Celebrating the BMSc Class of 2018 with Cameron Patterson
By Crystal Mackay, MA'05
For Cameron Patterson, stepping outside his comfort zone was an important part of his university career. Early on, he made a decision to choose experiences that would challenge him.
“I started to realize that this was my opportunity to experience new things I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do. I'm definitely conscious of the fact that unless I’m uncomfortable, I’m not really growing,” he said.
And push himself he has – in academics and in his personal life. It began with choosing the rare dual degree stream that combines a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and an Honors Business Administration degree at Ivey. The intensive program, which takes five years to complete, allows the student to graduate with two full degrees under their belt and a wealth of knowledge in medical sciences and business.
He says being able to meet Dr. Margaret Chan, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry Alumna and former director of the World Health Organization, at Homecoming in 2017 was a transformative moment for him. He says she helped him realize the true value of the dual degree.
“She talked about the fact that while she is focused on health outcomes, a large part of her job was health-related but also included securing the necessary funds for the World Health Organization,” he said.
Patterson also used the opportunities that Western University offers to travel abroad. In 2017, he was awarded the Ontario Batten Wurttemberg scholarship and spent a summer working in a lab at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. There he had the opportunity to contribute to a research project studying a model organism that produced a biodegradable plastic. This project resulted in his name being included on his first publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
“That was a really big moment for me and was the result of taking advantage of these international opportunities at Western. Getting my name on this publication proved to me that success in the real world is attainable,” he said.
He also joined the pre-med society at Western in order to engage with other students while he was navigating his future career path. Through that society, he travelled to Nicaragua twice to help establish medical clinics in underserviced areas of the country.
Patterson’s desire to push his own boundaries also comes through in his personal life. He was a competitive downhill ski racer, and continued that passion as a coach at the London Ski Club at Boler Mountain, this past year being named ‘coach of the year.’ He also has a love for the arts that he channels through choral singing with the Amabile choirs of London.
“Academia is very objective, and getting that opportunity to have an avenue for the emotional side of one's characters is beneficial and keeps me grounded.”
In June, he will cross the stage at Alumni Hall with his BMSc classmates to put the final cap on his experience. However, he will continue to test the limits, and will soon be starting his career as a consultant at Epona Group, a project management and consulting firm.
Combing his science and business backgrounds, he will be involved in vetting environmentally responsible businesses for funding opportunities enabling further research and development.
“I’ve always had a five year plan leading up to this moment, and now all of a sudden I’m at the door and I have to open it. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.”
The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry congratulates Cameron and the entire BMSc Class of 2018 for their achievements during the past four years and on their graduation