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Humans of Medicine

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“I had a lot of trouble early on in my education reconciling the medical profession with the life I led outside of school. I didn’t know any doctors who I thought were “like me.” Sometimes I still feel that way, but it doesn’t scare me anymore. A close friend once told me “Queer success IS resistance.” And that’s what drives me toward my dreams and to live openly and proudly as a queer person. Each new opportunity I encounter is another chance for a connection with someone who may not see themselves represented in medicine.

I think that’s what so amazing about the Global Health program. So many medical students are at this intersection between medical education and lived experience within marginalized, disenfranchised, and underrepresented populations. Everyone is so energized and passionate, I’ve never felt so inspired.”

  • Chris Briggs, CFMS VP Global Health (University of Manitoba)

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“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” is one of my favourite non-medical books. Mindy Kaling never fails to be the female role model I need. Feminine, fantastic, confident, and funny. I was given her book by one of my close friends during the time I was applying for medical school. Kaling writes about becoming successful at a young age and how the hard work is always worth it, but that you have to adjust your lifestyle to be successful in the areas that you want - this resonated with me then and now, and holds true. Two quotes from Kaling are some of my favourite words to try and live by: “Someday you will have the power to make a difference in the world, so use it well” & “Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched”.

  • Victoria Januszkiewicz, CFMS Atlantic Representative (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

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“I started watching Grey’s Anatomy when I was twelve years old (my parents probably shouldn’t have let me). I always thought that if I ever needed cardiac surgery, I would want my surgeon to be like Dr. Yang. She is fierce, smart, doesn’t need a man to be happy and successful, and is a loyal friend. She is a really great role model as far as TV characters go for young women. She broke down gender barriers and stereotypes, and is remembered for her intelligence, her skill in medicine, and her intensity, not her beauty or who she married. My favourite Christina Yang line is: “Oh screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.” I may have borrowed this line a few times in my life…”

  • Kaylynn Purdy, CFMS VP Education (Northern Ontario School of Medicine)

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“My greatest inspiration is my grandmother, who died suddenly about a year ago. She was compassion and altruism personified. She was always willing to help out family, friends and strangers alike in their time of need regardless of how little money she had or how busy she was. She was also my biggest cheerleader and greatest teacher—teaching me about the importance of being principled, respecting the viewpoints of others and never being too proud to say please, thank you and sorry. I remember the day I was elected CFMS president, April 29, 2017. That was the same day she would have celebrated her 84th birthday—the first birthday I had missed. It was an emotional day to say the least.”

  • Henry Annan, CFMS President (Dalhousie University)

“I was born in a small town in Ukraine called Nezhin so if growing up someone were to tell me that just a couple of decades later I would be living in Canada and studying to become a medical doctor I probably would have called them crazy! This is something I try to keep in mind and reflect upon once in a while. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that I have been afforded over the years and I will, therefore, strive to assist others on their journeys as countless people have helped me on my own.”

  • Pavel Yarmak, Medical Student (University of Manitoba)

“When I painting I’m allowed to go outside the lines. It’s okay if I mess up, or make something hideous because as long as I have the proper supplies I get infinite do-overs. Everyone needs something that gives them the freedom to learn from their mistakes.”

  • Medical Student, University of Toronto