The 2021 cohort had their convocation on November 7. They reflect on their time in the program.
November 7, 2023, marked a milestone for the Translational Research Program’s 2021 Cohort. This cohort of students navigated through the uncertainty of online and hybrid classes, having started during the pandemic, to graduate with exceptional capstone projects, e awards, funding, and career options related to their studies.
We asked them what they enjoyed most about the program and what they are most looking forward to for the future.
“I enjoyed hanging out with fellow students and faculty outside of the classroom! From intramural sports to karaoke/pub nights, and the Winter Formal (the list goes on). I loved being a part of this amazing community.
I’m looking forward to applying my TRP learnings in the fields of healthcare innovation and AgeTech. Person-centered needs, interdisciplinary collaboration, ‘navigating uncertainty’; they’re all real things! Who would have thought?!”.
“In my view, one of the most distinctive and rewarding aspects of TRP was its strong focus on personal growth. Specifically, what set this program apart was prioritizing developing essential human skills to focusing on the mechanics of translation. These skills have proven to be timeless, providing us with the ability to thrive in new and unfamiliar environments. They equip us with the capacity to adeptly analyze problems, uncover underlying needs, and design effective interventions”.
“I am currently working as a Research Fellow in Cardiology with CANet at Western University and completing my Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School.
I am an aspiring physician educator, and I am looking forward to bringing patient-centric approaches to healthcare innovation and education. TRP has taught me to stay resilient in the face of adversity, be comfortable navigating uncertainty, and to always stay curious and open-minded”.
“I really enjoyed the TRP for the friends I made, and how it provided me with both flexibility to work independently while developing my group’s capstone project and guidance when I needed it.
The most important thing I gained from the TRP was learning how to learn from others, so no matter where I go from here, whether that be into healthcare or research or social work, that lesson is going to strengthen my ability to adapt to new situations and work well alongside others”.
“What I loved about the TRP was how it was a very welcoming and supportive atmosphere for sharing ideas openly with very friendly faculty.
I am growing my career in clinical operations of drug development as a clinical trials monitor and I am excited to be able to use my learnings from TRP to find ways to build up a clinical trials framework in Pakistan, my home country”.
“I enjoyed working with many different people on various projects and learning from their own unique experiences within the healthcare system. I also loved exploring all the different health sectors in Canada through our lectures and by attending conferences. For example, a specific highlight was presenting my capstone at the Translational Science Conference in Washington, DC.
After graduation, I am looking forward to incorporating translational research principles as I pursue my career in medicine, such as continuous reflections and constantly exploring unmet needs as I engage with more clinical research and patient encounters”.
“I have learned so much about myself personally, professionally, and about the world around me. I have made lifelong friends in the program and have been given the opportunity to meet many different people who share my passion.
I can’t wait to use all the tools, tricks, tips and experiences that I’ve gathered across the two years and apply them into the research that I want to do and the scientist and clinician that I want to be. I’m excited as the next part of my journey begins”.
Watch Kim’s full reflection message.
“I just want to convey my gratitude to each one of you because I definitely feel like you all played a role in my personal and professional development. So, thank you. In terms of my favorite experience within the TRP, I would have to say it was meeting you all for the first time at the Halloween party. I’m currently studying for the MCAT, but I’m also transitioning into a role with Ontario Health as a renal clinical program specialist. I just want to say thank you to you all and, good luck on whatever you may be starting or continuing on”.
Watch Sai-Amrit’s full reflection message.
“I found immense joy in forging lasting bonds with like-minded peers who continually inspire me. Building a supportive community where we can rely on one another is a rare and cherished experience.
Furthermore, I took pleasure in the process of self-discovery and personal growth during my time in the program as it shaped my mind, thoughts, and my perception of who I want to be.
I joined the TRP with the aspiration of revolutionizing the healthcare system and aiding those in need. Initially, I lacked clarity on how to achieve this goal, but through the program, I have gained confidence in my skills. I eagerly anticipate contributing to our community and eventually stepping into a leadership role to enhance healthcare system processes. The TRP experience has empowered me to pursue what may seem unattainable, embrace boundless imagination, and dream on a grand scale”.
“What I enjoyed most was the incredible opportunities for collaboration and sharing perspectives. Initially, I was a bit hesitant about the extensive group work in each course, but over time, I began to see the incredible strength and impact of working with others. It reminds me of that beautiful African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to far, go with others”. My experience in the TRP allowed me to practice collaboration, develop techniques, and establish systems to work more effectively with others.
I also really liked the exposure to different career paths that the TRP offered. In one of our Foundation classes, I was introduced to a guest speaker who worked within the field of implementation science, which completely broadened my horizons. It ignited a passion within me, and now I’m eager to pursue a career in this field.
Now, looking forward to the future, I can’t wait to apply the knowledge and tools I gained during my time in the TRP. My practical experience, especially during my capstone project, has equipped me with the skills needed to make a real impact. With my newfound interest in implementation science, I’m excited to be part of a working group supporting the launch of a new program called CareTO that will be implemented across seven different long-term care (LTC) homes, one of them being at a LTC home where I work. I also can look back and appreciate just how much this program has taught me to ask the right questions to understand and identify projects that can truly improve the lives of patients.
Overall, my time in the TRP has been all about growth, collaboration, and finding my passion. I can’t wait to put everything I’ve learned into practice and continue “failing forward” as I support the implementation of innovations and programs focused on meeting patients’ needs. I also want to say thank you to everyone that I met in this cohort. The faculty of amazing professors, my fellow peers, I’m grateful to have met each of them and I’m looking forward to seeing how my fellow TRP classmates continue to make change in our healthcare system”