UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 5 | May
Prince Georges Newest Doctor Drawn by the Outdoors
Wesbrook Scholar shines on the ice and in the water.
By Hilary Thomson
After years of globetrotting to exotic locales, Keri Closson
is hauling out her hockey stick, slinging on her stethoscope
and moving to Prince George, B.C.
Armed with a brand new MD degree, the 31-year-old is heading
north to start a two-year residency in rural family medicine.
Clossons academic journey started at McMaster University,
where she obtained a degree in Kinesiology in 1995. While
working as a kinesiologist, she was impressed by the range
of career opportunities available to doctors and enrolled
in UBCs Faculty of Medicine in 1999.
Working in a smaller town will give me a better chance
to know my patients, she says. Also, my husband
and I love outdoor activities. Thats a big factor in
moving out of the city -- being able to balance the demands
of work with recreation.
Clossons balancing act began as a teenager. As a member
of Canadas national synchronized swim team, she spent
up to six hours a day in the pool and received tutoring to
keep up her studies. Competitions took her to Australia, New
Zealand and Central and South America.
The act continued in med school where she has earned numerous
scholarships and prizes and is a Wesbrook Scholar, the universitys
honorary designation for students who rank in the top 10 per
cent of their class. Even with an intense academic schedule,
she has made time to indulge her new passion for hockey with
a team of classmates. She has also combined commitments to
allow for some long-distance adventures. In the summer after
her second year, she and husband Kent, an occupational therapist,
worked in a hospital in southern India and later travelled
throughout the country.
That experience really introduced me to the concept
of family-centred care - when you treat the patient, youre
making an impact on the whole family.
Closson reinforced that holistic approach through volunteering
at the Community Health Initiative by University Students,
a student-run interdisciplinary program for residents of Vancouvers
Downtown Eastside. She has also completed electives in centres
across Canada, including Smithers in B.C.s north country,
and is a member of the committee on student affairs for UBCs
medical school expansion.
With her commitment to healthy living and a passion for individual
and team excellence, Keri Closson promises to be a player
to watch in the Prince George community.