Josh White | Stepping into our 50th year with new socks created by a Cumming School of Medicine student

Finding just the right takeaway gift to mark the 50th Anniversary of the school of medicine was no easy feat.

Author

Kelly Johnston, Cumming School of Medicine

Finding just the right takeaway gift to mark the 50th Anniversary of the school of medicine was no easy feat. But, as it turns out ‘feet’ play a key role. The gift is a customized pair of socks designed by Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) student, Josh White.  Josh is co-founder of Ponos Apparel, a Calgary-based business specializing in custom team socks.

The first order of socks White created for CSM was for his MD class of 2017. 

“Specializing in athletic socks was a natural fit for me and my business partner, Scott Peris. We both played competitive basketball for years, and we noticed every year, we would all get the same standard hoodie, sweatpants, etc., and no one was customizing socks for teams,” said White, who is completing his third year clerkship. “We did our research, and found out there was a niche market we could fill.”

While launching a business went smoothly for White, he says it was more of a winding path that brought him to medical school. He was a student at SAIT and at Mount Royal University with designs on being a dentist until one day he realized he really didn’t like talking about teeth that much. A relative encouraged him to take the MCAT and consider medical school.

“Once I was in, there was no looking back, the three year program was attractive, but I had no idea how hard it would be. It’s been a grind. There’s a lot to cover in three years, and I couldn’t have done it without three excellent mentors,” said White.

Guided by Clinical Assistant Professors, Drs. Jay Lee, Richard Baverstock and Greg Roberts, White is specializing in urology. Dr. Roberts passed away in 2016, from a rare form of cancer.

“Someone told me Dr. Roberts was wearing our special socks in the palliative ward, it made me so happy that he was still connected to us. I feel very lucky to have had him as my mentor,” said White.

 “I spent most of my time with Dr. Lee, who really helped develop my interest in urology.  He was always super helpful when I had questions.  I found that my personality really jived with the urologists I worked with, which was a major reason that I initially became interested in [the field].”

On Dr. Baverstock: “I was able to submit a case report with Dr. Baverstock and he is one of the nicest people I’ve worked with.  He takes the time to know his patients, and he’s the man!”

This summer White will be packing up and heading east to Halifax for his residency program where he’ll work at Dalhousie University in the Department of Urology. Taking the trip with him will be his trusted best friend, Alice, the labradoodle. Ponos Apparel will still be part of White’s future. White will go after new clients on the east coast, and Peris will focus on the western region.

“Oh yeah, I’m going to keep customizing socks, but being a doctor is my going to be my main focus. We have a lot of opportunities for growth and I’m excited for what the future will hold!”

Tidbits from Josh

Favorite meal: Butter chicken day at Cravings at the Women’s Health Centre.

Best thing about the Cumming School of Medicine: The diversity of the students who attend medical school here. From all ages, backgrounds and cultures. It’s a really special place.

Favorite memory: Ping-pong at BACS Centre

What should the Cumming School of Medicine do in the next 50 years: Stay on top of research and keep technology and facilities up-to-date.  A recent great example is the recently renovated Anatomy Lab.

Advice for incoming med students: Take the time you do have off and enjoy it, especially in Clerkship.  Use your flex days!