CFMS SIGS 2022-2023
National Resource for Understanding Ableism in Medicine
During pre-clerkship, we saw that the medical curriculum was missing important content on disability and didn’t address ableism. We decided to fix this, and we spent the past two years researching and collaborating with disability advocates. We have written an interactive E-book for medical students to learn about the history of ableism in medicine in Canada, strategies to work on bias, language and considerations for providing competent care to disabled patients. We are self-publishing this resource and will be working nationally to try and implement it into the medical education curriculum.
Doctor For A Day
Doctor For A Day is a series of one-day hands-on events in local Indigenous communities that engages self-identified Indigenous youth that are 12-18 years of age to create excitement around STEM and medicine as career paths, and act as a resource to answer questions that I did not have the opportunity to ask as a youth. The three primary objectives of Doctor For A Day are: to engage with Indigenous youth through a Two-Eyed seeing approach, provide representation of Indigenous Peoples in Medicine and act as a resource to answer questions, and finally to create excitement around STEM and medicine as career paths.
Care Through Tech
CTT is a federally recognized volunteer-run non-profit organization operating in Ontario and Quebec with three main goals: 1) Providing technology to people experiencing unstable housing. 2) Improving access to essential resources via education and direct connection to our clients. 3) Educating the larger community, including medical students, regarding misconceptions about homelessness. We create partnerships with reputable community organizations to reach our clients, while also providing students with volunteer opportunities to learn more about how technology can impact people experiencing homelessness. To learn more about us, please visit our website: www.carethroughtech.ca.
AI in Healthcare Working Group
OSCE-GPT, https://oscegpt.com/, is a program designed to simulate an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), where the computer plays the patient role by speaking to the user. It also offers image-based exam-style cases. After finishing a scenario, you can request feedback based on your interaction with the app and medical documentation (e.g., SOAP note, patient presentation).
PrepCaRMS, https://prepcarms.netlify.app/, is a CaRMS interview preparation tool for Canadian medical students. It works similarly to OSCE-GPT, where users speak to their device and the device responds as the interviewer. The app has interview practice for all R-1 specialties, and users can request feedback.
Media coverage on OSCE-GPT:
- AgeTech World, Jane Hall: New AI app could hold key to better older patient-doctor communication
- The Canadian Press: Calgary med student develops AI patient program
- CBC, Bill Graveland: New app uses AI to help Calgary medical students practise interacting with patients
- Noovo Info, Bill Graveland: De futurs me ́decins forme`s avec une application?
- U of C UToday, Kelly Johnston: UCalgary students create app to help medical students learn how to talk to patients
Jr. Medics is a community outreach initiative run by medical students that aims to teach the basics of first aid to students from grade 1 to grade 8 in the Ottawa region. Our workshops focus on injury prevention, emergency response, and on the introduction of various health care careers. Our workshops are free and are led by volunteer medical students. We utilize interactive teaching methods to engage the young students we train including simulated situations of incidents involving cuts, allergic reactions, burns, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Young Adult Community for Crohn’s and Colitis (YACCC)
Established in 2021, the Young Adult Community for Crohn's and Colitis (YACCC) is a patient-led initiative which strives to improve the transition experience for young adults living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) through educational events, social engagement, and advocacy. With Canada experiencing one of the highest global incidence rates of IBD and an alarming rise in disease onset among adolescents, an increasing number of pediatric patients will experience the transition from pediatric to adult IBD care. Therefore, there exists an urgent and growing need to address the challenges faced during this transition, ensuring that patients receive adequate support and seamless continuity of care.
We hope that our efforts to educate patients on topics such as self-advocacy, self-regulation, transition stress, academic accommodations, among others, will help address known barriers and allow for a successful and improved transition for all. Additionally, we continue to lead the development of innovative and efficacious patient resources in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals, ensuring their wide-scale dissemination in IBD centers across Canada.
As we work towards the establishment of a national peer support program for young adults living with IBD, we envision this program empowering young adults to cultivate meaningful relationships, embrace novel coping strategies, and embark on a transformative journey towards redefining the very essence of holistic well-being. It is through initiatives such as these that we have supported 300+ patients and have raised over $10,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Gutsy Walk!
Skin Pearls For Kids (SPF Kids)
Skin Pearls for (SPF) Kids, is a community initiative that seeks to educate elementary school-aged children on important topics in skin health through interactive in-person workshops. Despite the importance of early skin knowledge on childrens’ physical wellness, self-esteem and relationships with peers, the delivery of dermatologic education in the existing provincial curriculum is limited, and common skin issues remain under-discussed. Our mission is to support youth in learning about healthy skin and advocate for global wellness by offering evidence-based knowledge that is accessible and inclusive. We strive to dismantle skin stigma and its associated impact on mental health, while sharing tangible wellness strategies and encouraging youth to celebrate and embrace skin diversity. Our workshops will offer students a safe space to learn about important skin topics, such as healthy skin care habits, common skin conditions, sun protection, and differences in skin colour.
