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Blast from the past

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Mods, you can move this to the non-trad subforum if you like, but I thought it might meet general interest...


A "non-trad success stories" blast from the past... names have been changed. :)


Nell was a young woman living in South Africa in the 50s. She'd lived there her whole life, although her family was originally from Canada. She entered university and was accepted into med school in Capetown, but after her second year she got some bad news. her father, a mining engineer, had been transferred back to Canada. Capetown was not the place for a single young lady to be by herself, so Nell was going to have to move to Toronto with the rest of her family. She was not pleased about having to leave the only home she'd ever known, and not pleased about having to leave school.


It was still pretty rare for women to become doctors in Canada, and in the 50s, it wasn't what you knew that got you into med school, it was more about who you knew. Nell's stellar references and grades were not enough to get her accepted at UofT med. She entered the physiotherapy program instead, and although she enjoyed it, her heart was still in medicine. She was disappointed.


Then one day, she received a letter from one of her professors from Capetown, a very well-known anthropologist who had discovered several of the early hominid remains in Southern Africa. He was going to be coming to Toronto to give a lecture, and he was interested in meeting up with her to see how things were going. How was she finding medical school in Canada, he wondered? She responded that she had not been accepted, and that she was disappointed but studying physiotherapy instead.


The famous professor was shocked, and dismayed that her talent and passion was being wasted on something she enjoyed, but didn't love. He told Nell that there was going to be a reception for him when he arrived at UofT, and asked Nell to attend as his guest. She said she would.


The reception for the famous anthropologist was attended by all the deans, many professors, and other academics of the UofT community, but he wanted to speak to only one that night- the dean of medicine- and he wanted to introduce Nell to the dean. The young lady by his side was a little shocked when she was introduced to the dean as "one of the brightest students I have ever had", and was even more shocked when her former professor berated the dean of medicine, in front of the entire room, for not admitting her to the medical program.


Nell was admitted the following year to UofT, and enjoyed a productive career as a GP.

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Sorry dudes, it's real. :)


I don't mean to make this into a political discussion, it was just a story, that's all, and if anything, to make us think about how far things have come since then. :)




Not saying u r making it up. Just saying the story sounded a little..... ok maybe things were a little different back then.

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Correct me if I am wrong, but Captown is in South Africa, isn't it?


There are so many doctors from other countries immigrated to Canada, yet couldn't continue their medical career, left alone a medical student. I would say this story shows unfairness, in a way that this lady did not need to retake a 2nd B.Sc as most foreign medical student immigrated to Canada normally do, and she got in medicine by connection. That's how I understand from this article. ;)


I had a Russian professor teaching microbiology and immunology last semester. He was a medical student back then in his home country. Yet when he immigrated here, he couldn't get in. I dunno the reason, but I believed his grade would be awesome as well. So, if he had a connection, maybe he wouldn't need to teach immunology now :D

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you know what's kind of amazing about this story... I downplayed it in my telling, but if she was a boy she probably would have gotten in right away.


Nick- that wasn't how it "normally" was, you didn't "normally" do another undergrad, this was in the 1950s, remember. ;)

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