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Dr. Susan Quaggin, Medical Professor, Branksome Hall alumnus

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We talked to Dr. Susan Quaggin about the importance of her time at Branksome Hall in Toronto to leading her to become the person she is today.


Q: How has an independent school helped shape the person you are today? What life skills did you learn?

A: One of the things that stands out is that gender was never an issue. Any goal I wanted to pursue or path that I wanted to follow seemed possible. Branksome Hall took gender out of the equation. I felt that nothing was restricted or off limits to me. I never thought twice about whether I should or shouldn't be pursuing my passion, despite being in many male-dominated environments.

At Branksome, I had great teachers who helped instill in me a passion for learning. They encouraged us not to shy away from challenges; in fact, we learned to welcome them.

Q: What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of going to Branksome Hall?

A: I had solid grounding in science and math, and I knew in high school that I wanted to be a doctor. After Branksome, I obtained a full scholarship to attend the University of Toronto, and that gave me the opportunity to follow my professional path of medicine and science.

Q: What is your fondest memory at Branksome Hall?

A: One of my fondest high school memories is meeting my future husband, Kevin Smith! He attended Royal St. George's [another independent school], and we met at a Branksome Hall party. My other fondest memories are also related to people the wonderful friendships I established at school and the incredible teachers who took a strong interest in me and encouraged me.

Susan Quaggin is a professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a leader in kidney disease research.

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