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UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 5 | May 6, 2004

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 at UBC.

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 of pampering.

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.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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