Hippocratic Council Spring General Election
Hippocratic Council Spring General Election
REMINDER: THERE IS TO BE NO CAMPAIGNING OUTSIDE OF EACH CANDIDATE'S PLATFORM AND SPEECH
Positions Available for Election:
- Vice President Windsor
- Vice President Internal
- Vice President External Jr.
- Vice President Events Jr.
- Vice President Academic
- Vice President Communications
- Vice President Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) [2 positions]
- Western University Students’ Council (USC) Medicine Councillor [2 positions]
Candidates (Platforms Below): **NOTE**: LINKS TO CANDIDATE SPEECHES CAN BE FOUND AT THE END OF THEIR RESPECTIVE PLATFORMS. IF VIEWING ON MOBILE AND THE AUDIO FILES DO NOT PLAY AUTOMATICALLY, PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE FILE TO LISTEN.
i. Braden Krait
2. Vice President
i. Hammad Saif
3. Vice President
i. Andrew Nguyen
4. Vice President External
i. Alveena Ahmed
ii. Ayushi Bhatt
5. Vice President Events
i. Omar Zaher
6. Vice President
i. Daiana Pur
ii. Asaanth Sivajohan
7. Vice President
i. Albert Luu
8. Vice President Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) [2 positions]
i. Rania Belhadjhamida
ii. Anastasia Liu
iii. Kimya Manouchehri
9. Western University
Students’ Council (USC) Medicine Councillor [2
i. Muhammad "Hassan" Ali
ii. Arshpreet Bassi
1. Braden Krait
Hello Schulich! My name is Braden Kralt, and I am running for Hippo Class president for the 2021-2022 school year. My past leadership experience at Schulich includes currently serving as academic director for the Year 1 class, and currently serving as a course representative for Principles of Medicine 1.
My promises as HIPPO President:
1. I will hear your concerns.
Whether you are working through asynchronous modules, rotating through clerkship, or preparing for residency, I want to know what issues you are facing. Students who have reached out to me as academic director or course rep already know that with me, they can expect prompt replies and open communication. They can also expect rapid follow-up and updates pertaining to the status of their concerns.
A) As your Hippo president, I promise to be approachable and to listen to all your concerns. You deserve to feel heard. At any time, you can reach out to me and I’ll be happy to chat. However, hearing your concerns and receiving your feedback is only half the battle.
B) I promise that your feedback will be quickly delivered to the appropriate person or committee to enact positive change. Your concerns deserve to be addressed and escalated to the proper authority.
2. I will focus on the “Big Picture”.
Medical school is a rich experience that extends far beyond the classroom. As the Hippo president, I will strive to ensure that your academic and wellness needs are met. My overall goal is to see my fellow future physicians thriving, not just surviving.
A) I will work closely with UME and LEO to ensure that your experience at Schulich is as positive as possible.
B) I understand that many concerns raised to student leaders are often “multi-faceted”, often involving both academics and wellness. I will facilitate collaboration within all of Hippo Council so that your concerns are addressed comprehensively.
3. I will support the members of Hippo Council in any way I can.
To the future members of next year’s Hippo Council, another major priority of mine is to support you in your leadership responsibilities.
A) I will have regular check-in meetings with you as needed to discuss how I can support you in your respective leadership roles.
B) I will do anything I can to support and empower you in your Hippo Council positions.
In summary, with me as Hippo President, you can a president who
wants to hear your concerns and wants to take the steps to
address them. I want to ensure that your medical school
experience is the best it can possibly be! I appreciate your
support and I look forward to working with all of you next
VICE PRESIDENT WINDSOR
1. Hammad Saif
My name is Hammad Saif and I am excited to announce that I will be running for VP Windsor for the Hippocratic Council.
From meeting and interacting with many of you lovely folks in Windsor, I have come to call this place home, an unforgettable part of my life and an amazing community that I want to help flourish further!
As VP Windsor I will do everything in my power to provide the following for my amazing Windsor family:
Advocating for Windsor Representation by:
- Collaborating with UME & Council to ensure that Windsor needs, and concerns are heard and responded to as quickly as possible
- Strongly advocating and pushing for YOUR needs that may not initially be accepted with open arms – Change is never always easy
Collaborate with Council members to engage and support
the Windsor medical student population through:
- Various events that educate the Windsor population on essential topics such as homelessness, end-of-life experience etc.
