Finding an artistic outlet

Mike MacGillivaryMike MacGillivary always thought it would be interesting to uniquely combine his educational pathways of biology and research with medicine. He found an artistic outlet to do just that in an art exhibit — White Coat Warm HeART. Now a Dalhousie Medical student, MacGillivary completed an honours in biology and a master’s at Mount Allison under the supervision of Dr. Irena Kaczmarska. He recently reached out to Kaczmarska and biology research associate Jim Ehrman at the Digital Microscopy Facility (DMF) to get SEM images of diatoms taken at the DMF during his master’s research. He photoshopped the images of diatom frustules, made of silica or glass, as a collage in the shape of the heart. The image was chosen to be part of a national exhibition at the annual Canadian Conference for Medical Education in Winnipeg and was auctioned off to support a women’s shelter. Now at Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax, NS, MacGillivary hasn’t decided on his specialty, but has interest in the areas of dermatology, internal medicine, family medicine, and emergency medicine.

On the student experience:

“Mount Allison has given me the academic tools to succeed, but also instilled in me broad interests in the arts and humanities, which have helped my approach to patients and their care.”


“My time at Mount A encouraged me to be well-rounded and I have carried that into rounding out my medical school experience as well.”