Lucas M. Interview

Dear Readers,

We had this interview on file for a little while now, but decided to publish it when everyone’s back from Spring Break. Enjoy!

Questions we’ve asked Lucas:

Who was the person that suggested I interview you?
What did you do before Schulich?
Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
What do you like least about Schulich?
Tell us a bit about your work-life balance?
Tell us about the Gender Equality club.
Tell us about your closest friend in the class. What do you like best about that person?
Are you satisfied with your clerkship group?
What is one piece of advice that a family member gave you that you find helps you to get through med school?
What are you planning to do this summer?
What kind of doctor do you want to be?

Who was the person that suggested I interview you?

Jess Siu. I have no idea why… probably because I was at the VERC at the time that she was getting interviewed. She is one of the people in our class that I only got to know fairly recently, and I’m upset by that, because I think she is a really cool person. We are in the same clerkship group though, so we will be hanging out a lot next year.
But I think this speaks volumes about our class – there are a lot of interesting, cool people in the class that I haven’t had a chance to hang out with, and when I do, I’m always surprised by how interesting they are.

there are a lot of interesting, cool people in the class that I haven’t had a chance to hang out with, and when I do, I’m always surprised by how interesting they are.

What did you do before Schulich?

I did my undergrad at McGill, before Schulich. I started out in Arts and Science, because I really liked English, but also wanted to do life-science stuff, because I was interested in medicine. I ended up switching to Kinesiology at the end of first year. The way that the McGIll system works, because they accept a lot of kids straight from CEGEP and they go on to do a 3-year degree system, they pushed me directly into a 3-year degree instead of a 4-year degree because of some of my transfer credits. For me to rush thorough in 3 years was not something I was interested in, and Kin was a good fit for other reasons too.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.

I can be a pretty quiet person when I’m in a bigger group. I think what would surprise a lot of people is that I did a lot of Improv in high school and undergrad; I competed at nationals for that too. For me, I like public speaking and acting, but it also gets me really nervous before I go on stage. I feel like I’m going to shit a cow before I go on stage. But I felt like this was something that I wanted to get more comfortable with. It’s a very different part of my personality that I feel I don’t get to indulge very often. It gave me a nice outlet for that. I don’t do so much of that now.
When I was at McGIll, I worked in residences, and I created a sketch comedy group. We did a lot of YouTube videos. Not since coming to Schulich, because it’s busy, but I do miss that sort of creativity: to be able to really live in the moment, as cliché as it sounds.

What do you like least about Schulich?

[This question is] hard, because I like Schulich a lot, and I’m not just saying that. Sometimes we have busy work assignments that I feel don’t really contribute to my learning. And that’s when I get frustrated. But I think that that’s a greater problem with medical education [in general] as opposed to just Schulich. But, other than that, I’m really enjoying my time here.

Tell us a bit about your work-life balance?

My free time, I go to the gym pretty frequently, and that’s usually my main method of de-stressing and maintaining balance, and inner serenity I guess. I play hockey, which is fun, but that’s only on Tuesday nights. I watch a lot of movies, I like to read, too… like boring stuff like that. I dunno if I’m just on an endorphin high that continues to last all the time, or I’m not taking the school seriously enough, but I don’t feel like my work-life balance is out of whack. There are [also] several clubs and things I’m involved in. Also, my Nintendo-64 is a great [part of my] life balance part.

Tell us about the Gender Equality club.

This is a club that Adriana approached me with the idea for last year, because she felt that this is something that Schulich needed, and she knew that I had some previous experiences in some of those realms. We kinda brainstormed together (by that I mean it was mostly her) and then we picked up Danielle and Raj as well to create the club. We created a Facebook group that had some controversy about it. But such is life. We sparked some conversation, we tried to keep the conversation at an accessible level, and we encouraged everyone to participate; there are people in the school that can contribute at lot more, but at this point we are simply trying to get more people involved/interested in this. Ideally, everyone should be at least somewhat interested, I think. Sometimes it can be a tough sell.

We sparked some conversation, we tried to keep the conversation at an accessible level, and we encouraged everyone to participate

When I was at McGill, I worked in Residences (I worked as a floor fellow, equivalent of a Don, but our job was a little different; just hang out with students, mentorship and stuff… Be cool. We didn’t hand out tickets and stuff), which is a pretty sort-of left-wing organization, so we did a lot of training in things like anti-oppression, sexual assault support training, and we did a lot of workshops for students regarding gender and sexuality. And we had some training as well in mental health crisis situations, that kind of thing, too.

Tell us about your closest friend in the class. What do you like best about that person?

Without naming names? Hmm… I’m going to sound as generic as possible to not upset anybody. The thing I admire most about them is that they are incredibly determined, and most importantly, they really don’t care what other people think about them. And I think that’s something that’s so rare, especially in med school, where you are constantly being evaluated and being judged by preceptors and evaluators. It’s hard to not have it carry over into your group of friends. But this person has this thing about them where they are just so confident about who they are that they don’t care what other people think about them. Not in a way that’s mean or ignorant, but they are just so confident in who they are themselves, that they are impervious to what other people would say about them. It would not register on their radar. And I think that’s what everyone should try and emulate.

they are just so confident … impervious to what other people would say about them. It would not register on their radar. And I think that’s what everyone should try and emulate.

Are you satisfied with your clerkship group?

Yes. I’m starting with Peds/ObsGyne, which is the group I wanted – a highly coveted group from what I gathered. I think it’s a great group of people, and it’s the rotation schedule I was hoping for, so I can’t complain about anything. But then I’m also the kind of person that regardless of the group I was in, I would say –ooh, it’s fate – and not do anything about it.

What is one piece of advice that a family member gave you that you find helps you to get through med school?

I can think of two things, from 2 separate members of my family.

My oldest brother is a doctor, and he told me to basically [not] sweat the small stuff, because at the end everything will work out no matter what happens. Which I think is a good way to live, especially in medicine, at least in med school. Because you can’t possibly learn all the details about every disease, etc.

Another good piece of advice I got was from my mom – she said, with some curse words involved, do something that scares you. Just do something that scares you and puts you outside of your comfort zone. Which for me, easiest example I can think of was when I was performing on stage in front of a group of people, didn’t know what I was going to say, [and had to] create something from nothing. This was a point I felt very vulnerable, and I still consider to [have been] my most vulnerable state, but that’s also a place I eventually became a lot more comfortable, and that’s a really cool thing. So, I guess, the advice is to seek out those things that make you uncomfortable, sit in that discomfort, and become comfortable there.

seek out those things that make you uncomfortable, sit in that discomfort, and become comfortable there

What are you planning to do this summer?

I’ll probably go home for at least part of the summer – home’s in Sudbury, which is in northern Ontario, I’ll probably go to Hawaii with one of my very good friends from McGill, which I’m very excited for. I will probably like to do a couple more clinical electives like I did last summer, and just kinda enjoy my last bit of time before clerkship. Inner serenity, that’s what I’m going for.

What kind of doctor do you want to be?

That’s a hard question, because I’ve narrowed it down, but I’m really not sure between internal and family medicine. There are things I really like between both of them, and there is a lot of overlap, and I feel both of them fit different aspects of my personality well. But, I think it’s just going to come down the week before CARMS, and me just making a decision, saying “[expletive] it” and just going for one of them.

In terms of a greater idea of a physician, I want to have a good work-life balance, I want to have the time to listen to my patients, and to give them the care that they do deserve.
I also want to, at some point, be involved in some form of education, because that’s something that I enjoy doing. I think research and administrative things are important too, [but] these are not as exciting as education for me.