Crosse has passion for sciences and music
April 19, 2018
Kien Crosse has always had an interest in the sciences.
It was however not until his last year of undergraduate studies at McMaster University that he decided to pursue medicine.
With a degree in health sciences, Crosse is a first-year medical student at the University of Ottawa which is the only North American medical school that offers the MD program in both English and French.
“I believe there’s no other field that you can do more to impact lives than through medicine,” said Crosse who will be recognized later this month with a Harry Jerome Award for academic excellence. “People are at the lowest point in their lives when they are seeking medical help and they are buoyed when a medical practitioner is able to step in and help them to recover in most cases. I want to be one of those professionals playing that role.”
He is leaning towards psychiatry which is an area of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year and 50 per cent of the population will have or have had a mental illness by age 40.
“It still seems that more attention is paid to physical health than mental well-being,” Crosse, whose mother Lorna Looby-Crosse is a Toronto District School Board vice-principal, said. “If the mind isn’t healthy, it’s no use being in the best of physical shape. I see this as a field where there’s a growing need for dedicated physicians.”
While at McMaster University where he worked as an anatomy & physiology teaching assistant and a gastrointestinal health research assistant, he volunteered at Hamilton General Hospital, engaging elderly patients in specific activities to help prevent the onset and development of dementia.
Crosse’s love for the sciences is matched by his passion for music.
Playing the piano since age four when he was enrolled in group lessons, Crosse has played in several ensembles through high school and in university. They include the Toronto Wind and the Hamilton Philharmonic youth orchestras.
He also plays the trombone and oboe and is a member of the Ottawa Pops Orchestra which is preparing for a two-night concert on May 18 and 19 featuring the music from all eight of the Harry Potter movies.
Crosse is the son of Kittitian-born lawyer Leroy Crosse who was educated at the University of the West Indies, the University of Guelph where he pursued physics studies and York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.
He taught at high schools in St. Kitts, Barbados and the Virgin Islands and was a physics tutor at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph before going into private practice as a barrister and solicitor specializing in criminal law, appeals, family law, civil litigation, youth court and real estate.
“My dad is my biggest role model,” said Crosse who has performed in Shanghai and at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. “He came to a new country and did what he had to do to make it and become a very successful societal citizen.”
When he’s not tied up with his university studies or playing music, Crosse helps refugee families navigate the Canadian health care system.
He’s the younger of two siblings.
Older sister April Allen, who has an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University, resides in Dallas with her husband and their two children.
She is a former executive director of the Kipp Truth Academy which is a non-profit network of college-preparatory and public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students.