Renée Beach is the mentor she wishes she had 20 years ago

Feb 3, 2022

In conversation with Renée Beach (BSc 2004 VIC), a dermatologist and mentor to future medical students.

Portrait photo of Renee Beach smiling.

You graduated from U of T in 2004. Can you tell us where you are today?

I’m a dermatologist working at Women’s College Hospital. I also have a private dermatology clinic in Toronto called DermAtelier on Avenue.

How and why have you stayed involved with U of T since graduating?

I teach residents who are training to be dermatologists both with didactic talks and bedside teaching in clinic. It keeps me current with the literature and the medicine and provides the ability to “pay it forward.” I also have been involved with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Community of Support, providing information to applicants preparing for entry to medical school. It’s also a way to give encouragement to aspiring physicians. I do this because I’m trying to provide something that wasn’t available when I was an undergrad 20 years ago.

I do this because I’m trying to provide something that wasn’t available when I was an undergrad 20 years ago

Renée Beach (BSc 2004 VIC)

What has staying involved with U of T meant to you? What have you learned?

It gives me a fresh perspective and a reminder that while students may change every year, they all share the desire to optimize their potential.

U of T embraces the principles of “inclusive excellence” – a campus community rooted in access, equity, diversity, and inclusivity. What does the term “inclusive excellence” mean to you?

I think it’s inspiring to have a vision of inclusive excellence, but there are a lot of spaces that still require inclusion and expansion of personnel, as well as implementation of ideas and execution of action plans that truly reflect the Toronto community. I hope we get there.

Where do you keep your U of T degree?

In my childhood home — my parents deserve to share in the accolade too!

What would you tell your first-year self or people in first year?

Don’t worry too much about “what your major is.” Instead, find a path of study that you are able to enjoy and succeed in.  There is no such thing as “bird courses,” only specific skill sets. I would also say work hard, be prepared, and get involved in the community in whichever way you see fit. 

Do you have a motto or words to live by?

Stay humble.

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