Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.

 

 

The following was written because of this floating into my inbox like ash.

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Dear dear,

You asked me what objects looked like breasts. It was morning and the sun was yawning and you said you needed to write a thing for a thing. What thing, I asked? For a class, you told me. I flopped pancakes onto your plate, watched them deflate like a frown. Your pajamas were hanging loose, threads licked skin. Hair was a brown bush for birds or fingers. Eyes tired, hungry. Coffee beans were roasting. Burning. ...continue reading

Ever wish you could ask a wise, kind, approachable Student Affairs Dean something about CaRMS, without having to admit the question was yours?

Enter Dear Dr. Horton. Send the anonymous CaRMs questions that keep you up at night to a real former Dean of Medical Student Affairs, Dr. Jillian Horton. We will use your questions to shape a special upcoming CaRMS podcast.

Submit your questions anonymously through this form.

See an example from last year: CaRMS interview tips!

Grace Zhao is a third year MD/MSc student in the Systems Leadership and Innovation program at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.

 

Ontario is undergoing its biggest health system reform in 50 years. Under Premier Doug Ford, 20 health agencies will be merged into a superagency – Ontario Health. The rationale behind this is to eliminate duplicative back office infrastructure and administration in order to streamline work to achieve integrated and coordinated care. The functional unit would be the Ontario Health Teams, which are made up of local health care providers who work together to provide coordinated care through technology.

With much attention being placed on health systems innovation and transformation, I asked two health system leaders on their thoughts about leading system innovation and transformation and the current climate of Ontario’s health care system. ...continue reading

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Due to the sensitivity of the post, the author wished to publish the following piece anonymously. 

Dear Student,

On behalf of the Admissions Committee, we are pleased to reward you an offer of admission to the Doctor of Medicine Program!

This year our Committee received over 5,000 applications, and extended less than 250 offers of admission. However, medicine is not a meritocracy. Upon meeting peers from diverse backgrounds, you will quickly realize that applicants differed in their advantages throughout the admissions process. “Not every applicant had the same access to opportunities to demonstrate or enhance his or her commendable qualities”. ...continue reading

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Neil Chanchlani is a CMAJ Associate Editor and clinical research fellow at the University of Exeter, UK. He recently attended the 8th EBMLive conference in Oxford, England.

 

All healthcare practitioners are encouraged to make decisions that are based on strong evidence. But often we don’t – sometimes because the evidence is poor and conflicting, other times because we are ignorant and unaware and, rarely, because we aren’t comfortable with updating our practice. So we need to keep Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) on the frontline and not on the (academic) shelves  - we need to remind clinicians, researchers, and patients that decisions should be based on the best possible data. ...continue reading

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Gayathri Sivakumar is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Western University.

 

 

 

A cold awakening when I got a call about you
the feeling of the nightmare we all dread
You know, the one where you fall off the edge of a cliff
except I kept falling and failed to wake up
I was seeing my sickest patients that morning
I had a plan to help them
I started to figure out when and how to help my patients
I was assembling a sense of purpose in my service ...continue reading

Sarah Chauvin is a PGY2 Family Medicine resident at McMaster University.

 

Palliative care empowers and comforts individuals with life-limiting illnesses. It may be sought at any point and serves as an adjunct to other treatments provided it falls within someone’s goals of care. It is not just trendy terminology or a “feel-good” concept; it is the cornerstone of a good death.

So why, then, after weeks of advocacy, was it denied from my grandmother. Denial? Arrogance? The belief that despite multi-system organ failure at the age of 88 years old we might still be able to “fix” her? So that rather than allowing her to control her environment and provide us with the opportunity to say goodbye, she passed away alone, minutes after being offered a colonoscopy. In fact, minutes after refusing further intervention stating, “I want to go home”. Perhaps an option she never knew existed to her until that moment. ...continue reading

1 Comment

Eleftherios Diamandis is Professor and Head, Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

 

In the 1970s, my mentor and Professor at the University of Athens, Greece, Dr. Themistokles Hadjiioannou, asked me periodically to go to the library and check his citation record. I remember grabbing from library shelves printed volumes of the “Science Citation Index”, which were as heavy as 5 kg each, going through the pages and then recording manually as to who cited his work. This task required many days of intellectual and physical work ...continue reading

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Mei Wen is a currently a PGY1 in Family Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

I walk in,
tired, threw my backpack down and headed to my work desk,
robotically and unconsciously, as if my body is used to this routine,
only to catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of my hallway mirror. ...continue reading

1 Comment

Kirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ

 

Yesterday an open letter addressed to the leaders of Canada's federal political parties was published calling for a firm commitment to implementing a universal, comprehensive, public pharmacare plan for Canada in election manifestos. I signed this letter, along with my colleague, CMAJ Deputy Editor Matthew Stanbrook, the former federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott, 537 other physicians, and 700+ more academics and policy experts. Altogether, there are 1282 signatories.

I signed it because, in Dr Philpott's words, ...continue reading