Dordt College News

Dordt Pre-med grad awarded $80,000 scholarship

September 30, 2004

Kaarlo Hinkkala, a 2004 pre-med graduate at Dordt College, is among 60 medical students this year that will benefit from a $32 million (Canadian) donation to the University of Western Ontario.

Hinkkala has been awarded an $80,000 (Canadian) Schulich Scholarship to be applied over the next four years, funding his medical degree at the Schulich School of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

Seymour Schulich is a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, who made the landmark donation to the University Of Western Ontario (UWO) to invest in future doctors and train leaders in health care, education and research. Fifteen students from each grade level at the school of medicine will receive $20,000 scholarships annually, along with 50 graduate students who will be awarded $15,000 annually.

Hinkkala’s parents, Pertti and Pirjo Hinkkala, are residents of Nanaimo, British Columbia, where Kaarlo grew up. While at Dordt College, Hinkkala earned a B.A. in chemistry, while also taking a variety of coursework in biology, philosophy and economics. “I really appreciate the background training I received at Dordt College,” said Hinkkala, who added that in regard to his science education he feels totally prepared for the field of medicine.

In his first few weeks at UWO, Kaarlo noted that most students lack the range of understanding in other subject areas that he received at Dordt College. “At Dordt, classes are approached from a different framework, encouraging us to delve into underlying ideas and principles,” said Hinkkala.

Though he had not originally planned to return to Canada, Hinkkala said doors just kept opening in that direction, including a family friend offering him the use of a new car for making the trip across Canada; finding an apartment within walking distance of the campus, etc.

Hinkkala is not certain about the field of medicine he intends to get into, but said he might like to work in surgery, ER or in cardiology.

Last year seven of Dordt’s nine pre-med students (78 percent) were accepted into medical school, which is roughly the college’s average for the past 10 years. This acceptance rate is significantly higher than the national average of 45-50 percent acceptance for medical school.

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