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Three students wearing graduation caps, gowns and lilac coloured diploma in dental hygiene stoles. One student holds a smartphone and takes a selfie with the other two students.

Newest Manitoba health-care professionals set to graduate

May 17, 2023 — 

Manitoba’s newest physicians, dentists, dental hygienists and pharmacists will graduate on May 18, 2023, at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne campus convocation ceremonies. This includes UM’s first class of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.

The 214 graduates represent three colleges at the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health SciencesMax Rady College of Medicine, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry (including the School of Dental Hygiene) and College of Pharmacy.    

The Max Rady College of Medicine ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, School of Dental Hygiene and College of Pharmacy ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. 

The ceremonies will take place on the UM Bannatyne Campus in Brodie Centre, 727 McDermot Avenue. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed: 10 a.m. ceremony and 2:30 p.m. ceremony

“Congratulations to the Class of 2023,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, vice-provost (health sciences) and dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “I commend your hard work and determination in your pursuit of a career in health care. It hasn’t been easy, but today marks the end of one journey and the exciting start of another. I wish you all the best in your future as a health-care professional.”

The Max Rady College of Medicine Class of 2023 includes 106 graduates. Of these, 77 will complete their residencies in Manitoba. The class includes nine students of Indigenous ancestry and three French-speaking students who are graduating in the college’s bilingual stream. Forty-three of the graduating class are from rural Manitoba or have rural attributes.

The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry’s Class of 2023 is made up of 27 doctor of dental medicine graduates with eight in the International Dentist Degree Program. There are 24 graduates from the School of Dental Hygiene.

The College of Pharmacy’s first PharmD class is made up of 49 graduates. PharmD is a four-year undergraduate doctoral program that focuses on clinical practice, experiential learning and pharmaceutical sciences.

Honorary degree recipient at 10 a.m. ceremony

Dr. Thomas Quinn is a world-renowned scientist known for his groundbreaking HIV/AIDS research. He was one of the first researchers to identify the AIDS epidemic and its cause, the HIV virus. As one of the top clinician-scientists in the world, he has been a leading light in the world’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, working to decrease the rate of illness and the number of deaths, with a focus on developing countries. Dr. Quinn is currently a professor of medicine and pathology at Johns Hopkins University, and is the founding director of the university’s Center for Global Health. He is also chief of the International HIV/STD Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The following graduates of the Class of 2023 are available to speak with the media after the 10 a.m. ceremony:

Max Rady College of Medicine graduate Jayelle Friesen-Enns, 27, grew up in Rosenort, Man. Friesen-Enns, who is Cree and Métis, co-founded the Indigenous Medical Students’ Association of Canada in 2021 and has been a member of the Leadership Circle since then. She will be completing their residency in emergency medicine in Calgary, and chose this area because it’s fast-paced, requires a breadth of medical knowledge and she would like to make the emergency room a safer and more inclusive space for their community. She would like to help create a space within the health-care system where Indigenous people are able to access culturally safe care.

Max Rady College of Medicine graduate Fredy Mansour, 25, grew up in Morden, Man. Mansour is excited to be heading home to do his residency in family medicine in the Morden/Winkler area. Being able to train in the community he grew up in means a lot to him. His father is a physician in Morden and seeing how much he loved his job and his patients inspired Mansour at an early age to want to pursue medicine. He chose family medicine because of the ability to provide long-term care for patients, allowing him to develop a strong patient-doctor relationship built on collaboration and trust. 

Max Rady College of Medicine graduate Tegan Turner, 26, grew up in Winnipeg. Turner was a national level gymnast for a decade before competing nationally as a sprinter for the UM track and field team. Turner feels her sporting experience prepared her for medical school and a career in medicine. After the growth and learning medical school had to offer, she says she feels like a different person. Highlights of medical school included the first time she delivered a baby and first time assisting with a fracture. She will be doing her residency at UM in emergency medicine and has an interest in motorsport medicine. 

The following graduates of the Class of 2022 are available to speak with the media after the 2:30 p.m. ceremony:

School of Dental Hygiene graduate Nikhita Arora, 31, was born in India and moved to Canada when she was 13 years old. With a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in laboratory medicine and pathology, she chose to become a dental hygienist because she understands the value and impact that one’s oral health can have on one’s life. Arora has realized her dream of donning a white coat. She plans to become involved in local programs that create awareness and promote oral health practices to less fortunate communities that face barriers in accessing dental hygiene care.

Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry graduate Berardino Petrelli, 32, grew up in Winnipeg’s West End. Petrelli completed all his schooling within two kilometers of where he lives – including high school and what will eventually be four university degrees. While in dental school, he was also working on his PhD in the department of biochemistry and medical genetics which he hopes to complete next year. His research is focused on understanding the underlying cause of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. He hopes to stay in Winnipeg to pursue a joint career in dental private practice as well as conduct craniofacial research at UM.

International Dentist Degree Program graduate Hedyeh Samady, 33, grew up in Iran. Samady practiced dentistry for two years and got into a specialty program in oral medicine, however, she made the difficult decision of quitting the program to join her husband in Canada seven years ago. Samady’s family dentist was her first inspiration to become a dentist because he was a skilled and kind man. After graduation, she will begin a specialty program in oral medicine at the University of Washington. In the future, she would love to conduct clinical research and her dream is to help medically compromised patients with oral complications.  

PharmD graduate Sabina Ozog, 25, grew up in Winnipeg. Ozog wanted to become a pharmacist because it combined her passion for chemistry and human physiology with her desire to work in an area where she could have an impact on the health and well-being of others. She said it’s an honour and a privilege to be in UM’s first PharmD class. Ozog is excited to be starting her career as a pharmacist at St. Boniface Hospital. In the future, she hopes to train future generations of pharmacists as a preceptor and instructor at the University of Manitoba.

PharmD graduate Christine Vaccaro, 26, grew up in Winnipeg. Vaccaro was surrounded by the field of pharmacy growing up. Her mother is a pharmacist and she worked at a community pharmacy in high school. This year, she was the president of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns.  Vaccaro spent the past five years working as a pharmacoepidemiology research assistant. In September, she begins an ambulatory care residency program with the Centre for Family Medicine and the University of Waterloo. She plans to return to Manitoba and specialize in geriatric health.

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