician but from the individual’s family, friends and loved ones as well. You have to have a passion for medicine, a drive to continue learning, ongoing curiosity, an ability to adapt to constant change, a love of helping others, a willingness to work with other disciplines and a deep seated respect for those you treat.
What career advice do you have for university students?
In general, I would advise students to find a career that they can be passionate about. With every career, there are ups and downs and you need your passion to sustain you during the down times
Stay tuned for more career mentor profiles! From September 25 to November 2 the Career Mentor Program will be profiling 25 dedicated and wonderful mentors from across several sectors. To view more career mentor profiles and learn about the anniversary event on November 2, 2015, please visit the CMP 25th Anniversary website.