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CHL Leaders: Spitfires grad Lanoue finds new passion as a physician

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As a newly minted physician, Derek Lanoue works alongside a team of devoted medical professionals at Ottawa Hospital.

For Lanoue, such dedication to collaboration began during his days in the Canadian Hockey League when he suited up with the Windsor Spitfires from 2009-11. On the ice, Lanoue played alongside budding NHL stars like Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis, and Cam Fowler, culminating with a Memorial Cup championship in his freshman year, while away from the rink Lanoue learned many valuable life lessons he still uses to this day.

“It was really helpful in being able to balance life. That was one of the big takeaways,” Lanoue told Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment. “Working as a team, those skills are invaluable in any career, and within medicine specifically I work in a large team almost all the time in the hospital with allied healthcare, nursing, physio, occupational therapy, the whole gamut. If I weren’t able to work well with a team, it would be incredibly difficult and I really feel fortunate to have played in the CHL that helped develop those skills.”

After two seasons in the junior circuit, Lanoue elected to attend the University of Windsor where he suited up for another three seasons with the varsity Lancers while earning his undergraduate degree in chemistry. Not yet finished, Lanoue was then accepted into medical school at the University of Ottawa.

“I finished medical school last year and I am now going through the process of specializing and am absolutely loving what I do,” Lanoue detailed. “I get to be a part of a big team every day that looks after patients and we try to provide the best care possible. It’s been a really remarkable experience. I continue to learn and I continue with my passion, which is now medicine. It switched away from hockey but I do still play occasionally.”

Lanoue also points to the CHL and how its invaluable scholarship program helped him understand the value of education in addition to paving the way for his success today.

“It gave me the financial freedom and the peace of mind to feel confident going forward and continuing on with my education,” Lanoue concluded. “During my undergraduate studies, I was very fortunate not to have to get a part-time job to pay for school. I was able to really focus on my studies and do well. I’ll always be grateful and appreciative of that opportunity.”

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