The Newcomer Health Hub
The Newcomer Health Hub is a grassroots organization consisting of medical and allied health students and professionals who are working towards reducing health inequities in new immigrant and refugee populations. They organize various initiatives and also equip community members and frontline healthcare workers with evidence-based, culturally competent, and easily accessible resources and workshops.
Students for Integrated Training in Community Health (STITCH)
Students for Integrated Training in Community Health (STITCH) is a student-led interest group at the University of Calgary that aims to connect medical students with diverse members of the community and community organizations. We offer medical students opportunities to expand their knowledge of community health through experiential learning. On a monthly basis, students are provided an opportunity to spend time in the community with our community partners to learn about, listen to, see and spend time with people we will one day serve through our careers in medicine. Our goal is to give students more consistent opportunities to learn about community-based resources and populations through meaningful service, connection, and understanding.
Schulich Access is an initiative aimed towards providing mentorship, application,and interview support at no cost to underrepresented students (who belong to BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ communities, have faced or continue to face socio-economic challenges, or have a disability or a life-threatening illness, etc.) applying to Schulich School of Medicine from across Canada. The initiative pairs one applicant with one mentor (a current Schulich medical student) who has been carefully trained by our team. The medical student mentor is responsible for reviewing and providing detailed feedback on the OMSAS written application and conducting multiple interview preparation sessions with the applicant should they get to that stage. In addition, Schulich Access also organizes mock interview sessions (with 3 "panel" interviewers at a time) for ANY student hoping to experience a simulated version of the actual interview. We are currently in the process of expanding our program to support Schulich Dentistry applicants as well.
SPF in MTL
Our project, SPF in MTL, aims to install for the first time in the province of Quebec free sunscreen dispensers in different parks in the city of Montreal for summer 2023 as a pilot project that will soon be a new recurrent annual initiative within the city of Montreal. We have 4 parks confirmed for the first edition of the project : Mont-Royal Park (a well-known popular park located in an affluent area), Jean-Drapeau Park (a lot of musical festivals and events take place at this Park), Frederick-Back Park (a park situated in a low-income and very ethnically diverse area) and Cap St-Jean Park (a beach where many citizens come to enjoy the sun and for tanning). We will have a total of 11 dispensers installed in these parks.
Young Asian Health Professional Association
Young Asian Health Professional Association (YAHPA) (website: https://www.yahpa.org/) was founded amidst the pandemic to support the Asian community, which faced numerous challenges at the time, including anxiety-provoking news and increased racial acts. Consisting of volunteering health professionals and students, YAHPA’s projects span across the following areas 1) community health promotion, 2) facilitating community access to health and social services, 3) equipping health professionals with the tools to provide culture-sensitive care and 4) encouraging the involvement of young students in our community work. Since its inception, YAHPA has created a registry of 250 health professionals who speak at least one Asian language, organized numerous workshops and events, and disseminated various infographic tools.
The Pulse of Possibilities
The Pulse of Possibilities is a project that seeks to engage and inspire BIPOC youth and youth from marginalized communities in high school (grades 9-12) across Nova Scotia through a medical career exploration day at Dalhousie University.
Equitable Medical Mentorship Project
Our organization, the Medical Mentor Community (MMC), strives to reduce barriers in medical school admissions for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. We plan to recruit a team of medical students from across Canada and collaboratively with them, host virtual mentorship sessions on applying to medical school. In addition to reducing inequities for pre-medical students from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds by providing them with free and accessible mentorship, this initiative provides an unprecedented opportunity for medical students from across Canada to work collaboratively, gaining valuable teaching skills and building connections with their future colleagues.
STIC (Southasian Trauma Informed Care) Training and Resources
The Southasian Trauma Informed Care project is focused on developing a module to help healthcare professionals in providing care to South Asian individuals, especially womxn. The initiative is broken down into two parts; the first half will focus on developing a training module for healthcare practitioners focused on providing trauma-informed care tailored to Southasian identifying womxn who have experienced DV and abuse (including but not limited to emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, and financial abuse). This training module will be developed in an interdisciplinary fashion and in collaboration with physicians in multiple specialities (e.g. psychiatry, pediatrics, OBs/Gyn), psychotherapists, psychologists, shelters (e.g. Southasian Women’s Centre), organizations (e.g. Macdonald Youth Services) and guidance counselors. The second half of the project will focus on connecting Southasian females with these trained individuals. This will be achieved via the following: presentations at local women’s shelters, highschools and universities via a subcommittee of volunteers; a website which will allow community members to connect with healthcare professionals that have successfully completed training; and an opportunity to request virtual or in-person appointments.