Our U of S alumni have made their mark all over the world. As we celebrate our centennial year, we want to highlight the accomplishments of our graduates.
Check in for monthly Q&As with alumni from all the U of S colleges, as we sit down to talk about their life after the U of S and how being on this campus shaped their careers.
George Pylypchuk (MD’70) has led a successful career, most recently as acting unified head of the Department of Medicine, a job that required overseeing clinical, academic and research activities across Saskatoon.
Throughout his career he has held many administrative roles throughout the city and within St. Paul’s Hospital. After 40 years as a kidney specialist at his nephrology practice, he retired in 2015.
Today he continues in his role as the region’s vice president of practitioner staff affairs and senior medical officer.
We caught up with “Dr.P” to see what his time was like when he was a student at the University of Saskatchewan.
Tell us about the campus when you went to the U of S; how is it different today?
Dr. Pylypchuk attended the university in the late 60s and early 70s, a time when the campus was changing with the rise of student governance and expansion of colleges like Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. Since that time, many physical changes have taken place on campus. “The campus footprint has expanded greatly with many new impressive buildings from student residences to the Light Source to new health science facilities,” says Pylypchuk.
What’s one of your favourite memories you had outside of the classroom as a student in the ‘70s?
Dr. Pylypchuk recalls Frosh Week as being one of his favourite memories while he was on campus. In the 70s, Frosh Week was met with parades, football games and activities in the Bowl, similar to the homecoming activities students experience today.
Overall, how was your U of S experience?
Class sizes were generally smaller than they are today, which left Dr. Pylypchuk with distinct memories from his time in the classroom. “Small classes lead to lifelong friendships and easy access to great teachers,” says Pylypchuk.
How did going to the U of S shape your career?
A career spanning 40 years, Dr. Pylypchuk commends the College of Medicine for its reputation and for demanding high standards from its graduates. “The College of Medicine had a very strong clinical program which was recognized nationally and thus our grads were in demand across Canada,” says Pylypchuk.
What did you wish you would have known on your first day as a student at the U of S?
Current students might argue that their time on campus seems to be anything but quick, but for Dr. Pylypchuk, the one thing he wish he would have known was how fast the time would fly; “(I never thought) that six years would go by so quickly.”
You can catch up with previous profiles in the Alumni Highlights series: