Making Every Day Better
By Tara Black, Contributing Writer and STS Alumni Parent
After 12 years of studies, Dr. Eve Purdy ’08 is proud to be an Emergency Medicine Attending Physician at Queens University in the Emergency Department in Kingston. It took three years at McMaster University in Health Sciences, four years in Medical School at Queens University, and another five years in Emergency Medicine Specialist training (residency) at Queens, and she knows exactly why she did it all. “I’m using my skills in a needed way and thereby living my purpose. Every day, I show up to work to make the patients I care for and the people I work with feel valued.”
Eve is extremely passionate about caring for people and making a difference each and every day. “My goal is to make our system better. I hope to create structures and systems at the organizational level that make navigating the healthcare system easier for people.”
Eve’s curiosity and care about people motivated her to also pursue a Masters degree in Anthropology from the University of North Texas, with research related to trauma teams in Australia, while studying to be an emergency doctor. “Some thought it was unusual, but I was convinced it was the right thing to do and I’m proud of that decision. It has shaped the type of doctor, researcher, and person that I am.”
Anthropology opened her mind to explore other ways of seeing the world and helps her translate ideas and concepts that are undervalued in health care. As a result, she is able to help people make sense of their experiences and amplify their voices.
Firm academic rooting from her time at STS gave Eve confidence during all those years in university. She left high school knowing she belonged wherever she was, which to her was a real gift. “Former teacher, Mr. Adams (biology and golf coach), always said to us: ‘Hard is easy, easy is hard’ - a mantra I still use today. The concept that if you work hard on something, eventually it will become easy, but if you cut corners, eventually it will become hard. Put in the time, effort, and energy; I gained that in my time at STS.”
For her commitment to constant improvement, Eve aspires to the theory of marginal gains, which is: Every day, you try to get one percent better at what you do. Over time, for Eve, that adds up to saving lives. “I have a desire to get better and bring people along with me on that journey. I bring that to my job and most parts of my life. The STS motto, Nil Nisi Optimum, comes up in my teams. I don’t think we ever reach our best; I think we can work towards it every single day.”