- Strongly advocating for funding from UME towards 3rd party resources to enhance our medical learning
- Events designed to mingle the various classes with each other
Ensure that all Windsor classes and students are
represented in all relevant and critical discussions
- Conducting bi-weekly check-ins with the VP Windsor council members of all Windsor classes
Utilizing an anonymous platform where students can
provide feedback or concerns that I will follow-up
I believe I can accomplish these goals on a consistent basis (skills are bolded below) because:
- I bring 4 years of similar experience liaising with different stakeholders such as faculty, and admin as a student ambassador at York University. I advocated for students during an academic strike by tabling academic relief policy at Senate and advocating for votes to pass motions.
- As a peer mentor that guided over 250 students, I have developed leadership skills from that I will apply as VP Windsor. As a mentor for 3 years, I’ve led and collaborated with students to organize their lives, help them cope with stress and support their growth. These actions have helped my mentees reach their academic and career goals.
- As a student lead that sponsored a Syrian refugee family in Toronto, I liaised between various stakeholders such as lawyers, faculty, students and the Canadian government to settle and organize paperwork, and communicate through networks to help acquire our family basic living essentials
As VP Windsor, these experiences have trained me to handle duties such as presenting and passing motions at meetings, liaising communicating with council members and stakeholders professionally and advocating for the best interests of Windsor in mind.
Thank you for taking the time to read my platform, I genuinely
appreciate the support you guys have given me since I started
medical school and I hope that you can support me as an excellent
candidate for this position.
Hammad ‘Hammmmmy’ Saif
1. Andrew Nguyen
My name is Andrew Nguyen (Meds 2024) and I am running to be your Hippocratic Council’s VP Internal. Doing medical school in the midst of a pandemic has been an incredibly different experience for us. Given these unprecedented times, student wellness has been severely impacted as most of pre-clerkship education transitioned online, as well as unforeseen obstacles arising with clerkship learning.
Being a person who gravitates towards social interactions and peer support, I was able to connect with my class as a Foundations of Medicine Course Representative and as an executive member on the Schulich Mental Health Wellness Community where I was involved with making peer support groups at the Windsor campus. Through these interactions, I began seeing many areas for improvement regarding student wellness. It was not until I recently started working on a Schulich Peer Support Program with LEO, and other Schulich Meds and Dents, where these gaps became noticeably evident, thereby pushing me to run for this position in order to advocate for change. Below are my C.A.T.S. platform points:
Collaboration & Community
- Collaborate with Hippo’s VP Events to deliver wellness programming to students and support the SAC representatives in their year-specific initiatives
- Collaborate with Hippo’s IT Director and VP Communications to amalgamate the SAC website with the Hippocratic Council website and ensure all resources are up-to-date and accessible for students
- Continue to chair the Wellness Roundtables (WRT), with a focus on fostering an open, inclusive environment with the Schulich community
Accessibility & Advocacy
- Compile a directory of Schulich wellness and affairs resources - similar to the medical student leaders - that is accessible to the student body
- Work with LEO & UME to provide a more transparent and fair remediation process for students in pre-clerkship and clerkship
- Collaborate with Hippo’s VP EDI & Academic to ensure medical education (e.g. DSSGs, PCW sessions, etc.) is delivered with an equitable approach and wellness lens
Training Modalities & Tracking Wellness
- Financially support mental health training for Schulich students (e.g. ongoing Crisis Training by LivingWorks, SafeTALK Training by Western University) through OMSA and CFMS grants
- Focus on outreach to mental health practitioners within the London and Windsor Schulich community to provide mental health training and wellness sessions for Schulich leaders and students
- Work with LEO, SAC, and WRT to compile data on student wellbeing through anonymized and confidential surveys. This will be a long-term initiative that will hopefully be implemented in subsequent years in order to obtain metrics for Schulich student wellness.
Student Peer Support Program (SPSP)
- Continue the SPSP pilot project (expected to launch within a
few months) during the 2021-2022 school year
- This program equips students with training and mental health resources by psychiatrists to provide informal support to their peers and aims to reduce the stigma of seeking help and provide early, proactive support to Schulich students
My platform aims to support student wellness and ensure student
affairs are properly addressed within the Windsor and London
Schulich communities. Thank you for reading!
VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL
1. Alveena Ahmed
Hello Schulich Meds!
My name is Alveena Ahmed and I am running to be your VP External Jr.! Diverse external opportunities are essential to our medical school experience as they enrich both our skills and our perspectives, as well immerse us into the community at large. 2020 has been a tumultuous year for us, and while we may have found Zoom surrogates for internal opportunities, there has been an unfortunate gap in our work with external organizations. Consequently, I am running for VP External Jr. to develop new, exciting external opportunities in addition to the existing External portfolio so we can compensate for this year by making the most of the next. Specifically, I aim to:
1. Increase interschool collaboration to develop key networking and research opportunities
At Schulich, we’re all extremely passionate about our academic development. To support this, I will:
- Collaborate with other Ontario medical schools to develop interschool resident mentorship programs so students can network and learn more about the culture of other residency programs prior to selecting their M4 Clinical Electives and submitting CaRMS applications.
- Create two valuable resources – a detailed calendar for residency program nights nationwide as well as a comprehensive conference resource guide – to further facilitate networking and increase research presentation opportunities, respectively.
2. Make advocacy approachable for beginners and increase student immersion in our local community
Advocacy is an extremely fulfilling endeavour, however, it may be intimidating for those without prior experience. Thus, to make advocacy approachable, I will:
- Plan Advocacy 101-style talks with seasoned local advocates on developing the requisite skills for advocacy and to provide tips to students for approaching key stakeholders.
- Develop an advocacy resource bank, i.e. lists of community organizations, community leaders and educational resources, to further empower students to advocate for causes they are passionate about, even if they are not part of formal advocacy committees.
3. Develop opportunities to engage with rural communities to compensate for losing Discovery Week
Unfortunately, Discovery Week has been cancelled for the 2020-2021 academic year. While we cannot directly experience rural medicine without UME approval, to make up for our loss, I will:
- Work with local organizations to connect us with rural Ontarians so we can achieve Discovery Week’s main objective, i.e. learn about rural living, embrace our differences and broaden our perspectives.
- Arrange a rural medicine conference with rural physicians to educate us on their healthcare system as well as on the challenges of delivering multidisciplinary care to a diverse population in a rural setting.
Overall, there is so much we can learn from the communities and
organizations around us – the possibilities are endless. Given my
experience in community advocacy, my involvement in various CFMS
initiatives as well as my work with local organizations as
Windsor Community & Charity Liaison for 2024 Class Council, I
believe I am well-qualified for this role and will work hard to
support you in any way I can. Thus, I hope you will consider me
as your VP External Jr.!
2. Ayushi Bhatt
Roles of VP External:
- Support political advocacy work
- Represent and advocate for Schulich meds to external organizations
- Connect students to external organizations/opportunities
- Oversee Schulich delegations to external events
I’m a first year at the London campus. Political advocacy is my passion and I’ve spent the past year pursuing it. I have already been representing Schulich students at the CFMS and OMSA in various capacities and am actively engaged in political advocacy at Schulich:
- Nationally: Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee (GAAC)
rep jr for Schulich (CFMS)
- Co-chair national advocacy committee
- Organizing Schulich delegation to National Day of Action
- Provincially: OMSA Policy and Response Committee
- Municipally: Political Advocacy Committee exec jr
- Global Health Portfolio (CFMS): Local Exchange Officer jr
- Active member of the political advocacy roundtable representing the above roles
- CFMS leadership development task force co-lead
- Developing leadership education modules and increasing access to leadership opportunities for medical students
Through these experiences, I’ve developed a unique skill set that has prepared me well for a role as VP external. My experiences in these roles give me a unique perspective on the advocacy work Schulich students are doing and allows me to more effectively facilitate communication and collaboration across groups. I’m passionate about student engagement, leadership and political advocacy, and know that this passion will shine through in my role as VP external jr (if elected). I have many ideas for where I want this portfolio to go, and have outlined some below.
Increase Schulich’s engagement with external organizations:
- Create a peer mentorship network within Schulich to connect students who currently hold or have previously held CFMS/OMSA positions to support and encourage those considering applying to these roles
- Create a customized monthly newsletter to supplement
CFMS/OMSA communiqués including:
- Opportunities available to Schulich students via external organizations
- Upcoming external initiatives/events
- Updates on external issues directly impacting medical students
- Updates on emerging political issues, advocacy campaigns and how students can participate
Support political advocacy work at Schulich:
- Create increased opportunities for student body to engage in advocacy work even if they are not a member of a committee.
