Just Call Me “Doc”…

Well…it’s official! After a decade of hard work and deep thinking I finally managed to submit my final approved PhD dissertation to UBC Faculty of Law last week. This is my first official post as a doctor (and no… I don’t want to look at that thing on your foot!).

In thinking about my latest journey, finishing my PhD was one of the hardest goals I’ve ever accomplished. It was monumental. Even thinking about all the steps I had to take – from the coursework to the comprehensive exams to actually completing my final first draft and then the revisions (and revisions and more revisions) – it still seems overwhelming even though it’s now behind me. And I actually did it! I always knew I could; I always knew I would; and I am so glad I did!

I met an inspiring Métis Senator this week who told me that she believes that completing any big piece of work, like a dissertation or book, requires the person writing it to leave a piece of themselves in the pages. When she said this, my eyes immediately teared up… it really resonated with me since I did leave a piece of my heart and mind in my PhD.


As a person who is driven by setting and achieving goals, I’m not the best at celebrating. When I achieve a big goal, I usually look ahead and figure out what I can start on next without missing a beat. A couple of weeks ago though I was listening to an interview with Michael Hyatt and he talked about the importance of taking time to celebrate achievements. So here I am stopping to relish the moment – to celebrate the end of the long and at times exhausting journey of actually finishing a PhD.

Like all big accomplishments, I couldn’t have done it alone. I had a team of people cheering me on, picking me up when I fell down, and sticking by my side loyally throughout the long journey. Since so many people helped me along the way, I thought it only fitting to acknowledge the many people who stood by me, cheered me on and believed in me. So I am reproducing the acknowledgement section of my dissertation here and I added a little extra in too:

I would like to thank my supervisor Gordon Christie for your insight, engagement and timely comments on various drafts, which have much improved this dissertation. I also want to thank my committee members Douglas Harris and Renisa Mawani for your helpful comments, support and engagement. Thank you also to my former committee member, Benjamin Richardson for your support and feedback. 

I also want to acknowledge the support and mentorship of my good friend, Kimberly Murray. I appreciate you sharing your Medicine Wheel approach to organizing papers and for helping me brainstorm ways to effectively use this approach to structure my dissertation and my discussion of the four principles. This has been a great challenge and learning process for me. I hope I have done justice to your teaching.

I have had a team of mentors and friends who have supported me along the way. I hope I remember to include all of them (and if I miss someone, I apologize for the oversight). Shin Imai – you have always been an amazing support, mentor and ally for me. Hernan Humana – you are an inspiring, amazing person who is as proud of me as I am of you. And to all my friends, thank you for supporting me along the way: Lorraine Land, Mary Byberg, Anastasia Lintner, Tamara Jordan, Susan Michalek, Tricia D’Amata, Lauren Bates, Mark Schofield, Monica Carreon-Diez, Maricela Morales, Roni Parker, Elga Sneddon, and Gary Kissack. A special thanks to my team health practitioners who kept me upright and functional for the last three years so I could finish – my caring family doctor, Dr. Patricia Hose, my amazing naturopath, Dr. Meghan Walker,  and Matthew Richardson, acupuncturist extraordinaire.

I am fortunate to have unconditional support from my family in all my endeavours. Thanks to my parents, Elsie and Michael Manley-Casimir, for your emotional and financial support. Thanks to my siblings, Rachel Armstrong, Sean Manley-Casimir and Naomi Manley-Casimir, who are my biggest supporters and raving fans! Thanks to my Aunt Char who always cheers me on in whatever I do.Thanks to Susan Drake and Douglas Drew for the support and encouragement. Thank you to my in-laws, Liz and Christi Johnston, for your unwavering moral support. Thank you to my kids, Taiga and Masami – you are my rays of sunshine and you make me feel more love and joy than ever before.

 Last but not least, thank you to my husband and partner in life, Robby Jay. You have supported me emotionally and financially throughout this long process and have taken on more of your share of the work with the kids and around the house to enable me to complete this. I will always appreciate your unconditional love and support. This accomplishment is as much yours as it is mine.

And to all of you… thanks for witnessing my celebration! And no… you don’t have to call me Doc the next time you see me (but you can if you want…).

Post a comment below and let me know what your latest big accomplishment was and what you did to celebrate!



8 thoughts on “Just Call Me “Doc”…

  1. So important to take time and celebrate. Life is busy and we can get caught up in everyday and next week / month. It’s also about what we teach our children.

    I am usually right on to the next thing as well. But when family, friends and colleagues take celebrations into their own hands – it helps. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: You Can Do It All… Just Not All at the Same Time | Kirsten Manley-Casimir, PhD

  3. How did I miss this post before?!?!?!?!? Thanks for including me in your list of supporters. In the 30 years that we have been friends, I have always considered it a privilege to be part of your team…………..and I will never stop cheering you on.


  4. Pingback: Surviving to Thriving: Reignite a Passion that You’ve Neglected (Part 5 of 5) | Kirsten Manley-Casimir, PhD

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