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Saint John student makes medical dreams come true at UNB

Dr. Carly Baxter (BSc’14) knew she wanted to practice medicine by Grade 10 or 11. After graduating from Simonds High School, she enrolled in a bachelor of science program on UNB’s Saint John campus and set out to make her goal a reality.

While the jump from high school to university felt like a big one, Baxter went all in. She made the Seawolves varsity soccer team, served as the athletics rep on the Student Representative Council (SRC), volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John and became vice-president of the campus chapter of the Golden Key International Honours Society, which promotes academics, leadership and service among its members. She also completed a field course in Bimini, the westernmost district of the Bahamas, as part of her biology program.

Before graduating in 2014 with a major in biology and psychology, Baxter was inducted into UNB’s prestigious Sir Howard Douglas Society and named a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Academic All Canadian, reserved for athletes who achieve honours standing and elite athletic achievement.

Baxter attributes her success to the UNB community that supported her and provided opportunities for close, personal relationships and mentorship.

“It’s a tight-knit community where you’re able to grow together and form life-long relationships,” says Baxter. “I knew I wanted to study medicine and work with children, and I was surrounded by people who could help me make that happen.”

A healthcare hub

UNB is part of a bustling health district in Saint John thanks to its colocation with the Saint John Regional Hospital and Dalhousie Medicine’s New Brunswick satellite campus. To leverage and grow the healthcare hub, UNB launched a unique-in-Canada, interdisciplinary bachelor of health program in 2019 with core courses covering the biological and social determinants of health, current health issues and the management of healthcare services. Students can major in Health and Society, Management in Health or Biomedical Sciences and Health, known amongst students as the “pre-med stream.”

The Saint John health district was the perfect opportunity for Baxter to study medicine. She enrolled in Dalhousie’s Medicine program in Saint John in 2014 and went on to complete her pediatric residency at the IWK in Halifax. She is currently in her final year of subspecialty training in pediatric endocrinology at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Baxter’s passion for learning and supporting others didn’t stop at her medical degree. She is currently applying to complete a master’s in medical education, an area of medicine she finds to be both motivating and rewarding. Only time will tell where her passion, determination and UNB degree will take her next.