Erika Crowley

Medical Student, University of British Columbia Okanagan

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What might seem impossible today will probably be much more attainable with time and experience. Don't give up on the things that make you happy, excited, or scared!

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am working with a highly diverse and inspiring class of students that collaboratively participate in lectures, tutorials, and laboratories. We strive to understand human anatomy and physiology, among many other subjects, so we can utilize our knowledge to one day improve the health and wellness of our future patients.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

When I was 8, I wanted to be a scientist that created new treatments to cure diseases. When I was 13, I wanted to be an astronaut. When I was 17, I wanted to be a physician.

And now?
I recently finished two Master's degrees. My first was in biochemistry research trying to understand the proteins of a global disease-causing parasite. I then applied my biochemical knowledge to topics beyond Earth in a space studies graduate program. Now, I am bringing these perspectives in space and science to medical school in Canada. My goal is to become a physician, and I hope that my future career incorporates many facets of my childhood dreams and adult accomplishments.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Since early childhood, I have always considered myself to be a dreamer. I did not expect to become so consumed by science and so excited by space that I would complete my two graduate degrees before medical school. I also did not plan to move to Europe or across Canada. I would remind the younger me to never stop dreaming about potential futures even if I cannot see a clear pathway on how to get there. Figuring it all out is the fun part!

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love going outside of my comfort zone and being uncomfortable. STEM facilitates this by opening many doors of possibilities and never-ending challenges. STEM forces you to look directly at scientific problems, and you almost always create more questions than answers as you dig deeper into a topic. It creates this cycle of failure and success that is both frustrating and exhilarating.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Our world is so big, but the Universe is bigger. What might seem impossible today will probably be much more attainable with time and experience. Don't give up on the things that make you happy, excited, or scared!

INSPO / FUN FACT

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

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