Imagine yourself as a family physician seeing a 68-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and chronic knee pain. While these medical concerns are well-managed, things for your patient are tough socially. She has become increasingly isolated since her husband passed. Her apartment is in an older building with good heating but no air-conditioning and near to no sidewalks, green spaces, or public transit routes in the area. She often requires friends or a cab to drive her around.
How can you assess and mitigate the acute and chronic environment-related health risks faced by this woman, and other patients like her? ...continue reading →
Yipeng Ge is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at the University of Ottawa
Humbled. I am so truly humbled that I get to work with and learn from so many passionate medical students with such strong and refined values, morals, and dedication to their causes.
I am specifically speaking about the shift in the medical learner community to respond more attentively and compassionately; to acknowledge the importance of health and social inequities as they affect and inform our medical education and profession, and — more importantly — how they ultimately affect our current and future patients. Patients do not experience the health system not as an isolated entity (though for many of us in the healthcare field, it can certainly feel as though our assistance is limited to clinic rooms); instead, they are affected by the many determinants of health and wellbeing beyond the direct control and impact of clinicians in the healthcare setting. ...continue reading →
Jonathan Oore is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at Dalhousie University
Artist’s Statement for Milgwija'sit Puoin An'stawe'g Wuguntew or Apprehensive about the future of the spirit-healer's fragile stone
This artist’s statement accompanies my artwork featured on the CFMS Annual Review 2018 cover. Broadly, it is a comment on indigenous health.
Mi’kmaq art and craft is laden with straight lines, sometimes by necessity of the tools or materials used to produce them. The rays of the sun in the branching of a tree; the geodesics of a turtle’s shell within the modal phenomena of the ocean or tessellated through the moon; recursive, tortuous animal-in-animals; cross-hatched petroglyphs on (cylindrical) trees. A stark contrast between curved and straight is pitted and married over and over. The confluence and absence of the straightness, curvedness, and “curvilinearity” is the point—a point—the top of a wigwam, the poles of a canoe, the countless barbed tips of quillwork. ...continue reading →
SEVEN BILLION. This is the amount of Canadian dollars that could be saved on prescription drug expenditures every year.
The statistics speak for themselves. The evidence, published in countless editorials and reports across the country, is difficult to deny.
On average, our country spends 30% more than our OECD peers on prescription drug coverage. Of these nations, Canada has the fastest rising drug costs. These costs are often shouldered by our patients due to the low proportion of public funding for pharmaceutical products. Our current system is fragmented and inefficient, leading to profound inequities with regards to who gets to fill their medication prescriptions and thus, who gets to access our health care system. ...continue reading →
Maxime Billick, Jeremy Cygler, Gabriel Devlin and Bellal Jubran are all third year medical students at McGill University
We are four fresh and eager medical students just beginning clerkship, but we can already attest to the importance of blood in medicine. We use blood to bring back patients from the brink of death in the operating room. We use it to treat patients with sickle cell disease on the medical wards. We use it to advance scientific knowledge in the research lab. Yet the policies that govern how we collect donated blood remain woefully antiquated. ...continue reading →