Faces of U of T Medicine: Cindy Kang
Cindy Kang is an incoming first-year student with the MD Class of 2T2. She talked to Faculty of Medicine writer Julia Soudat about what made her want to become a doctor and what she’s most looking forward to as a medical student.
What did you do before coming to UofTMed?
I grew up in Niagara Falls, completed my BMSc at Western University, and then moved to Toronto with my family. Although I’ve been living here for the past 2 years, it’s still quite an adjustment coming from such a small city.
What’s your favourite part about living in Toronto? Is there anything you miss about Niagara Falls?
My favourite part about living in Toronto is the diverse and enormous food scene.
I'm a huge foodie and I love that no matter what kind of food you're craving, you'll usually find it within walking distance or a quick TTC ride away (and if it isn't, you can probably get it delivered). I'm also a fan of the nightlife here – every day feels like a Saturday night. What I miss most about Niagara Falls is being able to drive a 15-minute distance and it actually only taking 15 minutes... there was hardly ever any heavy traffic in Niagara!
What made you want to become a doctor?
I don’t think it was an "aha!" moment for me, but rather a combination of didactic, hands-on and observational experiences in the sciences, patient care and clinical settings. Since undergrad, I’ve always been interested in human physiology, cell biology and psychology. These disciplines led me to develop an appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the human body and mind. What was even more interesting to me was how we can apply these subjects from the bench to bedside, so I volunteered at various hospitals to experience patient care first-hand, and I loved it. I pursued medical research and shadowing opportunities – I really wanted exposure to all aspects of medicine. I became a research assistant at various hospitals throughout Toronto and shadowed a cardiovascular surgeon at Toronto General Hospital, who showed me what it's really like being a doctor and how rewarding the profession is. That's when I finally knew that it was right for me.
What specialty do you hope to pursue?
I’m interested in Cardiology and/or Cardiovascular Surgery because I really enjoy the OR environment and learning about cardiac diagnostic tests and treatments.
How did it feel when you got your acceptance letter?
I barely slept the night before acceptance letters were released. I refreshed my email every hour throughout the night (I don't know why I thought they would send them out at 4 am). Finally, at 9:30 am, I received the email I have been waiting months for. It felt surreal and still does to this day. I was overwhelmed with so many positive emotions - happiness, excitement, and relief. I was also scared that they might have made a mistake (i.e. emailed the wrong Cindy Kang). I will never forget how I felt - and more importantly, how my parents felt - when I shared the news. It was easily the best day of my life.
What are you most looking forward to as a UofTMed student?
O-week! Also making lifelong friendships with my fellow 2T2’s, learning from some of the most influential professionals in the field and most importantly, being able to pursue my dream at one of Canada’s most innovative medical schools!
What do you think the biggest challenges will be?
Accepting the fact that I’ll be able to do anything I set my mind to, but not everything. I think the pre-med mindset is to seize every single opportunity and get involved in every extracurricular you can while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Realizing that this may not be attainable in medical school (and, more importantly, accepting that it’s okay that it isn’t) will be one of the biggest challenges for me.
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, members of our community are having an impact at home and around the world.
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