Claudia Singh, BMLSc’22

Claudia Singh (she/her) is a recent graduate of the BMLSc Program and recipient of the William J. Godolphin Prize for Excellence in Critical Thinking and the Outstanding Performance in PATH 405 award. She considers herself a lifelong learner and a huge nerd for everything from hematology to working out to sports like golf, soccer, hockey, and basketball. Claudia enjoys clinical research and through the Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Program was able to carry out a project under the supervision of Dr. Audi Setiadi at BC Children’s Hospital and present a poster at the International Clinical Cytometry 2021 Meeting. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine and engage in teaching, research, and mentoring throughout her career. When Claudia is not working or studying, you can find her spending time with family and friends or on the golf course.

What drew you to the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) degree at UBC?

I have always been interested in medical sciences. I attribute my love of science to being drawn to the “why” behind things. I think the human body is an incredible machine full of tiny cells that carry out chemical processes to allow us to do the many amazing things we do every day. However, it can be vulnerable to disease, and the reasons as to why are extremely interesting and an area of ever-growing research. I was drawn to the BMLSc degree when applying to UBC because of its small program size and curriculum built around studying the “why” and “how” behind disease. I wanted to learn the answers to some of the questions I had and, in turn, I came out of it with even more questions than I started.

How has studying in the BMLSc program made an impact on you?

The BMLSc program has had a tremendous impact on me. I absolutely loved every part of the curriculum and it greatly furthered my love for learning. I was tested against an immense workload which brought out my critical thinking skills and discovered a love for teaching I never knew I had. I grew incredible relationships with peers and faculty that have helped me with my education and my career. The program allowed me to learn closely from instructors and grow my love for clinical research which brought upon many other opportunities.

What was something you learned in the BMLSc program that surprised you?

One of the things I learned that really surprised me was actually about myself: I really love teaching and want to teach in my career. I had no idea how much I would enjoy teaching (if at all) until I was a third of the way through PATH 405: Seminars in Current Topics. This class taught us how to be effective teachers and the true meaning of learner-centered teaching. The instructors leading the course were so passionate and helped foster my newfound love for teaching. I definitely hope to teach throughout my career and it would be extra special to be able to come back to the program that has given me so much and teach a few lectures to future BMLSc students.

What advice do you have for students entering the BMLSc program?

My advice to students entering the BMLSc program would be to take advantage of the many amazing support systems and opportunities it has to offer. A program of this size gives students the opportunity to really get to know their peers, members of the teaching faculty, and brilliant instructors that come in throughout the semester. Learning from your peers and being able to use each other for support will bring so much enjoyment and help many students especially in third year when exam seasons can be particularly stressful. Reaching out to instructors can lead to great conversations that foster learning or even give rise to opportunities outside of the classroom such as research, employment, or mentoring. One of the most important things I learned through this program is that there are so many people who would love to use their experience to help others if students take the initiative to reach out.

Where do you find inspiration?

Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere.

  • My parents have always inspired me from a young age; they are incredibly gifted, kind-hearted individuals who have shown me what a strong work ethic looks like and fueled my love for learning at a young age. More importantly, they never fail to show me what it looks like to be a good person and give back to others. My sisters do the same and they inspire me with their intelligence, resilience, and their care for others.
  • I am inspired by my friends and my peers in university who I have watched accomplish great things and always support me towards my own goals.
  • I am inspired by the incredible professors I’ve had throughout my time at UBC, especially those in the BMLSc program, who have been incredibly supportive and have shown me what it truly means to care about student learning. They are very bright individuals and I had the pleasure of watching them go the extra mile for students.
  • I am inspired by each and every one of the hematopathologists at BC Children’s Hospital. These individuals welcomed me with incredible kindness, went out of their way to teach me, and gave me incredible opportunities to learn and challenge myself.
  • Lastly, I am inspired by UBC itself. I am always in awe of the tremendous work conducted by some of the amazing researchers and students and hope to contribute to it one day.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am currently studying for the MCAT while continuing to pursue activities of interest such as my volunteer work in the Emergency Department of Vancouver General Hospital, mentoring, my work at Canucks Autism Network, and golf. I hope to begin work in a clinical setting while applying to medical schools in the fall.

What does a healthy society mean to you?

A healthy society to me is one that addresses many social determinants of health such as education, social support systems, housing, and food security to best address the health of every single member of the community. It is a society that tries to, and can hopefully succeed in, eliminating health disparities through well guided policy driven by research. Beyond physical health, I believe a healthy society is one that encompasses mental and social well-being. It is a society that encourages open dialogue and discourse as well as open mindedness and growth while always showing kindness, patience, respect, compassion, and care for others.

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