Back to School 2023: Meet some of the students in the DMS!

September 22, 2023

Get to know some of our Division of Medical Sciences students who are back in classes and fully immersed in their 2023-24 school year studies!


Bruce DaneshBehrouz (Bruce) Danesh 

Master of Occupational Therapy - North 

Class of 2025 (first year)
Hometown: Yazd, Iran

What inspired you to pursue your program?
My journey to Occupational Therapy (OT) began with a simple yet profound desire: to help people and make a difference in my community. I've always known that I wanted a career in healthcare, but it took some time to discover the perfect fit.

Occupational Therapy, to me, is the embodiment of what healthcare should be – holistic and encompassing. It doesn't just focus on one aspect of health; it takes into account the whole person. The beauty of this profession lies in its diversity. It's not confined to a single set of capacities or a particular group of people. It opens doors to work with individuals from various backgrounds and with a wide range of needs. Moreover, what truly drew me towards Occupational Therapy was the level of autonomy it offers. Being able to make a real difference in people's lives, especially during their most vulnerable moments, resonated deeply with me. It wasn't just about surface-level care; it was about addressing the core issues and enhancing the overall quality of life. This was my "aha" moment, and it solidified my decision to pursue Occupational Therapy.

Why did you choose UBC/ the Master of Occupational Therapy - North (MOT-N)?
I was well aware of UBC's reputation for academic excellence and the outstanding programs it offered. That is why, 5 years ago, I made the life-changing decision to move from Toronto to northern British Columbia. The move from Toronto to northern BC wasn't just about a change of scenery; it was a strategic step towards my educational aspirations. I believed that being in proximity to UNBC would eventually open doors for me to become a part of UBC's remarkable community.

Fast forward to today, and I am immensely grateful to find myself enrolled in one of the best Occupational Therapy programs in the country, if not the very best.  I’m confident that the UBC Master of Occupational Therapy - North is not only going to provide me with a world-class education but is also going to give me the opportunity to be a part of a thriving community of like-minded individuals who share my passion for healthcare and community service

If you could travel anywhere in B.C. where would you go and why?
I have heard so much about Haida Gwaii people, culture and views and would love to explore the island one day. 


Alisha ThaparAlisha Thapar

Northern Medical Program 

Class of 2027 (first year)
Hometown: Quesnel, B.C.

What inspired you to pursue your program?
I was inspired to pursue medicine as I am passionate about forming meaningful connections with patients while advocating for their health and wellness. Through medicine, I will be able to work with marginalized populations and be a leader within my community. As a current registered nurse, I have been able to see the positive impact that health care professionals have on patients firsthand and I believe that through pursuing medicine, I will be able to continue to do this as a current medical student and future physician.

Why did you choose UBC/ the Northern Medical Program?
Growing up in the small town of Quesnel, BC and being a part of the close-knit community was a driving force that led me to choosing the Northern Medical Program. I enjoyed the incredible experiences and connections I had formed there during my childhood, and I wanted to return to Northern BC to practice as a future physician here. I value the smaller class size and the sense of community that is felt in the NMP. After completing my undergraduate degree at UNBC, I cannot wait to continue my education in the same community.

If you could travel anywhere in B.C. where would you go and why?
If I could travel anywhere in B.C., I would go to Yoho National Park because it is a beautiful place to explore. The wilderness surrounding the area is truly remarkable. There are many hikes in the park that vary in difficulty level which makes it inclusive for everyone. Visiting Yoho National Park has been on my bucket list for years and I hope to plan a trip there in the future.  


Liam KruseLiam Kruse

Master of Physical Therapy - North 

Class of 2025 (first year)
Hometown: Victoria, B.C.

What inspired you to pursue your program?
After playing baseball at national, international and collegiate levels I became intrigued by sports science, performance, and medicine. Once I transferred to the University of Victoria and completed a degree in kinesiology, I recognized that a career in physiotherapy suited my lived experiences, interests and personal disposition. I’ve always considered myself a people person; physiotherapy offered the unique combination of helping and interacting with others, while also allowing me to pursue my personal interests of human movement and wellness. 

Why did you choose UBC/ the Master of Physical Therapy - North (MPT-N)?
Completing my physiotherapy degree in the UBC MPT-N cohort offered the unique opportunity to complete additional placements in both northern and rural communities. I viewed this as a chance to support communities within B.C. who are currently experiencing healthcare inequities, while simultaneously providing invaluable experiences that will aid in my personal and professional growth. After spending much of my life on Vancouver Island, I am excited to explore B.C. and gain new experiences through the MPT-N program. 

If you could travel anywhere in B.C. where would you go and why?
If I could travel anywhere within B.C., I would go to Haida Gwaii. The combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and rich culture make it an ideal location for me. Haida Gwaii shares many commonalities with my home of Vancouver Island, but also has many unique aspects as well. Travelling to Haida Gwaii on placement would inform me on how physiotherapy can be delivered within rural/remote communities. Overall, this would be a dream for me and I hope it can come true at some point throughout my degree.