Faces of U of T Medicine: Cheyanne Reed

Aug 22, 2017
This fall, Cheyanne Reed will join the MD Class of 2T1 as a first-year medical student. She spoke to Faculty of Medicine writer Julia Soudat about her journey to medical school, experience with U of T’s Community of Support and what she’s looking forward to most. 

What’s your academic background?

I graduated from Western's Honors Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences along with the Scholars Elective program. 

Did you always want to become a doctor? What made you want to become one?

I've always been fascinated by human biology and love getting to know people, so I've always wanted to have a career focused on helping others. It was a combination of many experiences that solidified my desire to practice medicine - from volunteering in a mental health hospital to conducting research in maternal-fetal medicine. I also found that growing up bi-racial in a family of Filipino and Guyanese immigrants has opened my eyes to barriers faced by marginalized and racialized populations when it comes to health, and has made me passionate about alleviating those barriers and providing those communities with the best possible care.

How was your experience with U of T’s Community of Support? What impact did it have on your journey to medical school?

Being a part of CoS has been an amazing experience. I am so grateful for the opportunities and support that CoS has given me. It’s allowed me to grow personally and professionally as a future medical student. By connecting me with other Black pre-meds, upper year medical students, physicians and community members, CoS has helped me explore my interest in medicine as a career and to navigate the application process. Having mentors and peers who can relate to you and guide you through this journey is so important, because it reminds you that you're not alone. In the future, I'm looking forward to being part of CoS as a mentor and to help other students the way my mentor helped me.

What aspects of medical school are you looking forward to most?

Everything! I’m looking forward to living downtown for the first time and immersing myself in the U of T community. I’m excited to meet all of my classmates, future friends and colleagues. I also can’t wait to find out more about different volunteer opportunities, clubs and activities that U of T has to offer – the Black Medical Student Association and Daffydil are on my list!

What are your areas of interest? Do you know which specialty you’d like to pursue?

I think it's important to be open-minded as interests can change with time and experience. I'm excited to shadow physicians and looking forward to clerkship in years 3 and 4. I think that with time, I’ll have a better idea of which specialty is the right fit for me. Currently, I’m interested in obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine, because I like the idea of being able to build long-term relationships with my patients. I hope to incorporate my interests in racialized and immigrant health into whichever specialty I end up choosing.

What do you think will be the most challenging part of being in medical school?

Balancing my physical and mental well-being and my studies might be a challenge – especially given the pace and volume of new information. However, I think that forming study groups and reaching out for support when I need it will keep me on track and help me become a better student and physician.

Medical school is a lot of work. Do you have any hobbies or outlets that help you de-stress?

Spending time with my family and friends is extremely important to me because it keeps me grounded and de-stresses me. From taste-testing curry with my grandmother to decorating cupcakes with my sister, I'm happiest when I'm cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes! Listening to music is a major outlet for me and I love going to concerts and festivals with friends. I also enjoy running and working out so I'm looking forward to joining one of UofTMed's intramural teams. 


Faces of U of T Medicine introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Faculty of Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.

Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact us at medicine.communications@utoronto.ca.

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