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Hall of fame

Student earns a spot on the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame wall

Student Life

By Michelle Osmond

Travis Pickett has been awarded the Jim Glionna Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Award.

A prestigious honour for the second year doctor of medicine student who said when he found out, “It was as if I had been accepted to medical school all over again. I was absolutely exhilarated!”

Originally from Corner Brook, Mr. Pickett grew up with a passion for both scientific knowledge and music. He completed his honours in biochemistry at Memorial University before being accepted to the MD program.

Travis Pickett
MD student Travis Pickett is the Faculty of Medicines latest Canadian Medical Hall of Fame recipient.
Photo: Submitted

While in medical school, he was the founder and curator of the Faculty of Medicine’s inaugural live art gallery, show-casing nearly 50 works of art from medical students, graduate students, faculty and staff over three days.

“Art in medicine has the ability to connect with people and help them heal through an emotional method that Western medicine may not always have the answers for.

“Practically, this may mean allowing medical students, residents and staff physicians the opportunity to explore the far-reaching world of artistic expression, so that they may increase their own emotional understanding, capacity and wellness in a field that is notorious for burnout. It may also mean further exploration into the integration of fields such as music therapy into our daily mental framework for helping patients toward a curative goal.”

Entrepreneurial spirit

Mr. Pickett was also an integral member in the sustainability and expansion of the province’s first biomedical three-dimensional (3D) printing facility, which has now expanded into Med 3D Network, a multi-centre rural 3D printing network with four locations across Newfoundland and Labrador. He was this year’s recipient of the Dr. J. H. King Memorial Scholarship and has presented research at multiple conferences across the nation regarding arts in medicine, as well as 3D printing medical technologies.

“It shows me that if you want to make something meaningful happen, you need to be dedicated.” –Travis Pickett

His goal for the last two years has been to make opportunities for others.

In his application letter, Mr. Pickett said he was inspired by 2018 Laureate Dr. Balfour Mount, a pioneer in palliative care.

“Dr. Mount was a practicing surgical oncologist but identified an important need in our society and shifted his entire career toward making that need happen effectively. This inherent drive inspires my own desire to create positive change.

“It shows me that if you want to make something meaningful happen, you need to be dedicated, have your boots on the ground and be ready to work through any hurdle that may arise.”

Mr. Pickett also appreciates that Dr. Mount found value in the emotional side of medicine; dedicating much of his career to helping patients to die with dignity.

He hopes to pursue a career in surgery.

“My hope is that this award will allow me to connect with leaders in health across Canada who will serve as a constant inspiration to keep innovating within my fields of interest,” he said. ” To me, receiving this award also means that our Faculty of Medicine at Memorial values and, most importantly, supports scientific exploration, as well as artistic endeavours in medicine.”

Dean Margaret Steele said Mr. Pickett joins a growing list of outstanding students who’ve received a CMHF award.

“I continue to be in awe of the calibre of students we have here at the Faculty of Medicine and of their ability to bring so many other components, like art and music as it relates to healing, into their medical education,” she said. “I have no doubt that Mr. Pickett will carry his leadership and engagement skills into his practice as a health care leader, no matter what his chosen field.”

Joining the ranks

Mr. Pickett joins previous students Desmond Whelan (2015), Anthony Maher (2016) and Michael Bartellas (2017) as CMHF award recipients.

Each recipient of the CMHF Award receives a cash prize of $5,000 and a travel subsidy to attend the CMHF Induction Ceremony, which takes place  in Montreal on May 2, 2019, There he will have the opportunity to meet CMHF Laureates and interact with health leaders from across the country.

The CMHF partners with donors, MD Financial Management and Canada’s medical schools to recognize young leaders who exemplify the qualities of CMHF Laureates: perseverance, collaboration and an entrepreneurial spirit.


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