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Grad profile: A healthy balance
Inspired — that’s the word Cindy Ochieng, a fourth-year Dalhousie Medicine student, would choose to characterize her time at the university.
After obtaining an undergrad degree in Biology and Anthropology from Mount Allison and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, Cindy sought to fulfill her long-time aspiration of becoming a doctor. She’d heard Dalhousie’s program emphasized the humanities, a great fit with her interest in art and music, and offered smaller class sizes compared to other universities in the country.
Her experience has met those expectations. Since coming to Dal, she’s been part of the Tupper Band, a musical ensemble comprised of health professionals and health professional students, and credits her peers with being a big part of what makes Dalhousie shine.
“I’ve been very encouraged about how passionate people are,” she says. “The program has never felt too big or too small, so it’s worked out well.”
During her undergrad, Cindy spent time in Nairobi, Kenya, volunteering in oncology wards and HIV/AIDS clinics. At Dal, she’s been involved in a three-year community project on the intersection of arts and evidence-based lessons on HIV/ HCV prevention efforts for youth in the Atlantic region. She also worked with Dal’s African Nova Scotian Health Science Summer Camp, offering hands-on activities to youth of African ancestry and introducing them to careers in the health professions.
Entering her career as a practitioner, Cindy will specialize in public health and preventive medicine, including family medicine. Her training is focused on infectious disease, environmental health, occupational health and other health-related concerns that affect populations. She’s slated to attend McMaster University to complete five years of residency training beginning this summer, and is open to relocating afterwards to follow her interests.
“The more I learn about my field, the more I see there are so many facets of health,” she says. “I would encourage people to really explore your interests and not be afraid to make those connections. As long as you’re passionate about something, it’s always worth pursuing.”
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