Faces of our Medical School

Since opening our doors in 1967, our medical school has grown and evolved into an internationally recognized leader in education and research with a focus on precision medicine and precision public health. We are incredibly proud of the rich history of our medical school, and look we forward to working together to create the future of health in Calgary and beyond.


Dr. Elizabeth MacRae | Forging the path for women in neurosurgery

Dr. Elizabeth MacRae | Forging the path for women in neurosurgery

Dr. Elizabeth (Betty) MacRae was just a three-year-old when she began to dream of a career in medicine.  

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Patty Beug-Jang

Patty Beug-Jang | A lot to be proud of

About 10 years ago, Patty Beug-Jang joined the human resources (HR) team at the University of Calgary as an HR co-ordinator.

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Shaunna Huston

Shaunna Huston | A life-changing opportunity

Shaunna Huston never looks at a job as Monday to Friday 9-5 p.m.

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Joyce Forster

Joyce Forster | A sense of belonging

“I failed retirement,” says Joyce Forster with a giggle. “But I didn’t come back because I failed. I came back because this is where I’m meant to be.” 

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Stephanie Smith

Captain Stephanie Smith | Canadian hero for people in need

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” says Captain Stephanie Smith, now in her second year of the MD program at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). 

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Jennifer Logan

Jennifer Logan | Supporting BHSc students on their undergraduate journey

“I would like people to know that I have the very best job at CSM”, says Jennifer Logan, an almost 11-year veteran of the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM).  

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Jeffrey Veale

Dr. Jeffrey Veale | From Calgary to the red carpet in California

Inspired by children’s smiles, Jeffrey Veale applied for medical school to become the next Patch Adams, a physician, social activist and clown whose life’s work is memorialized in a Hollywood movie. 

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Stacy Lee Lockerbie

Stacy Lee Lockerbie | From bike trails to community based research: A few paths less travelled

“We all take our own path”, says Stacy Lee as she describes how she ended up working at the Department of Family Medicine, at the Cumming School. 

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Leigh Hurst

Leigh Hurst | Planting a tree

When Leigh Hurst started working at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) in 1998, she was only four days removed from finishing her last exam at the University of Calgary. 

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Derrick Rancourt

Derrick Rancourt | Biologist, family man and ‘opportunity guy’

“People have said to me, ‘You should pick a disease to study and stick to it for your whole life.’ But that’s just not my approach, I’m more of an opportunity guy,” says Derrick Rancourt, PhD, a professor in the departments of Oncology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medical Genetics.

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Dr Liam Martin

Dr. Liam Martin | Rheumatologist, patient champion and soccer fan extraordinaire

Liam Martin has seen a lot of changes since he came here from Ireland in 1986 to work in Marv Fritzler’s lab. 

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Giovanna Trotta

Giovanna Trotta | From Italy to Calgary

“My parents come from a town called San Giovanni in Fiori, Italy. There was no work for them in Italy to raise a family,” says Giovanna (Jo) Trotta. “My father came to Canada alone to see what it was like and then called my mother and older sister to join him. That was 60 years ago.” 

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Charlene Wrona

Charlene Wrona | Bringing top talent to the Cumming School of Medicine

On her way to get coffee in the morning, Human Resources (HR) advisor Charlene Wrona often sees the many familiar faces whom once walked into her office as a new employee of the University of Calgary.

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Jesse Kon

Jesse Kon | Knowlegeable in varied technologies, helping others do better

Jesse Kon keeps himself on top of things by reminding himself to do better. “My personal motto is simple,” he says, “you can’t get complacent.  No matter how good you are at something, you can always learn more and do better!”

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Kevin Johnston

Kevin Johnston | Helping others achieve success one workshop at a time

Kevin Johnston considers himself an administration and logistics guy in his role as program coordinator for the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) Office of Faculty Development (OFD)

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Dr Lawrence Korngut

Dr. Lawrence Korngut | Family man and neuromuscular medicine champion

“When I was 12, I found a book about the brain in a used bookstore,” says Dr. Lawrence Korngut.

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Tyler Murphy

Tyler Murphy | Here to make a difference

“Customer service is hard, but I believe we make a difference every day.”  

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Anne Heiligsetzer

Anne Heiligsetzer | A familiar face

By the time most people arrive at work for the day, Anne Heiligsetzer has already helped patients get to their appointment, greeted students on their way to class, and welcomed colleagues as they rush off to start on their to do lists. 

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John Kornelson

John Kornelson | Family man and Harley fan

The human body is a fascinating machine, while we often think how well it serves us during our lifetime; we know it still has a lot of use after death. 

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Mathieu Chin

Mathieu Chin | Superstar student on the pathway to medicine

Mathieu Chin is a busy man. “From the first day on campus, there have been a million opportunities,” he says. 

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Dr. Garland Jonker

Dr. Garland Jonker | Rural medicine physician gets his start as surgeon to tiny fish

Dr. Garland Jonker’s (MD ’09) personal motto is “Et si c’était à refaire, je referais ce chemin,” by Louis Aragon, meaning, “if I were to do it again, I would do it this way.” 

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Mike Paget

Mike Paget | Explorer with an aptitude for technology

“Entomologist, archaeologist, artist, chef, double O agent, time traveler,” says Mike Paget, when asked what career paths he wanted to pursue as a child.

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April Gustavsen

April Gustavsen | Advisor to Calgary’s future physicians

Great colleagues make all the difference for April Gustavsen. 

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Berchman Wong

Berchman Wong | Ready for the next step

“Everything is finally connecting,” says Berchman Wong when talking about the path that led him to the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). “The stars have aligned, and I’m ready for the next step.” 

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Leda Stawnychko

Leda Stawnychko | Taking a colleague for coffee promotes campus-wide research collaborations

Leda Stawnychko has a knack for bringing people together. 

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Dr. Shoghi Nikoo

Dr. Shoghi Nikoo | Putting it all together

“No, definitely not,” says Dr. Shoghi Nikoo when asked if he always knew that he wanted to attend medical school.

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Dr. Rita Watterson

Dr. Rita Watterson | Juggling priorities leads student to help vulnerable people

Although she once briefly dreamed of opening a trapeze school, when it came time for Rita Watterson to decide what to do with her life, you might say she couldn’t fight fate.

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Dr. Norman Schachar

Dr. Norman Schachar | Professor emeritus saw bald prairie transformed into medical school

When Dr. Norman Schachar first showed his wife where he worked, she couldn’t believe it.

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Fatemeh Shahhosseini

Fatemeh Shahhosseini | Mentoring highly skilled newcomers to Canada

Fatemeh Shahhosseini, PhD, knew from a young age that she wanted to work in science.

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Darrell Belke

Darrell Belke | No regrets

Darrell Belke, PhD, has some amazing stories to tell about his research career.

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Dr. Maureen Topps

Dr. Maureen Topps | Scottish-born physician has a history of seeking the future

There’s a fitting kind of symmetry to Maureen Topps’ career.

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Jocelyn Lockyer

Jocelyn Lockyer | ‘Unlikely career’ in medical education earns national honour

Growing up in a small pulp mill community in northwestern Ontario, Jocelyn Lockyer never dreamed she would one day become an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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Dr. David Hogan

Dr. David Hogan | Geriatric specialist with a funny bone

Dr. David Hogan is looking forward to his well-deserved retirement – from his position as The Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine, anyway.

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Barb Cowley

Barb Cowley | Former barrel racer enjoys working with the community

Spending time around horses while growing up gave Barb Cowley some insights into how to work well with people.

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Dr. Rithesh Ram

Dr. Rithesh Ram | Family physician, family man

Growing up, Rithesh Ram, like many children, was fascinated with space and dreamed of one day being an astronaut.

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Ann Zalucky

Ann Zalucky | Taking chances leads to great success

"Why not try?" is the mantra instilled by one of Ann Zalucky’s early mentors, Dr. Sofia Ahmed, a nephrology specialist at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM).

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Asha Hollis

Asha Hollis | Research and advocacy go hand-in-hand

During her time as a student in the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) program, Asha Hollis has taken advantage of every opportunity.

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Elliott Reichardt

Elliott Reichardt | Bachelor of Health Sciences’ student with a passion for research

Elliott Reichardt may be only 21 years old, but he’s already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments.

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Jenna Slobozian

Jenna Slobozian | Why work doesn’t feel like work

When Jenna Slobozian talks about her work with the Cumming School of Medicine’s research team, you can see the passion on her face and hear it in her voice.

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John Nystrom

John Nystrom | Pumped about problem solving

John Nystrom may not be a doctor or researcher, but his work is critical to the smooth operation of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta (LCIA).

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Emma Buzath

Emma Buzath | Using mental skills to solve the medical care puzzle

The mental skills it takes to safely scale a 50-metre-high cliff is what rock climber Emma Buzath brings to her work at the Cumming School of Medicine.

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Nabeela Nathoo

Nabeela Nathoo | Pursuing her teenage dream to become a neurologist

Divulging a fun fact that a second career would be that of writing mystery novels, Leaders in Medicine student Nabeela Nathoo believes one must follow the path that will make them happy, so Steve Jobs' comment resonates strongly with her.

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Trevor Emmel

Trevor Emmel | Helping make everyone’s day just a little bit easier

As Trevor Emmel sits at a table in the Health Research Innovation Centre atrium, there are few people who walk by and don’t recognize him.

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Delores Atkinson

Delores Atkinson |

Keeping students, faculty and staff safe and secure, and making patients, visitors and dignitaries feel welcome

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Bob Phillips

Bob Phillips | From a career in banking to a career in security at the Cumming School of Medicine

Growing up on a farm in St. Paul, Alberta, Robert (Bob) Phillips dreamed of being an RCMP officer, but the force had a strict height policy which kept him from being accepted as a recruit.

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Dr. Aravind Ganesh

Dr. Aravind Ganesh | Rhodes Scholar, stand-up comedian

If you ask Dr. Aravind Ganesh about his personal motto, he would paraphrase the quote attributed to Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Aisling Gamble

Aisling Gamble | Communications advisor, event planner and hockey mom

“I feel like I’m planning my wedding multiple times a year, except it isn’t as stressful,” said Aisling Gamble when talking about her role on the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) Communications, Media Relations and Marketing team.

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Josh White

Josh White | Stepping into our 50th year with new socks created by a CSM Student

Finding just the right takeaway gift to mark the 50th Anniversary of the school of medicine was no easy feat.

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