How do you feel about winning the iNTERSTUDENT 2015 competition? I feel very honored to be a recipient of such a prestigious award. It was a very pleasant surprise when I heard about my nomination and later when I found out that I had won in the Master’s category. I would like to offer a special thank you to faculty and staff at the Medical University of Lodz, my friends and colleagues, and of course, my family who have supported me along the way.
Having grown up in Canada, what inspired you to study in Poland at the Medical University of Lodz? I studied on exchange at the Politechnika Warszawska during my undergraduate years and really enjoyed that experience. When I found out that the Medical University of Lodz had an English division, I sent in my application. Both of my parents met and studied medicine at the Łódzka Akademia Medyczna. I grew up listening to their stories from their student years, but I never imagined that I would one day study at the same university or even take courses in some of the same lecture halls. I guess in a way you could call this a new family tradition.
What made you decide that you wanted to study medicine? I think that this is an exciting period when medicine is being integrated with new technologies. I was always interested in studying medicine, but I also had an interest in combining the fields of medicine with computer science. To do this, I first completed a degree in computer science before starting medical school.
What is your impression of Poland? Has something surprised you in particular? Poland has a lot to offer – it has a diverse geography, rich in history and culture. Poles are very generous and supportive. Each year, during the Juwenalia festivals in May, city mayors grant students additional privileges to their city. These events highlight how well students in Poland are treated. Another example is the automatic student discount on travel and other services throughout the country. This is something that many international students see for the first time. University life is balanced, with many opportunities to take time off on student-organized trips and events to relax and have fun between studies.
What do you think of Lodz? Lodz is in the heart of Poland – It is right at the centre and close to other major Polish cities. Lodz offers a very student-friendly atmosphere with lots of places to meet and hang out with friends (e.g., Piotrkowska Street, Manufaktura) and be entertained (e.g., festivals, theatres, philharmonic). One of my favourite aspects of Lodz is its many parks, each with its own character. I bike all year long and I frequently pass through more than one park on my way to a destination. The parks offer a quiet place to escape when you need to relax your mind. There is always something new and interesting to see in this city!
I know that medicine is not your only passion. Please, tell more about your love for music. Music allows me to not only explore many ideas with rhythm, sound and improvisation, but also to learn about myself and others. I grew up studying classical music for the piano and have also composed works of my own. Music has allowed me to relax after long days of work or study. There is no language barrier when it comes to music. When I was in Japan, I once played at a concert with a junior high school art teacher with whom I could not communicate using languages. Speaking English was a barrier for him, but we both knew songs by groups like The Beatles, The Eagles, and Elton John. We spent hours improvising after classes. For me this experience highlighted the power of music to bring together people of all backgrounds.
Could you share some of your plans for the future? For now, I would like to complete my medical studies and start my internship. The Medical University of Lodz is well connected and offers many opportunities to students interested in research and work. I would like to combine my knowledge and experience in both fields of computer science and medicine. I am interested in how software can help empower doctors’ abilities and raise the standard of treatment. I hope that my knowledge and skills can find good use in the future. I love to travel, so I hope to see more of the world in the years to come.