- Develop partnerships with community advocates (individuals/organizations) in Windsor and London that student advocates can support and in turn learn from
- Increase communication between committees and clubs involved in advocacy initiatives
- Create opportunities for collaborative, multilateral, and longitudinal advocacy projects
Represent Schulich students at external organizations:
- Advocate to ensure that opportunities to participate in traditional external events which were cancelled/modified due to COVID-19 are made available to the impacted classes
- Keep external organizations accountable for fostering a safe
space for all med students
Over the course of the year, I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” many of you, and for those I haven’t I hope to meet you soon! I’m so excited to see what this Schulich family can accomplish together next year!
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I hope you’ll consider
voting for me
VICE PRESIDENT EVENTS
1. Omar Zaher
Hi Schulich Meds,
My name is Omar and I am a first-year at the Windsor campus. I graduated from UofT with a degree in Chemistry. Outside of school, I enjoy playing soccer as the central defender for a local men’s team in Windsor. This past summer I spent a lot of time outside going golfing and playing tennis.
Some of my past experiences have prepared me for the Vice President Events Junior position. I have helped organize banquets and award ceremonies for the Macedonia Men’s Soccer Club, which I have been involved with for the past five years. I helped coordinate team dinners, nights out and travel arrangements for various tournaments, such as the Ontario Cup. I have also helped coordinate events through some of the clubs that I’ve joined, such as the Law in Medicine Club and Translational Research Club.
I feel that we’ve missed out on a lot of great experiences
because of the current climate, and I am hoping that we can make
up for that next year while still acting in accordance with
official health guidelines. Events like the Halowe’en Party and
Schulichpalooza are our opportunities to make some great memories
and bond with our classmates, and so I am hoping to optimize
those experiences within the limits that we currently face.
1. Daiana Pur
Dear Schulich Meds,
My name is Daiana Pur (She/Her), and I am excited and humbled to be running for the position of Vice President Academic with the Hippocratic Council. Throughout my time at Western, during my undergraduate (Medical Sciences) and graduate (Biomedical Engineering) degrees, I have been part of various advocacy, mentorship, wellness, and academic-related student led activities such as: Class Representative for several courses, Senior Leader in the Peer Guide Program (mentoring groups of international students), Co-chair of the Graduate Peer Support Committee and Food Bank Committee with the Society of Graduate Students, etc. I also enjoyed teaching and supervising undergraduate students during my graduate degree.
Through these diverse experiences, I developed a strong interest
in medical education, I am keen to apply my collaboration and
advocacy skills to bridge the discussion between student voices
and UME. This portfolio has seen a number of great changes
and initiatives over the past years (e.g. MedReach, great
coordination with course reps, student committee members,
Academic Directors, etc). I hope to support these and bring in a
selection of practical new ideas.
These are my main platform ideas:
(1) Survey medical students across Schulich using methodology
endorsed by the Curriculum Committee, to identify and monitor
perceived gaps in training and academic needs (anatomy labs,
clinical skills, discovery week, etc), and use this feedback to
develop appropriate initiatives with UME. The goal would be to
provide personalized feedback and plans of action to students
about their progression and educational goals, and overall drive
student learning improvements.
(2) Partner with UME and relevant stakeholders to develop a Francophone Training Initiative for medical education. Did you know that there are 3 francophone universities in Quebec (U Laval, U de Montréal, U de Sherbrooke), and 2 bilingual ones (McGill and Ottawa)?
Students interested in broadening their match and expand their
practice to bilingual settings should have the protected time to
improve their French Language Proficiency in contexts integrated
with our existing pre-clerkship (e.g. option for clinical skills
in French, medical vocabulary, non-credit pre-clerkship elective
in French), and clerkship curriculum (support from French
speaking residents and staff to be ready for French
(3) Advocate for protected OCLO time for pre-clerks, and for equitable availability for electives for clerks. Taking into consideration the COVID-19 context, I will advocate for various ways for students to advance their clinical knowledge. For example, through faculty-guided, remote learning strategies involving didactics, case conferences, or by participation in videoconferences of inpatient and outpatient encounters. Ensure transparency behind the decision-making process around these issues.
Overall, my approach to leadership is to empower student voices
because we all bring a different skillset to the table, and
complex issues in medical education, especially in the
fast-changing COVID-19 context, are best solved a collaborative
manner. I am committed to foster the continued success of our
Best Curriculum on Earth (BCOE) approach to Competency Based
Medical Education by supporting current initiatives while seeking
innovative solutions to academic issues caused by COVID-19.
