Paul Winston MD, FRCPC, Class of 1989 (2023)

Paul Winston (class of 1989) is the second recipient of the 2023 Ken McCarter Award for Distinguished NBS Alumni. Paul draws on the joy of dance and movement in his work as an expert physiatrist, where he contributes to world-renowned innovations that help people with neurologic movement disorders.

As a young medical student following his performance career, Paul was moved by an encounter with a group of physiatrists that showed a deep appreciation for human connection. “Coming from the dance world, that’s what really got it for me,” he says.


“The motto of our specialty is ‘maximizing potential and restoration of function.’ You work with what you have. And that’s one of the things in the dance world: we’re all given a different body type, but as a dance teacher, you try to take whatever is in front of you and you inspire it to be as good as it can be” Paul says.


Paul notes that he’s remained closely in touch with his NBS classmates, many of whom have gone on to careers in the medical field and other professions. He believes that having the freedom of following their passion at a young age, through their NBS education, sets them up for particularly fulfilling life’s work.


“Everyone that I know who went through dance training that I now see as nurses and physiotherapists, as doctors, surgeons, people in accounting and different areas – really nobody regrets it. It really allows them to have a part of their career that really shines and makes them quite unique.”


Paul’s advice for current NBS students: Spend the time making sure you honour your love of dance. See how you can fulfill that, and follow it as long as you know it was the right decision. You will lose no time.