College of Medicine looks back….and ahead at Homecoming
The College of Medicine Dean’s Homecoming Breakfast celebrated the past, present and future during the morning-long event. Over 160 alumni, guests and faculty attended the annual breakfast, held in the Brodie Centre Atrium at the Bannatyne Campus on Saturday, Sept. 20.
This year, 10 MD classes held reunions including the Classes of 1959, 1964, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1999 and 2004 at Homecoming. Reunions for the Classes of 1954 and 1969 took place over the summer.
Colorado-based practicing psychiatrist Mary Ann Levy [MD/64] was invited to speak to her fellow alumni at the Dean’s Homecoming Breakfast.
Dr. Levy was one of only three women in her med school class of 40 students; she spoke about the med school interview process where she was faced with politically incorrect – and very inquisitive – questions like, “what would you do if you were to become pregnant and had to leave the program?” To which she responded: “And what would happen if I were a man that had a heart attack?”
“We as women were suspected of being in medical school only to find a husband, what a funny idea that is!” said Dr. Levy, causing the attentive room to break into laughter, “or to take the place of a more worthy male … this was in the early 60s and times were definitely changing.”
She went on to note the current population of medical students is greater than 50 per cent women, which she thinks is an amazing fact and cause for great hope. “Who knows what our new medical classes will accomplish with their even greater richness of cultural, gender and sexual diversity and all the advances in medical technology. Selfishly, they may even become our caretakers.”
Med IV student Kyle Conrad painted a picture of what present-day medical training looks like: a collaborative profession. A former dental hygiene student, he and a colleague proposed the establishment of an oral-health component to the existing WISH Clinic – an inter-professional student-led health initiative based at Mount Carmel Clinic.
He recalls the wealth of support and guidance given by faculty members as he navigated the process. “Throughout medicine I’ve had the chance to do some really great things. We get to learn from some truly amazing people…it’s a wonderful experience,” Conrad said.
During the post-breakfast campus tours, the classes had the chance to visit the Gross Anatomy Lab; undoubtedly a memorable space for most grads.
Jimmy Young [MD/64] remarked the lab looked a lot different than it did 50 years ago but that didn’t block his not-so-fond memories, “the grossest thing was the cadavers covered in a two-inch layer of [axel grease] which you just scraped it off the area you were working on…not the fondest memory but it was very interesting.” During his med school days the lab was located in a different part of the college.
Considered a dated space in a dimly-lit basement of the Basic Medical Sciences Building, where it has been located since 1975, the lab’s future looks much brighter.
“It was so dingy. You’re doing a dissection and you could barely see. There wasn’t a lot of light, it was gloomy,” Dr. Levy recalled as her class passed through the lab.
Alumni were given a peek into the proposed multi-million dollar renovation plan that will transform the lab into a top-tier, high-tech learning facility including a redesigned floor plan, updated lighting, touch-screen computers at each dissection table, enhanced AV equipment and new demonstration areas with elevated viewing platforms.