2. Asaanth Sivajohan
Hi everyone! My name is Asaanth, I’m the current First Year Academic Director (London campus) and I’m running to be your VP Academic for the 2021-2022 school year! There’s no doubt this has been a tough year and has brought many gaps in our curriculum to the surface. As VP Academic I will work on the following issues and strive to implement the proposed solutions (indented):
1. Low Quality/Disorganized asynchronous modules – Asynchronous modules are a pillar of learning in pre-clerkship years – so it can be frustrating when there’s a continuous stream of low quality modules. Currently our only mode of feedback is a time-consuming, lengthy survey at the end of each module that only incorporates feedback into next year’s curriculum (if incorporated at all).
- New transparent feedback system to quickly address problematic lectures – I propose a simplified asynchronous module rating system: each module is given an overall numeric rating and a section for open-ended feedback. This numeric rating can be viewed real-time by students and course chairs to swiftly identify problematic lectures and provide make-up sessions or replacement resources if necessary to address any current learning gaps.
2. Poor communication and a lack of accountability from UME - This has been a significant concern for many students this years. Whether this involves lectures slides that are continuously released late, delayed communication affecting travel electives/ summer plans, or feedback not being incorporated into the curriculum.
- UME Accountability Committee - A student run committee will serve to systematically document and corroborate large-scale student grievances that are believed to be inadequately addressed by UME and demonstrate the impact it has had on students. You can’t change what you can’t measure – building a credible well-evidenced case is the first step in pursuing and escalating grievances with the best success.
- Centralized communication platform to receive academic updates – A central site with dated announcements regarding academic matters from UME and National Boards (regarding pending decisions about electives, CARMs. OSCEs, etc.). This can reduce the burden that comes with piecing together information from multiple emails and websites.
3. Choosing Selectives/Electives in Clerkship and building a CaRMS application – There’s a great deal of anxiety that comes with choosing the “right” selectives/electives for yourself, while simultaneously thinking about a career path and building a competitive application.
- Inter-student resource sharing for Clerkship Selectives and Electives – I plan to work on building a centralized resource sharing site where students can share their experiences and provide a review on electives they have completed (along with any helpful tips or specific resources).
- Establishing a resident network to assist clerkship students with CV polishing, personal statement review, overall CaRMS help – I plan on building a mentorship portal where residents can offer their time and help students in clerkship with developing their CARMs application and address any questions one-on-one.
Thank you for taking the time to read my platform. I hope to work
together with all of you, hear your voices, and implement the
academic change you want!
1. Albert Luu
My name is Albert, a first-year medical student at Schulich Medicine and I will be running for Vice President of Communications. Before entering medical school, I had completed my undergraduate degree in Life Sciences and master’s degree in pharmacology at the University of Toronto.
I have developed a passion for communication and the skills necessary to succeed in the role throughout my studies and extracurricular activities. My experience during my master’s where I had led my own project and collaborated with others on theirs taught me the importance of excellent communication and organizational skills in pursuing common goals. I also had the fortunate opportunity to organize and promote large street festivals. Effective communication was both important for promoting the events to patrons and for coordinating the efforts within the team.
In addition, I enjoy using innovative platforms such as social media to convey information and would love to contribute to the Hippocratic Council through these activities. With the pandemic and classes mostly online, I think it is especially important to utilize some of the online platforms to maintain the presence and to promote student engagement with the Hippocratic Council. During my term, I will aim to:
1) Improve the presence and outreach of the Hippocratic Council through increased utilization of various communication platforms (Facebook, e-mail, etc.)
2) Increase student engagement with the Hippocratic Council such as with surveys delivered electronically
3) Promote an inclusive, enjoyable, and enthusiastic culture within the Hippocratic Council
My platform aims to foster a positive and engaging culture both
within and beyond the Hippocratic Council. Thank you for your
consideration. It would truly by an honour to serve as the VP of
Communications for the Hippocratic Council!
VICE PRESIDENT EQUITY,
DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION (EDI) [2 POSITIONS]
1. Rania Belhadjhamida
In order achieve a future of medicine that interweaves equity, diversity and inclusion in its foundation there must be a shift to the Ubuntu philosophy of “I’ am, because we are”. In other words, I believe that enacting equity, recognizing diversity and facilitating inclusion must be rooted in first valuing and listening to my peers from different backgrounds. Then responding to their experiences by creating and adjusting the programs and services necessary for the wellbeing of their learning and futures in medicine. It is through the position of VP of EDI that I would like to facilitate this vision.
My following experiences have equipped me with the leadership, accountability and listening skills and knowledge that has taught me that effecting change within a community requires consideration of long-term, sustainable solutions.
1. Co-Chair of the Committee Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination at Queen’s University.
- Led a team of 12 to organize a conference on “Racism and Facilitating Inclusive Conversations” and obtain feedback from the student body on gaps in the university’s services.
- Responded to feedback by collaborating with student mental health services on campus to add a specialized program for students of colour where they could receive support by counsellors of colour.
2. Global Health Advocate for the Schulich Global Health Committee.
- Collaborated with the Global Health Advocate counterparts at
McGill and OttawaU to facilitate a multi-part weekly webinar
series on homelessness and its relation to healthcare.
Platform Point 1: Addressing PCW sessions for the future
I would like to work with the PCW leads to initiate collaboration
between the class and the topic selection and structure of PCW
sessions regarding equity, diversity and inclusion. This would
first involve collection and analysis of feedback on the
corresponding PCW sessions held by the end of first year. I would
then use collected suggestions to adjust and organize new and
multiple PCW sessions on relevant topics. The intention of this
goal is to recognize that equity training cannot be implemented
once, but must be done over time to initiate growth.
Platform Point 2: Working with the LEO to strengthen student support.
Currently the reporting of microaggressions, discrimination or
harassment to the LEO is done on an individually. I would like to
work with the LEO to facilitate a student support option in which
students who may feel uncomfortable filing a form and initiating
a discussion on their experience with unprofessional behaviour
can have the option of being in confidential contact with a
member from the EDI committee throughout the reporting
Platform Point 3: Initiating Schulich collaboration with Western’s Anti-Racism Working Group I believe it is necessary for Schulich to have a role in the new establishment of Western’s anti-racism working group. This presence would allow the Hippocratic Council to facilitate activities held by the Anti-Racism Working Group within the context of our medical training. With this goal I hope to identify the systemic barriers to equity and inclusion in the culture of medicine.
VP EDI Questions:
1. What is your vision for the role of VP EDI?
My vision for the role VP EDI entails a focus on identifying the gaps within Schulich’s current services and supports and addressing them in a collaborative manner. I believe that identifying these gaps is critical not only for the current class of students but for future students as well. Furthermore, I hope to use my first platform goal with PCW sessions to respond to the direct needs of my classmates while using my third platform goal to address the needs of the greater medical community.
2. How will you carry out this role with an intersectional lens on topics that you may not have lived or formal experience in?
I believe that in order to carry out this role through an
intersectional lens on topics I have no experience in requires
the implementation of accountability. To me, this accountability
looks like using the role of VP of EDI as a platform from which I
can connect members of our community who do have the lived and
formal experience to my classmates. In parallel, through
this accountability I would also interact with these members and
become educated in these topics such that when necessary I can
connect my classmates to the appropriate resources and members of
our community if needed.
2. Anastasia Liu
Dear Schulich meds,
My name is Anastasia Liu (they/them) and I’m running for one of two VP EDI positions. My work in improving EDI in medical education began last summer when I petitioned the OMA to add gender non-binary options in their enrollment process. Serving as the 2024 London EDI Advocate, I collaborated with the 2024 Windsor Charity Liaisons in creating a LGBTQ+ patient care seminar, assisted my colleagues in the ongoing campaign for improved diversity in clinical skills patients, and championed immediate improvements to the Foundations LGBTQ+ Health module. This coming term, my goal is to serve as a VP EDI so that I may work directly with UME in implementing intersectional, longitudinal changes to the medical curriculum and student experience.
Equity - Freedom from bias or favoritism:
- Provide Closed-Captioning in Module Videos. Uncaptioned video lectures are a major barrier to accessibility. Adding subtitles or transcripts for online lecture videos, and perhaps even Zoom lectures, using auto-captioning software is imperative as not everyone excels at or prefers auditory learning, especially not with the reduced audio quality inherent of pre-recorded lectures.
- Implement Pre-Class Land Acknowledgments. The majority of Schulich’s faculty and student body consists of settlers. It is important to reinforce this understanding and recognition in current and future physicians as a key step to combatting the inequitable legacies of colonialism. The specifics of these acknowledgments (how often, how long, delivered by whom) would be finalized with UME.
