Emily Ellingsen Award

Emily Ellingsen was a resident in the psychiatry program from 2005 until her death in 2010 from cervical cancer. Emily was the driving force behind establishing the first full postgraduate program on Vancouver Island. She was an inspiration in many ways. Emily grew up on Cortes Island. By the end of her high school she was legally blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. This did not slow her down at all as she pursued life to the limit.

Emily was active in sports especially rowing and cycling. She completed medical school at McMaster and returned to Vancouver Island determined to pursue a career in psychiatry. This was partly anaccommodation to her failing eyesight but it was a natural fit for someone with a keen intellect and an ability to relate warmly to everyone she met. She excelled in her field and passed the Royal College oral exams in the fall of  2009.·

Throughout her personal life and brief professional career, Emily touched many people with her endless positivity and sparkling personality. She did not so much overcome obstacles but disregarded them as she pursued her goals.  The endowment fund, established by the South Island Department of Psychiatry, will be a lasting legacy to inspire future psychiatry residents and honour the memory of our colleague and friend.

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