Jaspreet Khangura, MD’10

In May 2010, Jaspreet Khangura walked across the stage at the Hooding Ceremony to receive a shingle that bore her name and the letters “MD” for the very first time. While most of her fellow graduating classmates walked across the stage with their looming residencies in the back of their mind, Khangura’s path will be a little less conventional than her peers. One of two UBC graduates to be awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in 2010, this fall Khangura will put her residency on hold as she attends Oxford to complete her Masters in Global Health.
The Rhodes Scholarship, founded in 1902 after the death of Cecil Rhodes, is an international fellowship that brings students from all over the world to study at Oxford University in the interests of promoting international understanding and public service. Recipients are well rounded individuals whose academic achievement is matched by a commitment to leadership and the community.Community is something that Khangura knows a lot about. A trip to India as ten year old left an impression on her that has continued to guide her life goals. Struck by the poverty and pollution of the country, the trip opened her awareness to the social inequality that faces many communities around the world. Khangura’s interest in social justice committed her to both local and global volunteerism and advocacy throughout her student years. Some of her numerous volunteer projects have included the establishment of a Kids Can Free the Children chapter and Humanitarian Outreach Program, raising money for children in developing countries.

Khangura has also worked at local food banks, and with the Community Health Initiative by University Students (CHIUS) clinic in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In 2008 she travelled to the Spiti Valley in the Himalayas as a part of the student-led health initiative to conduct health screenings and promote hygiene and nutritional education. Locally, she has worked to help develop a community health outreach program for new immigrants and subsequently developed workshops for the local YMCA and Vancouver Immigrant Society.

Khangura’s positive experiences at UBC while completing her Bachelors of Science in Physiology convinced her to apply to UBC’s medical school. Medicine was perfect for Khangura because it mixed her passion for science with her desire to work with people and contribute back to the community. Fortunate enough to complete most of her studies through scholarships, she stresses that she could not have accomplished all that she has without the funding that she received from those scholarships and is incredibly grateful for the support she has received over the years.

Khangura finds excitement in all areas of medicine and looks forward to the challenges that her career in health care brings. After completing her Masters in Global Health at Oxford, Khangura plans to complete her residency and pursue her PhD. Her ideal career would mix both clinical work and research, a combination that would give her the satisfaction of helping people directly, as well as contributing to a greater impact through research.

Each career goal is a stepping stone to Khangura’s wish to bring health care to some of the most vulnerable people in society. Her past experiences have already helped countless people and her dedication to continue this through other forums, both academic and hands-on, will no doubt make a lasting impact on the individuals that she works with as well as the broader community. At the end of the day, that’s what being a Rhodes Scholar is all about.

— Written by Laura Laverdure

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