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Photo courtesy of Kevin Graham

Recent University of Ottawa graduate Kevin Graham was recognized Nov. 29 at the Ontario chapter of the College of Family Physicians’ 51st Annual Scientific Assembly as a future leader in family medicine.

The Takeda Family Medicine Scholarship program awards a $5,000 scholarship to an outstanding medical student from each of Ontario’s medical schools to help encourage them to pursue family medicine as their specialty. It is granted to students for aptitude and achievement in family medicine and for potential to go on in the field.

Graham completed his PhD in medical biophysics at Western University and later enrolled at the U of O to pursue a degree in medicine. Graham said his interest in family medicine stemmed from his desire to combine the “academics of research, but the personal relationship as well.”

The Takeda scholarship program started in 2003 when the province faced a shortage of family doctors. The scholarship aims to increase the number of medical student graduates by easing their financial burden.

“Family doctors are the backbone of Ontario’s health care system, focusing on the needs of patients and their families in communities of all sizes across the province,” said chief executive officer of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Jessica Hill. “We are encouraged that more medical students are seeing the importance of family medicine and are choosing it as their focus and career path.”

Graham said the most significant part of receiving the award was recognition from his peers and colleagues.

“When I went to medical school, I had three children, and then I had a fourth child while in medical school,” he said. “It was busy. So I think there is recognition of the kind of management skills that go into that.”

Graham is currently pursuing family medicine training in Oshawa through Queen’s University.