Etienne Flamant- BSc. Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

Etienne Flamant is a student in Interdepartmental Honours program in Immunology (IHI). He is a Director of Operations in McGill Student Emergency Response Team (MSERT). He recounts some of his experiences in MSERT in his interview.

Tell us about what you have been studying at McGill.

I’m a fourth-year in immunology. My program is interdepartmental, so it lets me take a variety of courses in biochem, physiology, microbio, and immunology.

Interviewer’s note: for more information on IHI program, please refer to

What are you planning to do after your graduation?

If all goes well, I hope to enter medical school next fall. No idea yet what I’ll be doing during the summer.

What are some pros and cons about your program?

IHI accommodates both those who wish to specialize in one particular area and those who prefer breadth of study — I fall in the latter group, so please, no grueling questions about eosinophils. One downside is that I don’t get to see the other students in my program as often because we share fewer classes. I also appreciate how IHI has a year-long course dedicated to research that doesn’t require you to attend weekly lectures like some other programs do.

What were some valuable involvements at school that taught about yourself and oriented your goals?

I’m most involved in the McGill Student Emergency Response Team (MSERT),

a volunteer service that provides first aid coverage to McGill and Montreal communities. Growing up, I learned to appreciate service and emergency preparedness through my experiences in Scouting. MSERT holds the same central tenet of helping others, so I found it to be a great fit.

Though my years on the team have granted me invaluable friendships and prowess at dodging projectile vomit, the time I spend caring for patients impacts me and my aspirations the most.

Most regretful thing you’ve ever done at McGill.

Fortunately, I haven’t had too many regrets during my time at McGill. I do wish that I was more outgoing in first year, especially while living in residence. As a hotel-style residence, New Rez didn’t have an open-door atmosphere that would allow easy introductions to neighbors. Coupling that with lackluster effort on my part, I ended up not knowing most of my floormates and likely missed out on meeting some cool people.

Proudest thing you’ve ever done at McGill.

For this topic, I’m just going to talk about MSERT again — I’m pretty happy that I had the opportunity to join the leadership team. Last year, I served as the Operations Coordinator in charge of the Lower Rez call room, granting me some insight into the inner workings of MSERT. Having enjoyed my time on the Ops team, I decided to double down and run for election to the executive committee.

Currently, I am serving as Director of Operations, allowing me to effect greater change within MSERT in order to provide better care for our patients.

I’m most proud of the recent, tangible improvements we’ve brought to our response packs, including the addition of pulse oximeters, wet wipes, and medical face masks.

What advice would you give to younglings at McGill?

University is a time for discovery.

Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself to meet others and to explore new activities.

Bored of swimming? Try fencing. Curious about school governance? Join a committee. Tired of construction detours? Welcome to Montreal.

Is there anything else you would want to add on?

No worries, the baby in the photo above survived mostly unscathed.

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