The December 2005 issue of The KC Times (aka KCOBA Newsletter) featured an article titled "Kurt MacDonald Receives Academic Award". The article highlighted the fact that young Kurt, at the time a recent graduate of the Milliken Mills High School, located in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada, was the recipient of two academic awards. Kurt had been awarded the prestigious Canadian Millennium Scholarship as well as the local Markham African Caribbean Association (MACA) academic award.
In 2005, Kurt had just started his undergraduate program at the University of Western Ontario, to pursue studies in Biological and Medical Sciences. Significantly, he stated his plans to attend medical school and expressed an interest in cardiology. Fast forward to the present and Kurt has fulfilled his dreams by graduating with a medical degree (class of 2013) from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Ivy League institution, Columbia University. He started his 4-year residency in emergency medicine at New York University earlier in July, which was his first choice match and is among the 38 percent of his graduating class that will remain in the New York area for their residency.
Kurt has extensive ties to the KC family as he is the son of proud KCOB and former Toronto Chapter President, Douglas MacDonald. His equally proud mother is Vanla MacDonald (nee East), an Alpha alumnus. An uncle, the late KCOB Maurice MacDonald, was a former Vice President of the Toronto Chapter. The legendary KC geography and math teacher, the late Edward MacDonald is his grandfather.
Kurt's journey to this point has been paved with many accomplishments. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 2009 with an honours degree with distinction. In addition to the awards mentioned earlier, he was selected in 2004 to participate in a summer program for top performing Grades 10 – 12 students called the Shad Valley Program, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2005, Kurt was also the recipient of a third academic award courtesy of the John Brooks Society. He has also found time to be involved in community activities, particularly with MACA as a mentor in their Saturday and summer school reading program.
In an interview, published in the local Toronto newspaper Share, Kurt who was identified as the only Canadian in a class of 155 students, said the transition from undergraduate to medical school was challenging. "The things that work in college and university don't necessarily work in medical school because of the sheer volume. It's like trying to drink water from a hose and knowing that you are not going to do that. You must pick and choose" he was quoted. In the Share article, Kurt also expressed his love for New York as the city grew on him during the past four years. He also left the door open to returning to Canada if it represented the best opportunity for him in the future as his family and friends are all still in Toronto.