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Meet Our Alumni: Matthew Carroll, MHSc

At A Glance: Matthew’s Career Path – hover here

What did the MHSc give you?

The MHSc gave me a solid platform in epidemiology, population health and study design, enabling me to refine my research skills and employ them to move forward with understanding Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), its causes, patterns and treatments.


What advice to you have for current students and recent graduates?

Focus on what you are passionate about. There is a lot of hard work involved in any worthwhile job but it is so much more rewarding if you truly believe in what you do.


Interesting Fact

Canada has one of the highest incidences of pediatric onset IBD in the world – my research is all about working out why and how we can change it.

Despite having never really heard of Edmonton before – other than how cold it always was – Master of Health Science (MHSc) alumnus Matthew Carroll moved from Australia to the city in 2012 to take up his current role as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Carroll completed his medical degree and residency in Australia before working with the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at BC Children’s Hospital in 2009. Wanting additional research training with a focus on study design, population statistics and critical reasoning, Dr. Carroll took the MHSc program at the School of Population and Public Health, graduating in 2012. The Edmonton team was looking to expand its IBD program, and rang him regarding the role, Dr. Carroll said. The rest is (chilly) history.

As assistant professor, he works in the field of pediatric gastroenterology with a focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and says it is extremely rewarding to help young patients suffering from the disease. At the heart of childhood growth and development is good nutrition and metabolic function, he says. “The gastrointestinal system is fundamentally involved in all these processes and so we have a real chance to assist kids to meet their growth potential.”

“I love what I do.”
MHSc alumnus Matthew Carroll


MHSc alumnus Dr. Matthew Carroll

For an average day at work, Dr. Carroll has a mixed clinical setting looking after children and young adults with a range of gastrointestinal, liver and pancreatic disorders. He performs endoscopy as well as sees patients in clinic, in consults and looks after those children admitted to hospital.

As well, he has an educational role teaching medical students and junior doctors, and a busy research load. His research has led to national and international collaborations, one of which, The Canadian GI Epidemiology Consortium, recently published on the increasing incidence of pediatric onset IBD in Canada, confirming it to be amongst the highest in the world with more disease now seen in children less than five years of age.

“The MHSc gave me a solid platform in epidemiology, population health and study design. This has enabled me to refine my research skills and employ them to move forward with understanding IBD, its causes, patterns and treatments.”
MHSc alumnus Matthew Carroll

The MHSc-taught principles of scientific enquiry, critical reasoning and statistical analysis have allowed him to better understand the research that others do, guiding his clinical reasoning and management, he said. “That is, at its essence, evidence-based medicine in action. This means better care for my patients.” From his time at the School, Dr. Carroll remembers Mike Marin’s ability to break down difficult concepts into manageable pieces, and SPPH 505.

“SPPH 505 was fantastic – I use James Lett’s FiLCHeRS approach to critical thinking on a nearly daily basis.”
MHSc alumnus Matthew Carroll

Dr. Carroll’s advice for current students is to focus on what they are passionate about. One of his Australian mentors once told him ‘Decide what you want to focus on, and then follow it wherever it takes you. Or, decide on where you want to do it, then become what that place needs.’

“I have followed IBD across the Pacific Ocean to one of the coldest places in Canada. The work is great – and despite what people say, the summers in Edmonton are lovely (I actually like the winters too!).”
MHSc alumnus Matthew Carroll

In the future, Dr. Carroll hopes to still be an international leader in the understanding and management of pediatric IBD. “My kids will be in University so hopefully I’ll have saved for this by then too.”

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