June's Ontario Medical Student of the Month: Chris Charles

Chris Charles Cambodia.jpg

Chris Charles is not one to brag about his accomplishments but as classmates of his we cannot let him go unacknowledged. To begin with, Chris came to McMaster Medicine already a doctor. Before medical school he completed a PhD in epidemiology at University of Guelph; however, most of his time at Guelph was spent halfway across the globe. His passion for field work and sense of adventure led him to rural Cambodia where he lived for 6 years completing his PhD. His doctoral work led to the development of the Lucky Iron Fish, a way to improve dietary iron intake in Cambodian women and children. Since the introduction of the Lucky Iron Fish, iron deficiency anemia amongst Cambodian women has decreased by 33%. 

His most recent accomplishment was giving a TEDx talk in Dubai about using social innovation to solve complex public health problems. Additionally, Chris continues to serve as a public health nutrition policy advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia and his organization, the Lucky Iron Fish, has recently received a $500 000 grant from the Canadian government to continue its initiatives. 

As a medical student Chris has not only been an invaluable friend and classmate but is also a champion of social justice. He acts as the Global Health Liaison to the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and recently helped organize the 3rd Annual National Day of Action to bolster advocacy to the Federal Government for better refugee healthcare care and reverse cuts made to their coverage. He is incredibly respected by his class and is humble about all these great achievements. Chris's vision, passion, and accomplishments are incredible sources of inspiration for others and deserve to be highlighted. 

Nominated by GL and IC, on behalf of the McMaster Class of 2016

Editor note: To learn more about the Lucky Iron Fish project, you can visit their site here: http://luckyironfish.com/