Following in his family's footsteps

Convocation grad profile: Nick Costain, medicine

- May 25, 2012

Medicine grad Nick Costain. (Nick Pearce photo)
Medicine grad Nick Costain. (Nick Pearce photo)

When Nick Costain decided to study medicine at Dalhousie, he knew he was making the right choice. He was following in the footsteps of his grandfather, his parents and his brother.

“A big reason I chose Dalhousie was to come back to the Maritimes,” he says. “I was drawn to medicine as I saw the potential for new beginnings. I’ve now become even more focused on patient care and the kind of life-changing interventions that can be done for people. There is some pretty amazing work going on and there are many discoveries still out there to be made.”

Mr. Costain credits Dr. Anne Bassett with being a great mentor to him, urging him to pursue his interests. “(Dr. Bassett) taught me so much about combining clinical practice with academia and that there is so much you can do with it if you’re creative. There is no exact way for doing everything,” he says.

After graduation, Mr. Costain will be heading to Ottawa to begin his residency in emergency medicine, a career path he says is an ideal fit right now. “I’m married and trying to start a family and emergency medicine gives you flexibility and shift work and seemed like a great fit for my interests, lifestyle and attention span,” he says with a laugh.

As for future work, Mr. Costain has lately become very interested in geriatrics. “The emergency room is a terrible place if you’re elderly and our population is living longer,” he says. “We need to do for geriatrics what we did for pediatrics. There are many interesting ethical debates that we need to address and discuss.”

Mr. Costain is also a member of many committees in medicine, including Doctors Nova Scotia, the Dalhousie Medical Students Society and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. “Participating in these committees that help shape and influence the structure of medical education has tremendous benefits,” says Mr. Costain. “As current students we get one chance to provide such a unique perspective.”


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