Diversity - Having a variety of individuals and points
of view represented:
- Decolonize and Bridge the Gaps in the Curriculum. Many current modules, like “History of Modern Medicine,” focus exclusively on “Western Medicine” through the Eurocentric lens that only Western medicine is modern medicine. Real-world modern medicine sees hospitals offering Traditional Indigenous Medicine services and medical acupuncture. Moreover, certain topics like HIV, refugee health, or LGBTQ+ patient care were never formally taught to the 2024s. I intend to work with VP External to liaise with community groups such as the Regional HIV/Aids Connection of London to deliver lectures to fill these gaps.
- Fix Patient Representation in Current Course Material. Many students have recognized the diversity issues surrounding clinical skills SPs: Having the only bisexual male-seeking-male SP’s case revolve around extramarital cheating and HIV reinforces harmful stereotypes; the lack of diversity in SPs woefully misrepresents the population of both London and Windsor. This lack of diversity and prevalence of tokenism is also rife in non-clinical skills content. I’d like to invite UME to collaborate with community organizations and experts in improving SP casting, case-of-the-week writing, and more.
Inclusion – Ensuring all individuals are treated fairly
- Establish VP EDI Office Hours. I intend these hours to be an opportunity for students to meet, build rapport, and speak directly with the VPs EDI to encourage everyone to be involved with EDI initiatives. Student experiences shape and inform EDI projects so these hours will hopefully encourage students to come and share, ask questions, or simply to chat!
VP EDI Questions:
1. What is your vision for the role of VP EDI?
My vision for the role of VP EDI is a highly intersectional and collaborative one. The scope and aim of EDI work expand across many aspects of Schulich from events to curriculum to community outreach. Therefore, as mentioned in my platform I would like to work with other student groups and council positions to implement changes and create events such as working with LSES Med on financial equity matters or even VP Events to host a “drag night” event!
2. How will you carry out this role with an intersectional lens on topics that you may not have lived or formal experience in?
This is a nuanced question that I would love to elaborate on if
not for the word limit! VP EDI is a dual role for a reason;
having broad perspectives and lenses is crucial. I will firstly
defer topics I have no experience in to individuals on the
council, in the student body, or in the community who do have
such experiences, and invite their input. If this is not
possible, I will firstly declare my lack of lived experience, and
try my best to extrapolate from my personal experiences as a
queer person of colour navigating similar topics.
3. Kimya Manouchehri
The work of promoting an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment within and outside of medicine is difficult, often exhausting, and depends on accountability being at the forefront, a task that leads us to face uncomfortable truths. This work is not linear, nor is it perfect, but it is vital to building a community where anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices are embedded into our admissions process, curriculum, patient interactions, and our daily lives.
My experience this year as an EDI Advocate has taught me invaluable lessons, and I intend on taking the lessons I’ve learned about collaboration, listening to our class and their diverse lived experiences, and advocating for change into the role of co-VP EDI. My platform focuses on uplifting your voices, working to improve our curriculum, and providing opportunities for growth and (un)learning, all while collaborating with other EDI-focused groups.
1. Continue advocating for necessary changes to curriculum items that are harmful and oppressive.
By continuing the work of my team on the EDI Committee, I want to make sure that the experiences of Schulich Meds with the curriculum get presented to the administration in the form of concrete recommendations for changes and additions that should be made to make our education more equity-centered.
This includes advocating for more diverse SP interactions, ISGL cases better written to reflect the humanity of diverse populations and learning about the history of injustices in medicine from an anti-racist lens.
2. Advocate for incorporating many more BIPOC and LGBTQ+ inclusive healthcare lectures and topics.
We need much more emphasis on the challenges these populations have historically experienced and continue to experience with the healthcare system, and how to best serve them to avoid perpetuating oppressive cycles. By working with the administration, I will push for incorporating more patient experiences and lessons in Foundations and Principles of Medicine from advocates in the field to help shape more equity focused physicians.
3. Create an easily accessible and anonymous form for reaching out to the EDI Committee.
This is to ensure that students have a place to turn to if they are in need of guidance on how to go about navigating EDI-related issues or concerns they may face. However big or small. I envision the EDI Committee as a safe space where we can advocate for you or help you navigate the system in any way you need us to.
