A familiar face at the Northern Medical Program, Dr. Malgorzata (Mal) Kaminska is the program’s new Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, taking over the position from Dr. Tammy Attia who had previously been in the role.
Mal joined the NMP as a faculty member in 2016 and is a tenured assistant professor in the Division of Medical Sciences as well as a family physician in Prince George. She’s looking forward to making even closer connections with NMP students in her new position.
“As an educator, the success of medical students is constantly on my mind,” notes Mal. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching small groups or longitudinal courses where I get extra time with individual students.
“In my new role, I can now solely focus on supporting students during their medical school journey across a larger number of areas, in a more personalized, in-depth, and comprehensive way, while having access to more resources.”
The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs is responsible for supporting NMP students with personal and academic support, accessing financial services, career and personal health guidance and navigating other challenges that may arise. The position works closely with the Associate Dean, Student Affairs at UBC Faculty of Medicine, as well as with other Assistant Deans, Student Affairs across the province.
“I suspect that I will experience a wide range of connections with medical students. Some connections will be short and focused, others will be more involved; some students I will see in their moments of joy, others in their moments of indecision, and others during some of their most difficult life moments. It is a privilege to walk alongside students on their journey and to be allowed a window into their life, be it for a reason, season, or lifetime.”
Mal grew up in Ottawa. She earned her medical degree at the University of Toronto and completed a Family Medicine residency through the University of Calgary’s Rural Alberta South Program in Lethbridge. Previously the Rural and Regional Coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Academic Family Medicine, Mal was drawn out west by the NMP’s unique history.
“I have always found it interesting – or perhaps inspiring is a better word for it – how an entire geographic region of B.C. came together to advocate for the creation of a medical program in the North and still continues to actively support its existence to this day.
As she takes on this new challenge with the NMP, Mal aims to have impactful meetings with students.
“When my time as Student Affairs Assistant Dean comes to an end, I hope that students will uniformly be able to say without hesitation, ‘Mal was there for me when I needed someone during my med school journey.’ My vision also involves having an office well-stocked with many different treats!”