Faces of U of T Medicine: Amy Verschuuren

Nov 7, 2017
Amy VerschuurenAmy Verschuuren is graduating with a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology on November 7th. As she prepares to cross the convocation stage, she shares her plans for the future with Faculty of Medicine writer Julia Soudat.

How did you become interested in the field of Speech-Language Pathology?

A lot of my classmates and colleagues have had personal experiences receiving speech-language pathology services, whether for themselves, their grandparents, or their siblings. My story is much less interesting. A high school teacher (presumably whose child was receiving speech therapy at the time) mentioned the career to me in the 10th grade. At the time, I had never heard of speech-language pathology before. So I went home and did some research, and ended up falling in love with the idea of it. When I began volunteering a couple years later, I discovered I also loved the practice of it. 

What have been some of the most rewarding moments at U of T? 

I really enjoyed the structure of U of T's SLP program. We had four clinical placements dispersed throughout the two-year program. The placements were very hands-on, and I always felt that colleagues and patients respected and believed in me. Having the opportunity to directly help others during those placements, even as a student, was incredibly rewarding. 

Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your plans after graduation?

After finishing the program in July I travelled for a month, and then began working for the Durham District School Board in September. So far, I love my job. Especially working in many different teams, and being in a position that allows me to help students with a wide variety of strengths and needs.

As for five years from now, I don't really have any concrete plans, but I think I'd like to operate a private practice one day. I'm from a small town, so I'd like to offer SLP services that are close to home for individuals and families who might otherwise travel to neighbouring cities for services. Plus, I like that working in private practice can mean having a unique caseload. 

I would also love to become involved in clinical education in some capacity. My clinical placement experiences shaped my learning in so many positive ways, and I'd love to be a part of that process for future students. 

What advice would you give new and incoming students?

I think it's really important to have a "big picture" attitude, especially in healthcare. The reason I got into this field is to help people. And I think that can be said for most, if not all, students in the Faculty of Medicine. So, my advice would be not to fret about getting the highest marks or knowing every single detail about every single theory (but good for you if you do!). Study to understand, not to know. Learn to be a good problem-solver, not an information-regurgitator. Think to yourself, how can I effectively apply what I'm learning now, to help my future patients? 


Faces of U of T Medicine introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Faculty of Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.

Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact us at medicine.communications@utoronto.ca.

Oct 3 – Dec 12
Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One
Course | 6:00pm–8:00pm
Oct 16 – Jun 18
CPD Foundations
Workshop/Seminar | 12:00pm–1:30pm
Nov 21 Café Mathématique - Series on Infectious Disease: The Flu, Math, and You
Lecture | 5:00pm–8:00pm
Nov 23 Paediatric Dermatology Update
Conference | 8:00am–4:45pm
Nov 24 Psychopharmacology Conference 2018
Conference | 7:00am–4:00pm
Nov 26 Family and Community Medicine Graduate Studies Info Session
Other | 8:00am–9:00am
Nov 26 Conflict in Interprofessional Life: Interprofessional Education Curriculum Call for Facilitators
Other | 4:00pm–7:00pm


UofT Medicine
Some scientists say that fish oil supplements can prevent heart disease, while others say they don’t have any real… https://t.co/QPlFKHhnzv
UofT Medicine
Whether you know it or not, you are working alongside people with mental illness. As a colleague, you can do a lot… https://t.co/EnDHtpz91o
UofT Medicine
Where’s the science on fish oil supplements? Prof Richard Bazinet explores the ongoing debate https://t.co/1RPMHHYAZB

UofTMed Magazine

Cannabis is coming. Are we ready?

Sign up for your free digital copy.
Back to Top