From left: Dr. Teagan Holt (MD) and Dr. Marilyn Baetz (MD), interim dean, College of Medicine, at the 2024 USask Spring Convocation. (Photo: Dave Stobbe)
From left: Dr. Teagan Holt (MD) and Dr. Marilyn Baetz (MD), interim dean, College of Medicine, at the 2024 USask Spring Convocation. (Photo: Dave Stobbe)

Gold Medal grad inspired to serve others

A childhood diagnosis transformed Dr. Teagan Holt’s (MD) life. Inspired to care for others, Holt has now received her medical degree at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), graduating at the top of her class.  

By Wren Mynhardt

"When I was eleven years old, I was diagnosed with a hypermobility syndrome. A pediatric rheumatologist diagnosed me and encouraged exercise as a form of medicine. I was told this shouldn’t limit me,” she says.  

“The wonderful care I received empowered me, and since that time, I have wanted to do that for someone else and give back.” 

A member of the MD graduating class of 2024, Holt is the recipient of the prestigious Lindsay Gold Medal, awarded to the College of Medicine graduate with the most outstanding academic achievement during all four years of training.  

She says a holistic approach to student life was key to her success.  

“Truthfully, I think [it’s about] having a life that is balanced and well-rounded. We take pride in our education, but having activity outside of medicine and people from all walks of life surrounding you is important for a break and having that recharge you might need,” she says.  

“Medicine is not an easy program. In those times you are feeling burnt out, it’s nice to go back to your ‘why’ statement to help reframe things and help navigate you through tough times.” 

Growing up in Saskatoon, Holt played a variety of sports and performed musical theatre. In university, she excelled in her studies, first completing a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, then returning to studies to pursue medicine the same year.  

“Everything is so interesting with the human body, and there are a wide range of incredible career opportunities,” says Holt of her decision to continue her education in the College of Medicine. “I very much enjoy the clinical aspects and immense amount of learning.”  

When asked about the favourite part of her studies, Holt knew right away. 

“When we started clerkship in year three. Having the opportunity to interact a bit more with patients and show them we can help and make a difference in their lives. It made things a lot more real and the shift in our learning was exciting,” she says.  

In addition to her studies, Holt was an active member on campus. She was involved in several extracurricular activities including involvement in the Advocates Bringing Light to and Education on Disabilities Student Group, the Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee, and the Exercise is Medicine group.  

Holt’s student career at USask is marked with many academic accomplishments. Within the College of Medicine, her accolades include the Reuben Brant Award and Sylvia Turner Scholarship in Medicine, both awarded for outstanding academic achievement. In her undergraduate studies with the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, she received the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals Gold Medal and Robert Martin Prize for most distinguished pharmacy graduate.  

Holt was heavily involved in research while studying for  both of her degrees. She presented  at an international conference and is also credited in two journal publications with a third manuscript in progress. Her work additionally included the development and evaluation of a Pediatric Chronic Pain Pathway document. This project allowed her to combine two of her clinical interests, chronic pain and pediatrics.  

Holt’s research and work influenced her decision to pursue residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation in Saskatoon. 

“I look forward to having the opportunity to give back and serve the people in Saskatchewan who have supported me. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone in the community,” she says.  

With the first phase of her medical training coming to an end, Holt says her best advice for incoming students is to “be curious.” 

“There is always something you can learn. If you go into your studies and rotations with curiosity, you will leave having gained a broader perspective and knowledge,” she says. “It will take you a long way.”  

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