Dr. Terry Zlipko (MD'74) is the new president of the college's alumni association.
Dr. Terry Zlipko (MD'74) is the new president of the college's alumni association.

College of Medicine Alumni Association president looks forward to new role

The new College of Medicine Alumni Association president is no stranger to taking on leadership roles. 

Dr. Terry Zlipko (MD’74) was the acting vice-president before taking over the role of president at the Association’s annual general meeting on June 18. Zlipko is looking forward to his new position.

“Hopefully, I can bring something new to the Alumni Association and expand it. I think there are over 3,500 graduates of the College of Medicine and it would be nice to enhance the total number of alumni that can be engaged with the Association,” said Zlipko.

“The first year is going to be a bit of a challenge,” he added. “There’s a historical aspect to the Alumni Association, which I will have to learn. I have attended a few meetings in the past year as vice president, but certainly I have to learn about the past to be able to take it forward into the future.”

As the youngest graduate from the Class of 1974, Zlipko has spent his entire career in Saskatchewan. He first started out in La Ronge, and eventually moved to Prince Albert, where he served as Chief of Staff (at Holy Family Hospital) – before moving to Saskatoon in 1994. Since then, he’s practiced emergency medicine and previously served as department head for seven years. Zlipko feels his leadership experience will be an asset in this role.

“The continuity of leadership in the Alumni Association is one of factors that led me to believe that I can be part of that ongoing process of the Alumni Association,” said Zlipko. “I have been in leadership roles before in my career, participating in all kinds of committees that are hospital based, being part of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, where I was the emergency medicine participant. I think I have some of the skills that it takes to provide leadership. It will be a learning curve.”

For Zlipko, his involvement with the Alumni Association is a way to give back to his alma mater.

“I think that individuals who have been fortunate to have attended the College of Medicine here in Saskatoon, there comes a time when you say, ‘Okay, I can give back to the institution and the legacy of the institution that taught me and allowed me the privilege and honor to become a physician,’” said Zlipko.

He acknowledged connecting with alumni during this time of physical distancing will be a challenge, but is optimistic that technology can help bring people together.

“I believe that the Alumni Association is dependent upon personal interaction, which builds the strength of the Alumni Association,” Zlipko said.

You need that person-to-person contact, which I say will be somewhat limited. But I think some of the new technology that we have access to will perhaps override that inability for the personal contact.”

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