My childhood dream

doctor kit

My all-time favourite toy!

Since the day I got my Fisher-Price doctor’s kit, I always planned to go to medical school. I took all the honours science courses, volunteered at the hospital, and religiously watched ER and Chicago Hope. I even slept in pilfered scrubs.

However, due to my depression and suicide attempt, my life took a different path. After I finished my science degree, there was no way that I could continue on with more university… I didn’t even apply.

I regretted this for a long time; I felt like I was a failure or that something precious was stolen from me. This is no longer true.

I’m sure I would have been a good doctor, I love my time in clinic and building relationships with patients has always been the best part of my work in research, but I’m also good at what I do now and I like where this bumpy journey has taken me. I feel that my life has taken the path that it was meant to take.

And can you guess where this path is taking me next week? Yup, you got it…



No, I’m not going back to school as a very mature student. I’ll be in front of the class instead.

I have been asked to  give a couple of talks at Dalhousie Medical School. Next week I will be presenting to the first and second years, and then in December, I will be doing a session with the third year students. Both sessions will also be simultaneously video-conferenced to their New Brunswick campus.

These talks are especially exciting for me, not because of my childhood dreams, but because of my new ones.

I am being given the opportunity to influence our next generation of health care providers. The main focus will be on looking after their own mental health, but I also hope to open some eyes to what the true face of mental illness looks like. Maybe listening to me will help them to hear their own patients more clearly. Maybe it will help them understand that everyone’s mental health is as important as their physical health.

Sounds like a challenge, but it’s one that I’m more than willing to accept.

Wish me luck!

12 responses to “My childhood dream

  1. Yay!! They no doubt will tremendously benefit from both the exposure to mental health and reality. Mental health is really the undiscovered frontier these days, the uncharted territory we desperately need to explore. You are planting seeds that will someday, somewhere will make a difference in a patients life. Kudos to you!

  2. Craig St. Peters

    Well written and I am proud of you! Those silly med students are lucky to have you speak to them. A real, experienced writer is much better than an aging psychiatrist jamming facts from the DSMIV in there heads. Love to hear you speak sometime



  3. hey steph! that’s awesome! good luck and congrats on this newfound, alternate path… it’s a powerful one. xoxo

  4. Awesomeness! I always wanted to be a doctor too, but things happen and I ended up in law enforcement instead. Lol, great, now I feel like a turd! Congrats to you though. You’ll be great and teaching is really exciting, I think.

    • But you’re such a great turd! Just kidding, of course. You’re only a mediocre turd but a fantastic cop… At least that’s how you make it sound in all of your stories. 😉
      Seriously though, thanks for such a nice comment!

  5. 😀 Great News Steph! And to think of all this hits home for me. If you didn’t do my physics lab, I wouldn’t have gotten into med school! Trust me, you ate affecting change, treating Depression and preventing more illness by doing the work you are doing. I thank you for that!❤️

  6. Sometimes dreams come true just in ways you do not expect. You are in a powerful position of great influence. I am so proud of how the ripples of your life and your story will create much needed positive change in the medical system. I honour your journey and look forward to following how you will continue to inspire and make a real change in the world.
    Hugs and thanks!

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