A s a top 10 tennis player in Moscow, Andrei Metelitsa had to decide whether to quit school and follow his passion… or to quit tennis and follow a career.
“In Russia, unlike North America, you have to make a decision very early in terms of your athletic career,” Andrei explains.
So, he chose the career route. He was 12 years old. Two years later, his parents—both physicians—moved to Alberta in 1995 to give him better opportunities. Andrei graduated medical school at the age of 23 from the University of Alberta in 2005, and completed his five-year dermatology residency in June. “To me, dermatology was the funnest career path because it offered so many options,” Andrei explains.
His accomplishments are many. Andrei published a textbook—Stedman’s Illustrated Dictionary of Dermatology Eponyms—by the age of 23, and authored a number of articles for 20 scientific publications. He has made presentations, primarily on skin cancer, at more than 40 national and international conferences. No stranger to recognition, Andrei has received over 30 awards and scholarships including the Alumni Award of Excellence from the University of Alberta in 2010. He is winner of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Review Article Incentive Program, among other .He was chosen by the faculty to be the Chief Dermatology Resident, and has since been named the American Academy of Dermatology Resident Liaison for 2010.
Now, at the age of 29, Andrei is a Canadian Board Certified Dermatologist. Currently, he is completing a fellowship in Boston with SkinCare Physicians, with four world-renowned professors from Harvard and Yale, studying laser treatments for cosmetic surgery and skin cancers. His clients include high-profile politicians and celebrities. During his stay, he is serving as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.
But Andrei says all his research, studying and efforts are not hassles for him. “Because I was able to choose a career that I really love, going to work for me was more like fun.”
Andrei is committed to his community and Canada as a whole. He volunteers in nationwide skin cancer screening, sits on boards for sunscreens and sun awareness, including the National Sun Awareness Campaign with the Canadian Dermatology Association. He was a small group instructor for three years and an admissions interviewer. He was inducted into the American Academy of Dermatology Leadership Circle of Volunteerism.
His plans for the future include working part- time at the University of Alberta and opening a private practice. Athough he loves the work he is doing in Boston, and has received many offers to stay in the United States, Andrei says he can’t wait to come back to Alberta, a place he truly considers home.