UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 5 | May
Pharmacy Grad Prepared to Perform on a New Stage
Former dancer starts new career
By Hilary Thomson
What do professional ballet, pediatric psychiatry and pharmaceutical
sciences have in common?
Sara Ingram. The 28-year-old former dancer graduates this
month with a BSc in Pharmacy, her third academic degree.
Originally interested in clinical psychiatry, Ingram obtained
an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s
degree in psychiatry, both from McGill University.
After working with children with acute psychiatric problems
at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital, she switched
paths to gain the flexibility and stability of a career in
clinical hospital pharmacy.
“With hospitals, you either love them or hate them,”
she says. “I love the activity, the involvement in patient
care and the clinical research that takes place in a hospital.”
But Ingram’s first career began not in hospital corridors,
but in front of the footlights. She started dancing at age
three and attended the School of American Ballet in New York
as well as schools in California and North Carolina. She performed
as a soloist for Ballet West in Montreal until she hung up
her pointe shoes at age 21 to focus on her education.
The hardest part of earning her degree, she says, was recovering
from back surgery she had in her third year. Although she
did manage to write her finals last year, she is only now
able to participate in sports again. An avid swimmer and runner,
Ingram has participated in Iron woman and triathlon events
She has also volunteered with Community Health Initiative
by University Students, and especially enjoyed “beauty
nights” where students work one-on-one with women in
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to give them a rare evening
After a year of residency training, Ingram plans to work
as a clinical hospital pharmacist.
“Hospital care is very rewarding -- the things you
do make a huge difference that you can see almost immediately.”