Alumni Stories: Doris

“With science, there really is no rush. It’s a long journey, a lot of learning from’s just a slow process in general.”

When Doris Braunstein graduated from Hudson College in 2018, she knew that she wanted to pursue studies in science at the University of Toronto. We spoke with her as she neared the end of her university program in April 2022, to reflect on her journey over the last four years.

Doris joined U of T’s Life Sciences program and is finishing with a Major in Human Biology and Minors in both Immunology and Physiology. Even though she wasn’t originally exactly sure what field of science she wanted to study, she fell in love with her programs. “I really love it. I feel like the reason I chose to go into life science rather than specifically health science and medical science type streams was because I wasn’t sure where my interests were in terms of human-based science or animal-based science or plant-based science,” Doris explained. “I was unsure when I was going into it, but I feel like I’ve had such cool opportunities to learn about absolutely the most insane things that I feel like I would have never had the opportunity to learn about if I went into something more medical science related.” 

Though Doris has loved her program so far, she recognizes that there are both pros and cons to her courses. “I feel like for all life science students, the first year is the most intense because you have to do a lot of physics and math. So if you’re going into life sciences, those probably aren’t your interest areas. That is definitely one drawback of this program at first,” she said. “But, in second, third, and fourth years, it is absolutely amazing in terms of the variety of courses you get to take specifically in this field.”

After four years at U of T, Doris admits that she is exactly where she thought she was going to be when she was graduating. “I knew I wanted to go to medical school. I also just wanted to get a broad understanding of science as a field. Even if medical school doesn’t work out, I want to have some understanding and know what I want to do,” Doris says. “I feel like now that I’m in my last year, I know I’m still on that path even though it's a really long one. Maybe the accomplishments are slow moving, but I think I’m on that path.”

Doris knows she’ll be in school for a while longer. “I did take [the MCAT] and I got my scores back,” she explains. “I’m going to apply to medical school and I’m going to apply to Master’s programs.” 

One major piece of advice Doris has for students looking to follow in her footsteps is to take it slow when it comes to pursuing science. “With science, there really is no rush. It’s kind of a long journey, a lot of learning from research. It’s just a slow process in general,” she says. “So really don’t rush it. Take it slow in terms of the science courses you’re taking in high school. In science, every course builds on itself. So, do the most to stay up with your Grade 11 Biology course and your Grade 12 Biology course. Because those really are important.” 

Looking back at her time at Hudson, Doris remembers her science teachers, Mrs. Chapman and Mr. Migliazza. Doris explained, “Mrs. Chapman [was a favourite] because she was so detailed and thorough in her teaching which has helped me so much in my life science undergrad, and Mr. Migz because he added a fun twist to bland concepts that made them so memorable!”

We wish Doris the best of luck as she takes the next steps in her personal and scientific inquiries!


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