From Junior Canadian Ranger to Doctor

October 21, 2019 — Defence Stories

Author: Yves Bélanger, Le Servir newspaper

Saint-Jean, Quebec — Just 10 years ago, Dylan Vatcher was a member of the Junior Canadian Ranger (JCR) patrol at La Tabatière on the Lower North Shore of Quebec. In the spring of 2019, he completed his doctorate in medicine at McGill University.

It was at the age of 12 that he became a Junior Canadian Ranger. “I participated in this program for five years, until the end of my high school years. That’s when he decided to go to medicine. I did not really know what I wanted to do in early adolescence. I loved nature and animals, but nothing more. But at 17, I really understood that I wanted to become a doctor.”

He explains that his time as a JCR has been crucial in his life. “It gave me access to wonderful opportunities. Actively involved in this program, I had the chance to participate in various camps and a humanitarian trip to Peru in 2011, not to mention the various trainings.”

The Lord Strathcona Medal, the highest award that can be presented to a JCR or Cadet, was awarded to him in recognition of his outstanding performance in physical and military training. “When I enrolled in the medical program, many of the activities I did with the Rangers were in my curriculum vitae.”

Far from home

His studies forced him to live far from home. He does not regret his choice. “There was an opportunity for me and I took it. That does not prevent me from returning to La Tabatière from time to time.”

He encourages teenagers in the outlying regions not to hesitate to leave their environment for a few years to study, even if they should return once their degree is obtained.

“We are fortunate, particularly in Quebec, to try different programs in CEGEP before deciding on a career choice. Aboriginal people have significant support from the government, particularly in medicine.”

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