My name is Daniel Garcia and I’m a Family Medicine Resident at the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Toronto, I completed my undergraduate and master’s degree at McMaster University before starting my journey in the 4-year Graduate Entry Medicine Program at University College Cork.
UCC provided the benefit a smaller class size, approximately 70 students during our pre-clerkship years, with nearly half of us from North America. This offered a sense of camaraderie that carried us through to graduation and beyond into residency by promoting intimate clinical teaching, practical labs, and didactic sessions. Our clerkship involved several teaching hospitals throughout Ireland, with UCC providing the added benefit of completing our core rotations prior to writing our Canadian board exams. The clinical context supplemented our self-directed learning and better prepared us for a residency in Canada.
UCC also afforded the option to complete our core rotations in Canada during the academic year in addition to elective placements during the summer months. This facilitated the establishment of my professional network, familiarized myself with the Canadian healthcare system, and helped me gain experience in my specialties of interest.
I was fortunate enough to match in the first round at the program of my choice alongside many of my friends who matched to competitive specialties in orthopedics, radiology, internal medicine, and general surgery in Canada, the United States, and Intern positions in Ireland. I truly believe there is added value in completing a medical program that is invested in producing doctors that choose to stay in Ireland’s healthcare organization, the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Last, but not least, living in Ireland has blessed me with the opportunity to travel. I’ve played golf at St. Andrew’s, climbed the tallest peak in Ireland, watched the Rugby World Cup in Wales, tasted whiskey in Scotland, eaten tapas in Spain, walked the canals of the Netherlands, and lounged the beaches in Greece. Overall, Atlantic Bridge and UCC helped my dreams of becoming a Canadian physician come true, while providing me with memories and friends to last a lifetime.