McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Colin Yardley gives back to the community where he grew up

By Suzaane Morrison
Published: May 21, 2013
Colin Yardley
Colin Yardley plans additional training in emergency medicine along with his family medicine residency at the Centre for Family Medicine.

Kitchener-Waterloo native Colin Yardley was in Grade 9 when he read in the newspaper about plans to build a Waterloo campus of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. He thought it would be "pretty neat if I ended up there".

On Friday, May 24, he graduates from the medical school as one of 26 new physicians from the Waterloo regional campus who are part of a class of 204 of the medical school. The Faculty of Health Sciences convocation will see a total of 498 graduates from programs including midwifery, Bachelor of Health Sciences, and several graduate programs cross the stage.

"Colin, like so many of his fellow graduates, demonstrates the importance and value of community involvement within medical education" said Cathy Morris, regional assistant dean of the Waterloo campus of the McMaster medical school. "Seeing our graduates stay in the region is so rewarding."

Colin Yardley attended Cameron High School in Kitchener, located just down the street from McMaster's medical school campus on Victoria Street. He earned a degree in chemistry from Wilfrid Laurier University and plans to stay at the Waterloo regional campus of the medical school for his residency in family medicine at the Centre for Family Medicine. He plans for additional training in emergency medicine in the future.

"I've always been very involved in this area," he said. "I remember reading a newspaper article in Grade 9 about plans to lay out a campus here with the hopes of a medical school. It all worked out."

Rather than going outside his home community for his residency, he felt he wanted to start giving back. "I've always thought that this community has given me so much that it is nice to be able that hopefully, as a resident, to give back and serve the community a little bit more. It's where I would like to practice so it's nice to make the connections here," he said.

He's already started. In his first year in medical school in 2011, Yardley and fellow student, Alexandra Choi, founded MACgic Bus, a program which introduces Grade 5 students in Kitchener to medical education by inviting them to the campus.

"What drew me to the idea is that I've always had an interest in teaching, which is another career that I had considered," he said. "I thought this was a nice way to blend the two. I spoke to teachers in town who said while there were opportunities in the area for field trips about computers, there were few for biology."

In the last three years, close to 200 young Kitchener students participated in the program. "Feedback from teachers and some parents is that they really enjoyed it and the students had a lot of fun," Yardley said.

As his years in medical school end, he is finding others are keen to continue leading the program to ensure its future. Yardley hopes to stay involved, too.

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