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Dominic Wang is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at Western University

 

My usual Sunday morning plans to catch up on last week’s lectures were mixed with a dash of anticipation for a taste of a new city’s coffee scene. All this, with the blue backpack.

Heading out, my eye was immediately caught by a man at the bus stop. He was singing and dancing in a style reminiscent of a grainy ‘50s film, but was wandering dangerously into the middle of the road. I considered my options as I drew closer: do I stop him, or do I keep walking? All this, with the blue backpack.

Our eyes met. We both nodded. He strolled up with a grin on his face. We exchanged the usual greetings. Then, he asked it: “Are you a med student?” We were suddenly talking about his dancing, and how he may have been drinking, and how he may have wanted to study at Western, and how he may have been abused as a child, and how he may have schizophrenia. I pulled out my phone, gave him the time for the next bus, and continued to my stop. ...continue reading

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Mehdi Aloosh is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine resident (R1) at McMaster University and a graduate of medicine from Tehran University and master’s in surgical education from McGill University

 

Cal Robinson is a pediatric resident (R1) at McMaster University and completed medical school in the UK

 

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) that match to residency positions in Ontario are required to participate in the Pre-Residency Program (PRP) in order to begin their residency.  We participated in the 2017 PRP program as trainees and benefited from the learning opportunities specific to practicing medicine in Canada that the program provided. However, the PRP program structure does not follow the fundamental principles of Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME). PRP re-design, incorporating a CBME model of outcome-based assessment with identification of residents requiring additional support would optimize ...continue reading

is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.

 

A normal day for Dr. Pierre Pili may involve being helicoptered up to a glacier in the Alps, and then lowered by cable 30m down into a crevasse to assess and treat casualties. Few of us see patients in such a difficult and unforgiving environment but this is Pili’s consulting room. A mountain rescue doctor based in Chamonix, he is involved in about 1500 rescues per year, and when not on the mountain, he works as an emergency medicine doctor.

On his first rescue he was called to help two skiers who had fallen deep into an Alpine crevasse. One was dead and one was seriously injured. Pili talks about the mixed fear and excitement of doing this work ...continue reading

 is a Family Medicine Resident (R1) at McMaster University who graduated from medical school at Western University in 2016

 

 

 

To be content
for
my family
my patients
myself.
A
goal.

...continue reading

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Zeenat Junaid is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Bahria University in Pakistan

 

“How do you make leukemia visible?” .

A British photographer and educator, Spence was a transforming voice in the arts of the last century. Her documentary-style photo albums dealt with themes of class struggle, conformity, and feminism. In 1982, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few years later, leukemia also set in. This cancer was not just in her blood and bones — it had seeped into her existence. It hijacked her arteries of security; it exiled her into grey plains of isolation she had never known before. Her whole career, she had sought to catch that special look — that nuance in a scene that told another story. But could she capture this tyrant phantom of disease now in her photos? How to express something for which words falter? ...continue reading

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Kayla Simms is a Psychiatry Resident (R1) at McMaster University who graduated from medical school at the University of Ottawa in 2017

 

Compartmentalization is to medical knowledge as bread is to butter: patients, divided into sub-types; the body, separated by systems; the physician, detached from the pain.

Or so I once thought.

In medical school, I walked into patients’ rooms and stood idly at the bedside, intimately embedding myself into the darkest spaces of strangers’ lives. The bedside, like a carpenter’s work bench, is where I mastered concepts of sound and touch: the absence of bowel sounds auscultated in an obstructed state. The warmth of inflammation against the back of my hand.

The bedside is where I grew accustomed to asking questions like, “How is your pain today?” and learned to de-humanize the experience with the help of a 10-point scale. ...continue reading

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is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK. He's currently also Chair of the Jury for the National Research Award of the

 

Swiss primary care research has a very bright future, from what I could see at the early career researchers meeting (TAN HAM) that I attended recently in Bern. put together a superb programme but the key to its success was the commitment and contribution of the researchers. It was their programme and, not only did they present their work with skill and style, and almost exclusively in English, but each research presentation was chaired by one of their peers as the senior academics looked on from the side lines. The presentations were fantastic, covering a range of topics, as described below. But I thought the peer chaired sessions were an innovation worth replicating at other national and international meetings.

Many countries are struggling to recruit and retain a family medicine workforce and Switzerland is little different. ...continue reading

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Shawn Katuwapitiya is a Psychiatry Resident (R4) at the University of Ottawa who graduated from medical school at Western University in 2014

 

This poem was performed at the 2017 , where Shawn was acting as one of Ottawa's representatives from the . He regularly publishes poetry at .

...continue reading

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Hissan Butt is a medical student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

 

I recently learned that two Canadian medical students died in the past three weeks. Little is known about the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

However, this has not stopped worried Canadian medical students from speculating about the causes of death. The speculation arises not because of a desire to gossip. Rather, I think, it stems partly from a lack of information and partly because of fear. At the time of writing, most believe that the students died by suicide. One university has acknowledged the of one of the students, although the cause is not identified.

The silence is justified - we are told through unofficial sources – by a request from the families to respect their right to privacy. We are also told that talk might spark copying. Indeed, any decent person should want to respect the wishes of the bereaved families, to help them grieve and lighten their burden in this difficult time. There is no need for naming, but there is a need to talk. ...continue reading

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is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.

 

In my capacity as Chair of the Jury for the National Research Award of the , I was recently invited to give a Plenary lecture at the Early Career Researchers Academic meeting for academic primary care physicians in Bern, Switzerland. I enjoyed listening to other great speakers at the event. One was , a professional writer, who, in addition to her many other talents and accomplishments, works as a senior Editor, grant writer and qualitative researcher at the Institute for Primary Care Medicine at the University of Bern. Kali gave a workshop on research writing at the recent early career researchers’ group meeting.

Many researchers struggle with writing research papers, grants and reports. ...continue reading