Alumni Profile: Suzanne Turner
MBS Grad-turned-doctor Treats Inner City Populations
Dr. Suzanne Turner (MBS' 03), who recently visited with students in the new pre-med program, is proof positive how beneficial a KGI education is for aspiring doctors.
Like those in the new Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate program (PPC), Turner used her schooling at KGI to go onto medical school. The Master of Bioscience (MBS) graduate from 2003 enjoyed her business training, and continues to utilize what she learned while carrying out her residency at St. Michaels Hospital in downtown Toronto, Canada.
In June 2010, Turner completed her MD at the University of Toronto and now works in Toronto's inner city providing health care to some of the most marginalized populations there, including the homeless and under-housed, patients living with HIV/AIDs, the GLBT (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgendered) population and patients with complex mental health issues.
"Working in a public system ensures that I can provide health care to these populations, but also is a challenge from a resource management perspective," explained Turner. "Family physicians are the gatekeepers to our public system and as a result they have to make decisions regarding appropriate investigations and specialty referrals. This is an enormous responsibility that I take very seriously, and my education at KGI, specifically in business administration and accounting, provided me with a systems-wide perspective that few of my colleagues had immediately following medical school."
Turner also credits her experience in the Master of Bioscience (MBS) program with giving her enough knowledge of business organization to help her participate as a board member for several nonprofit organizations.
"I utilize the skills I learned from KGI's entrepreneurship course in writing fundraising plans for not-for-profits," she said.
"As a mentor, she encouraged me to explore bioengineering, and although I was trained in biochemistry, I transitioned to working in her laboratory for a year following graduation. She celebrated our different backgrounds and encouraged me to apply my knowledge and skills to the solution of bioengineering research questions. It was exciting to work in a new and collaborative research environment. Her words of wisdom regarding the importance of being happy with your career were fundamental to my pursuit of medicine," Turner said.
Turner encourages future medical school applicants to talk to MDs with MBAs and corporate experience about the application of business to medicine, outside of the realm of the pharmaceutical world.
"Given that I work in a public system, the biggest benefit from my KGI training is my appreciation for the complexities of resource allocation," she said. "I continually strive to help educate my fellow classmates on resource management, and I am currently completing a cost analysis of several surgical techniques in a pediatric population."
She hopes to continue her health economics-based research in the future—an area she never would have pursued if not for KGI and the training she received from the MBS program.
"Every day in medicine provides new challenges as it is a dynamic environment with patients who have ever-changing needs. That being said, it is a most rewarding career and I can't imagine doing anything else."