Inside King's-Edgehill School

Connect, Converse, Catch-Up – Heather Oland '13

Heather Oland ‘13 figured out the key to personal success during medical school – sleep better!

I recently spoke with Heather when she took the time to attend the banner presentation at our KES Highlanders Rugby Classic on campus. She came to remember Josh, along with several classmates; however, it was also a chance to catch-up! Heather had fantastic news as she has been accepted into the highly competitive pediatrics specialty at the University of Saskatchewan in Regina for September, following her being awarded her medical degree this month from Dalhousie. 

“I was surprised, excited, and a bit nervous,” she said. “It was my first-choice specialty.”

Heather had to overcome some serious health challenges during medical school. She was suffering from extreme fatigue, until her mother finally figured out that it was due to sleep apnea. “I was in bed up to 18 hours a day, but I never switched to REM or deep sleep, I was not well,” she says.

With the help of a CPAP machine, Heather now sleeps through the night, and it has solved her health problems. “I can’t tell you how much of a difference it made,” she says. Heather is now advocating the value of sleep hygiene. “I always say to students that one should opt for sleep over pushing through when fatigued. When you are rested you can think through a problem and be judicious.”


Heather with former classmate Jill Murphy '13
She put it very eloquently in a recent email: “For sure, sleep hygiene and its importance in the neuroscience of learning and cognition is applicable to everyone – something students should be aware of! It's more than just reasoning through problems better the next day, it actually helps you to encode memories – helping you store the information that you're studying. Aside from that, the main thing that got me through medical school is that I love it. I wouldn't be able to do any of it if I wasn't doing what I loved, and I think that's also really important for students to focus on! Sleeping enough and doing what you love are the main things for me.”  

Future children will benefit with Dr. Heather Oland as their physician. She will face many challenges and help many families rest easy, knowing they have a caring person overseeing their care. 

Kevin Lakes
Junior School Faculty
Junior School Athletics Coordinator