A special prize was awarded by the Collège des médecins du Québec to Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut and physician David Saint-Jacques. The prize honors “his exceptional achievements”, as well as “his contribution to the influence of the medical profession and the development of knowledge”.
It was during its annual general meeting that the Collège des médecins du Québec unveiled the winners of its annual awards, including this special mention.
A graduate in engineering physics, astrophysics and medicine, Dr. Saint-Jacques specializes in primary medicine in remote regions. He worked as a family doctor in Nunavik for a few years, before being recruited by the CSA in 2009. Ten years later, he carried out the longest space mission to date for a Canadian astronaut.
This trip was an opportunity to carry out several experiments on the effects of space flights on human health and to test new technologies with a medical significance.
“It’s an honor that means a lot to me. In my life, I have had the chance to realize several dreams, including of course my completely crazy dream of going to space. But becoming a doctor was also a bit of a crazy dream, ”David St-Jacques commented on the award in a video.
“Medicine is an extraordinary profession, which makes it possible to have an impact, sometimes on the life of a single person, but sometimes on an entire community. Being able to make a difference is a rare privilege, based on the trust that society has in its doctors, ”he added.
His experience in Nunavik, he says, allowed him to develop versatility, teamwork, determination and curiosity, in particular. “All of these lessons have served me well in space.”
“An outstanding communicator and popularizer, Dr. Saint-Jacques helps stimulate the interest of young people in science all over the world,” indicates the College of Physicians, in a press release. A committed and passionate family doctor, he is also a model of determination for future doctors.