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Mentorship and hands-on learning help pave the way to medical school

Dylan Robinson (BSc 21) says he is well-prepared for medical school thanks to the mentorship and hands-on learning opportunities he experienced at UWinnipeg.

A desire to improve health care in Manitoba drove Dylan Robinson to pursue a Bachelor of Science at The University of Winnipeg on his way to his ultimate dream of becoming a doctor.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to gain confidence working in the lab in collaboration with such a strong mentor.

Dylan Robinson

Robinson had been working in an unsatisfying civil service job, and his restlessness at work was exacerbated by his growing concern for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Manitobans such as Brian Sinclair, Hollie Hall, and Errol Green whose deaths struck a deep chord and compelled him to return to school. 

While at UWinnipeg, he harnessed every opportunity to grow new skills and connect with his community. He took part in the 2020 Pathways to Graduate Studies program, was a member of the UWinnipeg chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society, and participated in Aboriginal Student Services Centre events every chance he got.

“One of my favourite places on campus was the Aboriginal Student Services Centre,” he said. “I made many good friends there and the monthly potlucks were always a highlight.”

The friendships he made, and the chance to connect with other Indigenous students studying science was key to his success. He also points to the chance to work in Dr. Tabitha Wood’s chemistry lab, thanks to a NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA).

This experience grew his confidence and provided vital mentorship and support.

“She believed in me and encouraged me to pursue further chemistry courses to help me prepare for the MCAT,” he said. “I am thankful I had the opportunity to gain confidence working in the lab in collaboration with such a strong mentor. This was an incredible opportunity to develop practical, hands-on skills. ”

While majoring in biology, Robinson also completed a minor in history, providing him with historical perspectives that he says will help guide his medical practice.

“Completing a history minor allowed  me to learn about the history of Indigenous nations in North America while helping me refine my research and writing skills” he said.

Robinson, who has strong roots in Manitoba, says it’s important that his education and future medical practice be rooted in the province he grew up in. 

“As a Cree man from Manitoba, it is my hope to serve and provide medical care to the people of Manitoba, including those living in rural and Indigenous communities,” he said.

While he is excited about heading to medical school, he is also thankful for the foundational skills he gained at UWinnipeg.

“I would recommend the University of Winnipeg to any student considering medical college or other careers in health care,” he said. “I was able to acquire a well-rounded and robust education here.”

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