Curtis Leclerc, a student in the Northern Medical Program, is blazing a new trail for improving rural health.
Leclerc is the first student in the Northern Medical Program to pursue a combined MD/PhD degree through the program.
“I was inspired to pursue an MD/PhD due to my passion for medicine and research.” Leclerc said.
“Growing up in The Pas, a small Northern community in Manitoba, I witnessed the disparities between rural and urban settings, which helped fuel my desire to pursue medicine and to make a difference in underserved areas.”
Leclerc’s PhD focus will be in interdisciplinary oncology and cancer care.
He will be supervised by Dr. Rob Olson, a professor in the Northern Medical Program and a radiation oncologist at the research lead at the BC Cancer Centre for the North.
“It was really important for me to stay in Northern BC and do research up here,” Curtis said.
“This area reminds me so much of where I grew up. Being in the north will provide an opportunity for me to address healthcare disparities directly and contribute to improving access and outcomes in rural and remote communities.”
The seven-year MD/PhD program is designed for students who want to become clinician-scientists, and is jointly administered by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia.