Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Alumna Brings her Teaching Skills to a Career in Medicine and Research

June, 21, 2019
By Communications Team 

In a lot of ways, Hannah Ramsay has a familiar story. Her mother was a kindergarten teacher and she knew from a very early age that teaching was something she wanted to do when she grew up. But, as Hannah made her way through Con.Ed. at Queen’s, she realized she wasn’t quite ready to give up life as a student. Hannah applied for a Master’s in Chemistry with the hope that the additional degree would help her to get a job as a teacher. 

Hannah did not count on developing a passion for research.  In the lab, she was enthralled with her cutting-edge work investigating the use of silver for imaging and treating disease. There is so little known about this use of silver and Hannah was excited about figuring out how it could make a difference in medicine. Working as a TA helped her balance out all the time in the lab. Hannah found she liked working with students in their first and second years. She enjoys the process of breaking down a big subject like chemistry, a subject she knows so much about, to make it accessible to her students.  Like her past teachers in chemistry, she wants to light a fire in her students so they can learn to love it the way she does: with no fear. Bringing teaching skills to a Career in Medicine and Research

Because of Hannah’s hope to one day see her research through to clinical trials and patient care, her supervisor alerted her to the highly competitive MD/PhD program here at Queen’s. This specialized program would allow her to continue her research while participating in the people-focused curriculum of getting her medical degree.  With it, she would be able to improve patients’ outcomes and lives through both her research and her work.  The MD/PHD program only accepts 3 students per year—it was a long shot —but she got in.

Hannah’s long-term goal combines everything she has learned through her time at Queen’s: she wants to become a teaching doctor and help teach doctors the technical aspects of the work, but also how to work with their patients. Her degree in education directly affects this as she can not only teach doctors to perform their medical tasks, but also how to break down complex information and medical jargon in a way that is accessible to the average patient. Once Hannah has the opportunity to put all this into practice, her work will undoubtedly help to improve the overall patient-doctor experience.