Each year, Canadian university sport recognizes the excellence of student-athletes who have maintained an overall average above 80% during the year. At McGill, Montreal or Laval, nearly 40% of the members of the sports teams are part of the famous list. Many are studying medicine.
Andréanne Tremblay was one of them. A former volleyball player for the McGill University Martlets, the young woman is currently completing her residency in family medicine. “I played in high school, then at CEGEP André-Laurendeau,” she recalls. I then chose McGill because it is an excellent university, with a good volleyball program, but the first year was a big challenge with the English classes.
“Fortunately, Rachèle [Béliveau, Martlets coach] helped me a lot. She always says that we are students first and makes sure that studies take priority. It is certain that the sport-medicine combination represents a lot of hours, it requires a good work structure, rigor and discipline.
“But we help each other a lot. All the girls are in the same situation, we have the same lifestyle, we spend a lot of time together and, like in the gymnasiums, we try to help each other so that they all succeed in their studies as well. It’s a way of being that will follow us for life, I think. »
Rose-Marie Julien, former soccer player with the Carabins of the University of Montreal, also notes the importance of the team. “I was lucky to be surrounded by people who believed in me: my family, my boyfriend, my coach, my study supervisor and all my teammates.
“I’m currently finding that again, in Gaspésie, where I’m doing a two-month internship. It’s smaller than in the city, much less hierarchical too, and you really feel like you’re part of a team. Everyone is so nice to me! »
Like many others, Rose-Marie saw her university career disrupted by the pandemic. The Carabins’ 2020 season was canceled, his medical studies became more complicated.
And when university sports started again, she gave herself the tools to end her career on a high note. In 2022, on the way to the Canadian title with the Carabins, the future doctor sometimes trained with a pager. “It rang once during a preseason game! I was able to sort it out over the phone, but the girls still thought it looked like Grey’s Anatomy. »
Coach of the McGill Martlets for over 30 years, Rachèle Béliveau has supported several future doctors in their training. One of the first, Monica Lovesky, now works at the university’s sports medicine clinic.
“All the credit goes to these women who excel in all areas,” insists Béliveau. Sport surely brings them a set of values – the importance of work, discipline, teamwork, etc. – but it is also a wonderful outlet.
“When medical students start working with patients, when they witness more tragic situations, sport gives them a little balance. And the bonds that they build over four or five years with their teammates, students from all fields, will then provide them with this balance for life. »