Meet the Grads 2023: Nicholas Hickens

As part of our Back to School 2023 coverage, we asked some incoming Family Medicine graduate students to share their first impressions with us. Here we meet Nicholas Hickens.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Nicholas Hickens, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am of Caribbean descent and spent much of my life in Guyana. I pursued two degrees in Halifax, including a Bachelor's in Biochemistry and Medical Sciences at Dalhousie University and a Bachelor's in Applied Human Nutrition with a Public Health concentration at Mount Saint Vincent University. I have spent much of my formative years working nationally and internationally, particularly with vulnerable sub-groups and BIPOC populations. Before entering McGill University, I worked as a research director for the Public Health Agency of Canada and Dalhousie University. Some of my hobbies or interests are painting, travelling, spoken word, singing, sports and gaming.

What program will you be studying at the Department of Family Medicine? Supervisor?

I will be studying the MSc program in Family medicine, and my current supervisor is Dr. Bertrand Lebouche.

Why did you choose to study at McGill’s Family Medicine program?

I initially considered McGill University through the McCall McBain Foundation. However, during my short time in Montreal earlier this year, I connected with my current supervisor, whose work fascinated me. Dr. Lebouche's recent work on perhaps the most stigmatized sub-demographics encouraged me to seek opportunities to promote accessibility, best-practice, and empowerment of those populations. I am also very drawn to the Family medicine program's comprehensiveness and interdisciplinary approach to addressing needs in primary care and critical global health issues. The diversity of research-intensive approaches, expertise, and backgrounds aligns with my aspirations. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn from world-class faculty members in their fields.

What are your favourite things to do in Montreal?

I am relatively new to Montreal, having been here for less than a month. However, I am excited by the tremendous diversity of culture and artistic expression. I am a big food fanatic and determined to try as many food spots as possible.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

I expect to be challenged intellectually through a rigorous curriculum and have critical perspectives on prominent issues in the healthcare system in Canada and globally. I also welcome having crucial discourses with other academics, healthcare experts, and students to further my growth and development as a future healthcare provider.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate long-term goal is someday to become a World Health Organization (WHO) president. I would also like to spend my career working as an MD-PhD clinician-scientist and serve some of my time abroad through Doctors-Without-Borders. I hope to make a sustainable impact that addresses the structural and systemic barriers using practical interventions and policy to promote effective health and wellness for the Global population.


Welcome to the Department of Family Medicine Nicholas - we are glad to have you!

Back to top