4. Create a summer reading list/summer book club with foundational readings about anti-racism, intersectionality and anti-oppression work for current and incoming Schulich Meds.
As someone who came from a Women’s Studies degree and a lover of books, many readings have played a huge role in my passion for this work and learning more every day. This book club can be an enriching forum for discussion and (un)learning and is very valuable in appreciating why EDI work is important and who it is for.
I hope my platform points have resonated with you and I would be honoured to be one of your VP EDI’s.
VP EDI Questions:
1. What is your vision for the role of VP EDI?
I envision the role of VP EDI as a non-hierarchical, caring, and transparent body that aims to create structural and long-term change for Schulich Meds. The role, to me, is as much about caring for the students who deserve an environment of inclusivity and equity, as it is about ensuring we are equipped to care for diverse populations one day without perpetuating stigma. I also see the role as an opportunity to learn from you all and recognize harm where I may not have initially seen it. This role would be as much yours as it would be mine.
2. How will you carry out this role with an intersectional lens on topics that you may not have lived or formal experience in?
We all come at life shaped by our unique intersectional
identities, and I acknowledge my limitations coming into this
role, as my privileges and experiences inform how I view the
world and they vary from yours. Therefore, I believe it is
crucial to involve, consult, and confide in you all to ensure
that the issues I see as worth advocating for are not only
informed by my own experiences, but by your diverse lived
experiences as well. I by no means know everything, and I think
this non-hierarchical, community-level approach acknowledges that
and uses an intersectional lens for advocacy work.
STUDENTS' COUNCIL (USC) MEDICINE COUNCILLOR [2
1. Muhammad "Hassan" Ali
Salutations, my name is Muhammad, but many of you know me by my preferred name, Hassan. I’m a 2024 at the London campus. I’m running to represent Schulich on Western’s USC as a Medicine Councillor. I wholeheartedly believe that I’d be able to successfully represent the Hippocratic Council’s interests and advocate on their positions due to my strong communication skills as well as commitment to the role. Additionally, I have had previous experience in a very similar position during my undergrad as a USC Science Councillor where I acted as a liaison between the Science Students’ Council and the USC. If I were to be elected, I have three main priorities.
Firstly, I want to improve communication between the USC and Schulich students. Despite having to pay a large ancillary fee to the USC, many Schulich students may be unaware of how the USC affects them and their student experience. To bridge this issue, I would create monthly graphics containing any USC news relevant to medical to be attached with Hippo meeting minutes (to avoid spamming your emails).
Secondly, if elected I would sign up to work with the USC’s advocacy standing committee. Each member in the USC is required to sign up for a standing committee which works on different issues throughout the year. I believe that remaining knowledgeable and in-the-loop with both the Hippocratic Councils advocacy efforts and the USC’s efforts would allow for collaboration when possible.
Finally, I would advocate to the USC on issues that affect
medical students and the Hippocratic Council. For example, many
of the student services on campus, as well as medical students’
health and dental plans are linked to the USC. It’s critical that
our voices be heard especially when discussing key
2. Arshpreet Bassi
Hello, class of 2024! My name is Arshpreet Bassi and I am running
for the position of Western University Students’ Council (USC)
Medicine Councillor. As we all know, this has not been the year
that we expected going into medical school. Adjusting to medical
school online has been difficult, to say the least, but another
unfortunate outcome has been the disconnect between Western
University and medical students. I was immediately drawn to this
position because I hope to bridge this gap and relay
opportunities available to us in order to have a more meaningful
experience as graduate students at Western University. I believe
that I am the best candidate for this position because I am an
effective communicator and will advocate for the interests of
medical students. I have served as an effective communication
liaison in many organizations, including Windsor Regional
Hospital, Canadian Blood Services, and Engineers without Borders,
and have gained the necessary skills to advocate on the behalf of
communities that resulted in meaningful change.
Increase Awareness of Student Services:
There are so many services and resources available to us as students at Western University that we are unable to take advantage of due to a lack of awareness. For instance, did you know that with tax season coming up, you can qualify to get free help with taxes through Western University?
I will provide consistent updates after each USC meeting regarding student opportunities in order to ensure that everyone feels engaged and included. I will also welcome continuous communication to make sure everyone feels heard and is able to provide ample feedback.
Support Schulich Student Endeavours:
I hope to increase the support provided to Schulich student clubs
and endeavors by advocating for an increase in budget allocation
and strongly promote such events on campus.
Thank you for your consideration!