Meet some of our Year 1 students in the Class of 2022!

February 6, 2019

The NMP's Year 1 students, the Class of 2020, arrived at the UNBC campus in Prince George in early January after spending their first semester in Vancouver at UBC. Meet some of our new students!


Hanna Ellis

Hometown: Oliver, BC

Why did you choose a career in medicine? 
It’s hard to choose just one reason! I remember always enjoying science in high school, so that convinced me to try out volunteering at the hospital in Oliver. When I was volunteering there, the hospital often closed because there just weren’t enough doctors in town. Seeing how the hospital closures impacted my family and friends definitely made me consider medicine as a career. I’d say that the hospital closures, combined with my interest in exercise and health, made me decide to pursue a career in medicine. Since I’ve been accepted into medical school, I’ve realized that I’m always learning more about myself and growing along the way, so I anticipate having a growing list of reasons for pursuing medicine as the years pass! 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I really love being active and I find it really helpful for relieving stress and taking a step back from school life.  I mostly enjoy going for runs and doing yoga, but most recently I’ve realized I really enjoy cross country skiing too! I also really like to play music, mostly on the guitar or the piano. I like how music provides a balance to how hectic school can feel at times. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? 
I would go to Palau. There is a dive site there called Blue Corner that is apparently one of the most action-packed dive sites in the world. I’ve read that it’s the place to be if you want to see a huge variety of sea life in one spot, so it sounds like fun to me!

What are you most looking forward to about training with the Northern Medical Program? 
There are so many unique aspects of the Northern Medical Program that I’m excited for. I love that the class size is small and I think it’ll be great to get to know my classmates and instructors better. I’m especially excited to get involved with the rural medicine opportunities that are offered to us. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the responsibility that rural physicians carry when they’re responsible for such a variety of emergencies. 


Emily Friedrich

Hometown: Duncan, BC

Why did you choose a career in medicine?
I’ve always wanted a career that would allow me to combine my love of working with people and my interest in science and the study of the human body. I enjoy challenging myself and learning new things so the dynamic and innovative nature of the medical field has always been the perfect option for me. In particular rural family medicine is very attractive to me because it would allow me to develop a very wide scope of practice and continually learn and expand my skill set, while maintaining a close longitudinal relationship with my patients. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy staying as active as possible through running, weight lifting, dance, and yoga. I also enjoy playing piano, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Recently I started learning how to cook, which is long overdue at 24 years old. I also LOVE escape rooms (and Prince George has one—yay!).

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
 I would love to travel to Japan so I can return to the rural town that I lived and worked in for 6 months of my undergraduate degree. I love learning about Japanese language and culture, and am actually planning a trip there for this summer! 

What are you most looking forward to about training with the Northern Medical Program?
I have always admired the beauty of northern BC, so am thrilled to be living here for the first time in my life. The Northern Medical Program seemed like the perfect fit for me because I preferred being with a smaller, tight-knit group of med students in a smaller community (compared to Vancouver) where I could really get to know the people and city. Since I arrived here I have felt an undeniable sense of unwavering support and welcome from the students, faculty, and community at large. I look forward to all the unique rural experiences and hands-on training that we at the NMP will get to experience, as I believe that these skills and experiences will make me a better physician, regardless of the field of medicine I end up pursuing. 


Erik Haensel

Hometown: Wentworth, NS

Why did you choose a career in medicine?
I took a roundabout path to get to medicine. When I was in high school I was very passionate about the environment and social inequality and injustice. I followed that passion to the University of Victoria where I took a degree in History and Environmental Studies and became involved in a lot of environmental and social justice advocacy and work. After some twists and turns and the burn out that comes with trying to affect large-scale change, I left the world of non-profit work for the simple life of a treeplanter. This turned out to be the most fortunate of decisions as I met my wife passing through Prince George at the end of a contract. After Prince George became my home my dream of becoming a doctor came to life and I realized that it was a wonderfully concrete way to help people and make a difference in the world while have a stable career to support my family.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family camping at all the beautiful rivers and lakes that are in the vicinity of Prince George. I also love reading and writing and am hoping to finish my first novel soon. I can also be found playing hockey in the local indoor and outdoor rinks, ponds, and lakes; or snowboarding at the local hills.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
Everywhere. I would love to travel to the Mediterranean where warm ocean water, art culture and history all come together. 

What are you most looking forward to about training with the Northern Medical Program?
Everything! I am really excited about rural family medicine opportunities at UNBC and looking forward to the chance to visit different small communities throughout Northern BC and learn their unique health challenges and community strengths.