Astronaut candidate's profile
What is your current job?
Family physician - I take care of children, adolescents and adults as a family doctor in Windsor, Ontario. I am on staff at Leamington District Memorial Hospital, and I am faculty at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry where I teach medical students and residents.
Captain, Royal Canadian Air Force - On weekends, I am a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces supporting the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Here, I serve as a pilot and am the deputy operations officer of a cadet flying site. We promote citizenship, leadership, physical fitness, and an interest in aviation for youth in our communities.
Why do you want to become an astronaut?
I have always loved both aviation and medicine. I learned to fly at age 16, and pursued science and medicine at school. Science and experiments performed on orbit has led to improvements for all of humanity, and this has been a driving factor in all of my aerospace medicine training. Being involved in cutting-edge research in space, and then helping to translate its application to terrestrial domains, is an exciting thing for me.
What motivated you to study in your field?
My grandparents were scientists at the University of Toronto. I was inspired by the work they did with Dr. Charles Best after the initial discovery of insulin. Their influence and stories sparked my interest in science and research, ultimately leading to my training in physiology and pursuit of graduate education. They both encouraged me to apply to medical school to explore the practical application of my studies in physiology.
Think back to a teacher who had a positive impact on your life. What did she/he do to influence you?
In high school, I had a teacher who was a constant source of encouragement. His courses in philosophy and world religions always pushed me to think critically and to challenge my own assumptions. His influence has helped me countless times in meeting and working with people of diverse backgrounds.
What do you like best about your job?
Family physicians see people at their best and at their worst. I consider myself fortunate to be in a profession that is meant to help people. It is an extremely fulfilling and impactful profession that makes a difference in our communities.
Which living person do you most admire? OR Who are your heroes in real life?
My wife. She is kind and caring, thoughtful and compassionate. Without a doubt, she is the rock in my life and has remained my support through medical school, residency and my medical practice. While being supportive of my efforts and training, she pursued her own dreams and is now a professor at the University of Windsor.
What is your favourite sci-fi movie?
What is your motto?
Per ardua ad astra – Through adversity to the stars, happily borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force.
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