Mackenzie veterinarian looks to give back
Giving back and helping others. This is what made Manraj Sidhu from Mackenzie pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
“Whatever career path I pursue, I hope to contribute back to the profession in some way,” said Sidhu, who began his first year of classes at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in August.
He, along with 78 classmates, received an official welcome to the WCVM on Sept. 22 during a white coat ceremony in Saskatoon, Sask.
“I’ve always imagined myself as a veterinarian that treats animals while learning more about animal health to help expand the knowledge of the veterinary field.”
Sidhu’s interest in volunteering began when he was a teenage patient at the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
“My social worker at the hospital thought I was a “mature” patient and asked me to speak with another particularly reserved patient in the oncology ward,” Sidhu said.
“I ended up being an unofficial volunteer for the hospital for over seven years.”
As a result, Sidhu became a spokesperson for the Sunshine Kids Foundation where he spoke regularly with teens and their families while sponsoring trips for children with cancer.
In 2011, Sidhu was named the British Columbia Difference Maker of the Year, which led him to travel with Rick Hansen in support of his foundation.
“I learn a lot from the experiences of others. Even though there are many hard times encountered while working with these organizations, it’s incredibly satisfying to improve the lives of others,” Sidhu said.
Sidhu was in the middle of his third year of an undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia when he decided to pursue veterinary medicine.
Influenced by a family friend, Dr. Ravi Singh, a small animal veterinarian, Sidhu was able to observe while receiving continued support and advice from Singh.
Although unsure of his plans for the future, one thing is certain: Sidhu wants to make a difference by contributing back to the profession in some way, either through lab-related research or disease monitoring at a local clinic.
“Hopefully, in five years, I will be treating animals and monitoring infectious diseases at the same time,” Sindu said.
Sidhu developed a keen interest in infectious diseases and acquired significant research experience through an undergrad co-op at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/Aids.
“I hope my life and volunteer experiences will enable me to better deal with the stresses of vet school and life as a veterinarian. I hope I can empathize well with my clients and I hope that all my research experience will stick with me.”
Mackenzie veterinarian Manraj Sidhu is a focused on volunteering.