McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Meet Health Sciences valedictorian Avijeet Sarker

By Allyson Rowley
Published: May 27, 2016
Avijeet Sarker
"McMaster has been an incredibly special place to learn," says Avijeet Sarker, valedictorian for the Faculty of Health Sciences convocation on May 27.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? What's the best advice anyone has ever given you? Avijeet Sarker, valedictorian at the May 27 convocation for the Faculty of Health Sciences, answers these and other pressing questions in our Daily News questionnaire:

Your home town:

Edmonton, Alberta

Your degree & subject area:

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Where are you headed after convocation?

Internal Medicine, University of Toronto

Your best memory of Mac?

These past years at McMaster have been amazing! I will always remember and will be forever grateful for the friendships that I have formed and for the tremendous support that I have received from so many individuals along the way. Since this was the first time I had lived on my own, the initial transition was definitely an adjustment. Through hard work and with the support of others, this journey allowed me to develop important life skills and to learn how to balance my responsibilities both in and out of the classroom.

The best advice anyone ever gave you?

I am reminded of a quote that my parents mentioned to me by a famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore: "The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence." For me, this speaks to how important it is to learn from all of life's experiences and to apply that learning to new situations as they are encountered.

Your biggest accomplishment so far?

An accomplishment that I am proud of is being the Co-Founder of McMaster University's first student-run health clinic, MacHealth DNA. This student-run clinic is a volunteer initiative where medical students work closely with physicians and other health professionals to integrate accessible medical care with community outreach programs and health counselling for refugees, inner-city residents, and other under-served populations. This project has been a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community in a positive way.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Having a superpower would be really cool, but I've learned that you have to rely on what you have, rather than what you don't!

What's the most important lesson you've learned (so far)?

The most important lesson I've learned is that no matter how hard things get, to always try your best, to have faith, to lean on those who are close to you, and, most importantly, to always be there for others during both good and challenging times.

What do you think the future holds for higher education?

I think higher education will continue to play an important role in helping students acquire knowledge, skills, and experience in an encouraging environment that paves the way for future opportunities. Further, I believe that there will continue to be an emphasis on inter-professional collaboration as students take a comprehensive approach to solving problems.

What are your thoughts on the importance of giving back to your alma mater to support future generations?

I was very fortunate to be awarded scholarships for my medical education, and I am so grateful to the donors of the William A. Vanderburgh Scholarship, the Ripley Scholarship, the Angus Award in Global Health, the Shane Daniell & Iskren Kantchev Memorial Award, and the Dr. Leo Cellini Memorial Award.

I would also like to sincerely thank the McMaster Alumni Association and other donors who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to seeing students strive to achieve their dreams in their respective fields. I am inspired by their kindness and generosity. McMaster has been an incredibly special place to learn, and I look forward to giving back to McMaster students in the future.

[Learn more about Spring 2016 convocations]

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