Manitoba

Mother of 6 receives med school white coat after 15-year wait

More than 100 pristine white coats are being handed out to first-year medical students at the University of Manitoba Wednesday.

110 students will enter the University of Manitoba's faculty of medicine Wednesday

Anna Schwartz, left, received her medical coat on Wednesday at the White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students at the U of M. (CBC)

More than 100 pristine white coats are being handed out to first-year medical students at the University of Manitoba Wednesday, among them is Anna Schwartz who has been waiting for this day for 15 years. 

Medical school is notoriously challenging for anyone but Schwartz is expecting some added difficulty because when she comes home at the end of the day, she will be coming home to all six of her children.

Being young and naive, I thought I'd stay home a couple of years, then go to med school.- Anna Schwartz

"I'm feeling very excited but also very humbled because it's been a very long road and I know that I'm very lucky to be here," Schwartz told CBC News before the ceremony. 

Schwartz said making it to medical school has been a dream ever since she started her undergraduate degree, but after meeting her husband in her second year at university, they decided not to put off having their family. 

"Being young and naive, I thought I'd stay home a couple of years, then go to med school. Well as I discovered, it's not quite as quick and easy with raising children, so we decided to have all of our children first, and for me to pick a less-demanding profession such as occupational therapy that I could do part time. Now I'm ready," Schwartz said. 

For eight years Schwartz has worked part time as an occupational therapist. 

Schwartz said that she is concerned about being overwhelmed between school and her family but she has a great support network that will be helping her. 

"I know that the coat itself doesn't mean anything. You have to earn the great honour to actually wear that coat and be a doctor. And every time you have that coat on, you have a huge responsibility to people you're working with."

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