OMSA Student of the Month of February 2015 - Justin Lam
Out of a number of great nominations, Justin Lam, a 2nd year UofT medical student, has been selected as the OMSA Medical Student of February 2015.
Justin is a colleague, a friend, and an inspiration to his classmates. His focus on his peers and the genuine presence he brings to every interaction sets him apart as truly unique. He is an eager medical student with many varied interests, and a particular emphasis on the arts and humanities. He completed his undergraduate training in Art History at Stanford. Since getting into medical school, he has put his interest and his passion for the arts into his various endeavours.
Justin has a particular interest in the interaction between medicine and the humanities. Last summer, Justin was a part of the Social Paediatrics Research Student Summership (SPReSS) at SickKids, where he conducted research on the hidden curriculum as part of an exploration of his interests. He is also one of the student leads for the Health Arts & Humanities program at UofT. In this capacity, he spearheaded the development of ArtBeat, a website for student art, and the electronic companion curriculum, which seeks to enrich our didactic learning with readings pertaining to the week's material. If any stereotype about Toronto is true, it is that we have a lot of class. The companion curriculum is a welcome addition to break away from all of that.
Justin was instrumental in the recent development of a new initiative, called The Humans of 1T7, which features interesting stories and insights from UofT medical students. This initiative gives the large (259 strong!) UofT medical class an opportunity to get to know each other a little better, and bring us a little closer. These are all examples of what really sets Justin apart. All of these initiatives put an emphasis, and a priority on human connection, and for good reason, because that is precisely where our priorities as budding medical professionals should be. He has managed to find that truth early, and nurture it.
Aside from all this, Justin is also an avid photographer with an eye for capturing unique moments of experience in his life, his friends' lives, and the life of a medical student. He is self-described as a "documenter of moments and things," and in doing so, is chronicling the journey of his class through medical school. Justin also volunteers his time, skills, and energy for many different causes, including Smiling Over Sickness (a UofT-based recreation program for children at SickKids), and this year's production of the Daffydil 2015 Musical (UofT Medicine's annual musical in support of the Canadian Cancer Society), which debuted in February to laughter, tears, applause, and glowing praise.
Justin is a steadfast, caring friend, who takes the time to be present with his peers and injects meaning into every interaction. In this way, he stands as a role model for all of us, on remembering how to be human. We can only imagine that this will translate to exceptional patient-centered care in whichever field he pursues. Thank you Justin, for all that you do!