“Growing up my mother was a nurse. She would get periodicals sent to her which were illustrated by the medical artist Netter. So I would read those journals that would come to her when I was in primary school. In my undergrad work I did some volunteer work at my mother’s hospital and that gave me a little surface exposure to the practice of medicine, the challenges. In my first year at medical school I was very intrigued by a neuroanatomy professor at the University of Toronto, Mike Bertram. Dr. Bertram would use two pieces of chalk and draw perfectly symmetrical coronal images of various levels of the brain and I thought that was super cool. And I like the symmetry and the organization of the nervous system I guess because it appealed to my OCD traits. In my third year I had an opportunity to do a neurosurgery clinical elective at Toronto General Hospital. When I went to meet the neurosurgeon I was informed that he wasn’t there because he was doing an emergency case but I might find the chief resident on the ward. So I hooked up with him, twenty minutes later I was assisting him taking out an acute subdural hematoma. So that was very exciting. That’s how I became interested in neurosurgery.”

Michael - San Fransisco, California