University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s ‘Dr. K’ is Canada’s first Inuk cardiac surgeon – Ottawa Citizen

January 6, 2018

There were no doctors in Donna May Kimmaliardjuk’s family. No nurses, not even a physiotherapist. Still, from the time she was very young, Kimmaliardjuk was determined to become a physician.

Now 28, she is doing a residency in heart surgery.

Kimmaliardjuk — “Dr. K” to patients at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute — is Canada’s first Inuk heart surgeon, recently recognized with an Indspire Award for being a role model for young women and Indigenous youth.

“I feel like I have a responsibility now. I think what I want to do, at the very minimum, is share my story and let them know how it’s possible to complete high school and go on to post-secondary education,” says Kimmaliardjuk.

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