McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Stephen Hawrylyshyn combines medicine and business

By Suzaane Morrison
Published: May 21, 2013
Stephen Hawrylyshyn
Stephen Hawrylyshyn says the value of linking medicine with business became clear to him while studying for the master’s degree.

Stephen Hawrylyshyn will cross the stage twice at McMaster University's convocation for its Faculty of Health Sciences on May 24. He will walk across the Hamilton Place stage once to receive his medical degree, and then shake hands a second time while receiving a Master of Science degree in eHealth.

The graduate of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine says the value of linking medicine with business became clear to him while studying for the master's degree.

He is one of 204 new physicians graduating from the medical school. The Faculty of Health Sciences convocation will see 498 graduates from programs including midwifery, Bachelor of Health Sciences, and several graduate programs cross the stage.

"What I realized was the world of business is huge and medicine doesn't look to it, yet it has all these lessons to be learned whether it's about managing or working on teams," he said. "Health care is a lot about communication and teamwork. Yet, doctors don't look at the data from the business world because it's often not in the same journals or the same vein as health care data."

With a passion for eHealth, he is particularly interested, among other things, in how digital technology can be successfully used in hospital emergency departments to improve the flow of patients. As a family medicine resident at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital starting in July, he feels he will be able to improve these skills by having access to the hospital's knowledge institute and family physicians recognized for innovative use of technology to improve patient care.

Throughout his years at McMaster, Hawrylyshyn undertook different projects that ranged from improving student life to the creation of a national scholarship. "As I went through medical school, it dawned on me that there are so many areas that needed champions."

He served as vice-president of services for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and director of services for the student section of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). He has also promoted the need for a combined MD/MBA degree at McMaster, so doctors learn about finance, marketing and business strategy along with their medical studies.

Some day in the future, he hopes to return to McMaster. "It's literally like you're a family. I feel so seriously about coming back," he said.

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