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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 5 | May 8, 2003

Prince George’s Newest Doctor Drawn by the Outdoors

Wesbrook Scholar shines on the ice and in the water.

By Hilary Thomson

After years of globetrotting to exotic locales, Keri Closson is hauling out her hockey stick, slinging on her stethoscope and moving to Prince George, B.C.

Armed with a brand new MD degree, the 31-year-old is heading north to start a two-year residency in rural family medicine.

Closson’s academic journey started at McMaster University, where she obtained a degree in Kinesiology in 1995. While working as a kinesiologist, she was impressed by the range of career opportunities available to doctors and enrolled in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine in 1999.

“Working in a smaller town will give me a better chance to know my patients,” she says. “Also, my husband and I love outdoor activities. That’s a big factor in moving out of the city -- being able to balance the demands of work with recreation.”
Closson’s balancing act began as a teenager. As a member of Canada’s national synchronized swim team, she spent up to six hours a day in the pool and received tutoring to keep up her studies. Competitions took her to Australia, New Zealand and Central and South America.

The act continued in med school where she has earned numerous scholarships and prizes and is a Wesbrook Scholar, the university’s honorary designation for students who rank in the top 10 per cent of their class. Even with an intense academic schedule, she has made time to indulge her new passion for hockey with a team of classmates. She has also combined commitments to allow for some long-distance adventures. In the summer after her second year, she and husband Kent, an occupational therapist, worked in a hospital in southern India and later travelled throughout the country.
“That experience really introduced me to the concept of family-centred care - when you treat the patient, you’re making an impact on the whole family.”

Closson reinforced that holistic approach through volunteering at the Community Health Initiative by University Students, a student-run interdisciplinary program for residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She has also completed electives in centres across Canada, including Smithers in B.C.’s north country, and is a member of the committee on student affairs for UBC’s medical school expansion.

With her commitment to healthy living and a passion for individual and team excellence, Keri Closson promises to be a player to watch in the Prince George community.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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