Curtis Sobchak is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Toronto
It is well-known that workplaces strive for diversity and inclusion. Studies have shown that diversity improves productivity and contributes to creativity and new ideas. In medicine, this diversity is just as important. Having physicians from under-represented and marginalized communities provides unique views on what may be best for the patient. As medical schools continue to support new initiatives, such as specialized admission pathways for African American and Indigenous students, it is clear diversity is on the agenda. However, for those who are not of the majority ethnicity, diversity may not be enough. There also needs to be representation.
This idea was at the forefront of my mind during an elective rotation. After I had mentioned my interest in Indigenous health a number of times, I was asked by my attending whether I was of Indigenous background. I understood the hesitation, of course; sometimes it can make people feel uncomfortable to ask about your background or where you are from. Nonetheless, I was happy they had asked and I responded with a firm “yes.” ...continue reading →
Alison Bruni is a resident in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto
“We’re so relieved that our child will be healthy.”
A pair of expectant parents voiced this sentiment in their family physician’s office after receiving normal amniocentesis results. Of course, this is a natural response to testing; all parents want their child to be healthy. However, there is grave misunderstanding inherent here: our prenatal screening and diagnostic tests are not infallible, and parental expectations for a “perfect” child, even given normal results, are unrealistic. As health care providers, we play a vital role in clarifying these misunderstandings. Providing comprehensive and balanced information about prenatal testing not only benefits our patients, but also our society at large, including the people who live with the conditions we test for. ...continue reading →
Boluwaji Ogunyemi is a Dermatology Resident Physician in Vancouver, BC, and a freelance writer for the Huffington Post, Ubyssey Newspaper, and the Online Journal for Community and Person-centered Dermatology
As one of my last off-service rotations in residency, I completed an elective rotation in refugee primary care. I was attracted to the idea of a global population placed locally, because I plan to work internationally as part of my future practice, and I enjoy cross-cultural aspects of medicine.
Abdullah Nasser is a medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, in London, Ontario
The lecture hall slowly came to life. Notebooks in hand, the students filed in to take the front rows. They spoke in hushed tones, ready to put those notebooks to use at any minute. I have not seen a crowd of students so eager to start. But this was not your average university lecture. In fact, it was not a lecture at all. It was a premedical symposium intended to introduce them to medical schools and the application process.
As the symposium got underway, the various steps of the application process were explained in true medical fashion — with an alphabet soup. You write your MCAT, and then start your OMSAS. If you don’t mind being an IMG, you might also consider filling out your AMCAS or UCAS, just in case. Be prepared to do your MMIs if you they call you in for an interview.
The students seemed unfazed. They know medicine is their true calling. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor ever since I was five,” one of them told me with a mixture of pride and determination.