OMSA Medical Student of the Month of April - Annie Wang

Throughout medical school Annie has been involved in advocacy initiatives for individuals who are underserved or underrepresented in the Ontario Medical system. In 2015 she organized the Day of Action of Doctors for Refugee Care, where physician allied health and medical students took to the streets to fight the interim Federal Health Program cuts. In 2016 she attended the Citizen’s Reference Panel on Pharmacare as a medical student representative. Additionally, she has attended OMSA lobby day as a student delegate each year, and for the past 2 years has acted as part of the Ask team that developed the Lobby Day Delegate Policy Primer. 

She has also taken her interest in pharmacare, immigrant and refugee health, and policy and turned them into research and position paper authorship in order to raise awareness of the issues she feels so passionately about. She has authored papers on the physician obligation to work towards providing life-saving medications throughout a national pharmacare program; position papers on childhood obesity LTC climate change and health human resources planning; and has taken part in a breast and colorectal screening research project looking at rates of screening in refugees

Annie has also pushed for change at the grassroots level, through quality improvement. She carried out a quality improvement project at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She evaluated the process of how patients are transferred from the Critical Care Unit to the diagnostic imaging department, in order to streamline and enhance the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of this commonly occurring process. She will also be leading a quality improvement project on board a hospital ship, the African Mercy. A vessel belonging to the humanitarian aid organization Mercy Ships, the African Mercy provides free surgeries and healthcare to patients in developing countries. She will be helping them identify frontline challenges, and catalyze continuous, measurable improvement in patient outcomes.

OMSA Medical Student of the Month of MARCH - Rahel Zewude

Rahel's commitment to mentorship and social justice is inspiring. As the co-president of the black medical students association, Rahel has been involved in the planning and creation of the black health speaker series, which gives students the opportunity to learn about the interaction between race and health. She promotes medicine as a career choice among underrepresented communities in Toronto and the GTA and she provides interested students with application advice and interview preparation. 

Furthermore, she ran the Summer Application Support Initiative to provide interested pre-medical students from underrepresented communities or facing financial barriers with a medical student mentor who can guide them with putting together an application to medicine. She also ran the summer mentorship program, which gives high school students with Indigenous or African ancestry a chance to explore health sciences at the University of Toronto. The students continue to ask her for guidance and support as they look to pursuing higher education, which is a testament to the impact she had on them. 

On top of all of this, she serves as the vice president of community affairs, which makes her the contact point for all community-oriented clubs at U of T medicine, and works on neurosurgery research projects.


After Kaitlyn Hayes recognized a dichotomy between food waste and hunger within her community, she started Soul Food to partner with local charities and food vendors to rescue and donate fresh unserved food. Over the last 3 years, she has been working to establish a constitution and formal Federation of Students club status; create awareness (through speaker events and social media); recruit members; network with local charities, students, farmers, vendors, and chefs; and donate food. With almost 40,000 students and staff on campus, there is opportunity to rescue and donate a substantial amount of unserved fresh and nutritious food to shelters. 

Kaitlyn's initiative has made other university students more socially aware and has shown them the wonderful extent that a community will work together. Her group offers a chance for students to show the community that they care. Our environment will also benefit from her food rescue group by saving compost and landfill space reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She inspired students, university staff, vendors, and farmers to lead an amazing community effort to promote access to healthy food for people in need. 

Nominate the next Student of the Month!

The Ontario Medical Student of the Month is an initiative by OMSA to highlight the achievements of our fellow medical students. Students of all years from any of the 6 Ontario medical schools are eligible to be nominated. If you believe that someone in your class or school (or that you know from another school) deserves to be recognized for her/his achievements please fill in the form here (takes ~2 min according to our expert survey testers). Any significant achievement can qualify, from volunteering in the community, making a great contribution to their Faculty of Medicine, advocacy work, innovating research, or a stand out Good Samaritan act. After nomination, one student will be selected by our committee to have their bio featured and shared on our website.

Check out the video below for a highlight of some of our past students of the month!


The sport of cheerleading is not the stereotypical ditsy, pom-pom throwing, activity that most people believe it to be. It is actually one of the most dangerous sports, accountable for many injuries, as it involves dancing, gymnastics, and stunts – throwing and catching human beings.

As co-captain of the University of Ottawa MedGames cheerleading team, Kara spent hours painstakingly designing the choreography for a two-minute routine, including single-handedly creating and teaching the dance sequence to all of the girls on the team. She made sure everyone on the team would be able to showcase their talents, have a part in every role, and that everyone would have the opportunity to shine.

Kara also stepped up and took on the challenge of being our “coach.” She physically partnered up with each of the stunt groups and physically showed them how to lift and throw – and she never complained. Kara was always the first and last person at practice, and must have spent three times as much time thinking about the team outside of practice. Kara is a tough coach, but everyone on the team would admit that she is our “cheer mom.” At the end of every practice, no matter how good or bad, she would spend a couple of minutes for “goals and appreciations” to finish on a positive note.

Meanwhile, she continued also to be a great student and a very helpful colleague. Anytime we had a question about school work, electives, concepts, or anything related to student life, she was willing to answer.

At MedGames last year, we were the first and only non-Quebec team to ever compete. Odds were against us, as we had no coach, no uniforms, or funding, but somehow we came in third place. Kara’s passion for cheerleading and determination to have others learn to love our sport is clear. Our team members would all agree that being on the team was one the best experiences in our medical school careers thus far, and this is because of Kara.

OMSA ASIST Workshop 2017 - Training Students In Suicide Intervention

On February 18th to 19th, 2017, OMSA held a workshop in partnership with LivingWorks for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)! 

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

30 medical students from across Ontario traveled to Toronto for the workshop over the weekend. Here are what some of them had to say.


Chintan is an enthusiastic, passionate, and inquisitive medical student, who also happens to be one of the nicest people I know. I have always been impressed with his ability to handle the stresses of medical school and now, clerkship, as he continues to juggle countless extra-curriculars, research, and hobbies.

Since a young age, Chintan has been passionate about global health, which has grown to now include an ambitious drive to improve patient care locally too. In the past, he has done international volunteering, started a global health initiative in partnership with WHO, and has attended conferences to continually augment his knowledge and experiences within global health.

More recently, Chintan went to Tanzania for a medical caravan mission with CACHA and Pamoja Women’s Centre in Kilimanjaro, where their main goal was to provide equity in medical care in rural parts of Tanzania and especially to its women. He will be also be doing a research project aimed at developing a cross-cultural medical elective for clinical clerks.

Through clerkship, he remains fervently in pursuit of his goals. Recently, he met with the Chaplin at KGH and the Chief of Staff to discuss experiences of medical students with regards to errors in patient management. He hopes to improve the current standard of patient safety at KGH and the patient experience program that was implemented recently.

Chintan’s incessant thirst for knowledge shows itself in his excellent performances in clerkship, as noted by staff and residents, and his pursuit of research.

As if this was not enough, while on his Surgery rotation, he played in an Ottawa cricket league, as he has for the past 10 years. I admire his enthusiasm, passion, and his friendship, as, despite all of his commitments, he has remained my daily gym partner and a good friend. His impressive involvement and drive, excellent performance in clerkship, all while maintaining these essential personal qualities, make him deserving of this award.