Author Archives: CMAJ

Betel Yibrehu is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. She is interested in medical education, diversity in medicine, and global surgery.

 

Canadian medical students at home and abroad reflect on the record numbers of unmatched applicants in the Canadian Resident Matching Service.

For many, acceptance into medical school marks the culmination of years of hard work and the start of a secure path towards a career in a rigorous yet rewarding field. In reality, acceptance into and completion of medical school means nothing without securing a residency position. And unfortunately, obtaining a residency spot in Canada has become an increasingly difficult endeavour. ...continue reading

Imaan Javeed is a medical student at the University of Toronto

 

On Monday, April 23, while driving on Yonge Street near Finch Avenue in Toronto, it's alleged that Alek Minassian whipped the steering wheel of his rented white Ryder van sideways and killed ten innocent, unsuspecting people; physically injured sixteen more; and emotionally scarred hundreds of others. At the time of my writing, a clear motive for these actions has yet to be publicized. Minassian is alive and certainly under investigation, , but there still isn't much we know about the lead-up to the event.

Indeed, much to the dismay of some members of the media, the 'default' assumption quickly turned out to be untrue — there was not a single known link to "" terrorist groups or foreign radicalization to be found. ...continue reading

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is a General Surgery Resident (R3) at the University of Calgary who completed his Master of Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in the Global Health track. He is interested in global surgery, implementation science, and trying to keep up with his two children.

Alastair Fung is a Pediatrics Resident (R3) at the University of Manitoba who completed his Master of Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in the Global Health track. He is interested in early childhood development and pediatric infectious diseases in low-resource countries, as well as Canadian indigenous child health.

 

A child is admitted to the PICU for hemiplegia and diagnosed with a brain abscess. The culture of the abscess fluid grows dental flora; clearly, poor education and access to dental hygiene are the root cause. ...continue reading

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 is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Alberta

 

In healthcare, we sometimes hear the saying, “I went home thinking about that patient.” I thought I knew what this meant until I met Winnie.

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It was a foggy Tuesday and the humidity hung thick in the air. On my first day as an elective student in Palliative Care, I was apprehensive as I exited the elevator onto the hospital unit where I would be spending the next two weeks. Soon after my orientation, I was asked to go meet my first patient. Winnie came to us with pain and shortness of breath due to an advanced lung cancer. We worried that Winnie’s hospital bed would become her death bed. ...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 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

Maggie Hulbert is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Queen's University

 

(Doubleday Canada, 2017)

Dr. James Maskalyk describes emergencies “as a sign of life taking care of itself” in his most recent memoir, Life on the Ground Floor. Throughout his book, the reader is left to wonder what exactly Maskalyk means by this. It is an ominous phrase that, at first glance, reads more like a repackaged “survival of the fittest” for emergency departments. However, through deft and emotional storytelling, Maskalyk urges us to look beyond this stark message of Darwinism and see that emergencies are the purest form of life helping life, or “life taking care of itself”. ...continue reading

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Jaya Tanwani is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at the University of Toronto

 

An interesting experience I had with cultural safety was when I volunteered at medical camps in rural Pakistan at age sixteen. My parents had taken my brother and me back to Pakistan—a country that we belonged to but had never resonated with—to visit our extended family and “get in touch with our roots.” As part of my parents’ efforts to help us become more aware of the privileged North American lives we lived, they insisted that I work with some doctors in running a medical camp. Having been attracted to medicine since I was a child, I leapt at the opportunity… only to shy away from the idea five minutes later when they told me that the medical camps were in rural Pakistan. I was scared. I didn’t want to desert the comforts of urban Pakistan, where McDonald’s and Pizza Hut were a block away and where I could still wear my Canadian attire. I was certainly not comfortable with the idea of working with a group of people so different from myself and so different from the modern, chic Pakistani society that my relatives lived in. ...continue reading

Stéphanie Benoît is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Ottawa

 

AiLi Wang is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Ottawa

 

What is medicine? It is much more than learning to diagnose and treat diseases. It has physical and mental components—factual and intuitive aspects. Its definition is complex and multi-factorial. Medicine is an art in all its forms.

Speaking of the arts… The Anatomy Colouring Book was a project first envisioned by Dr. Alireza Jalali as a way for medical students to study anatomy creatively. Stéphanie and AiLi, two medical students known for their interest in bridging science and the arts, were recruited and given an opportunity to re-imagine the human body as an œuvre d'art. They both worked during their first year of clerkship to develop drawings that would accurately capture the anatomical body as well as bring imagination and creativity to paper. Though challenging, the process of creating the illustrations was a way to pursue their passion for art while contributing to their peers’ learning opportunities. ...continue reading

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Yara Abou-Hamde is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at Western University

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

When you arrived in Canada eleven years ago with four young children, you knew you had given up everything familiar to give us a chance at a more secure life. What you did not know then was that your only daughter would go on to pursue a career in medicine, adding stretches of foreign terrain.

Now, I have made it to clinical clerkship. It has been a dream. You know how much joy I get from learning on the job and being able to provide care to patients. It has been both exciting and relieving to know for certain that I have chosen the right career path for myself. ...continue reading

The , which will be launched at the in Halifax, April 27–28, 2018, is seeking nominations for the inaugural Executive Committee. Positions include President, Vice President/President-elect, Treasurer, and Secretary/Communications.

 

This dynamic executive committee will create policies and direction to foster the growth and development of our new national, health humanities organization. A lot has already been accomplished thanks to the diligent work of our colleagues, students and friends. Over 1000 people have attended our annual Creating Space conference since its inception eight years ago. We have funding for three years from Associated Medical Services, which is being used in part for start-up costs, including administrative support. The CAHH website is also operating and a conditional constitution has been posted for members’ review. ...continue reading