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Medical School Excellence Fund

Support Ongoing Excellence in Medical Education

Queen’s Health Sciences prides itself on offering med students an excellent education. In a contemporary context, providing high-quality education requires more than access to peer-reviewed literature and experienced instructors. For example, medical students must develop cultural awareness and anti-discriminatory practices.

Each year, the School of Medicine offers several summer research studentships to allow students to pursue research on a pressing issue in healthcare. This year, two of these students led research projects with the intention of advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within medical education and the healthcare system.

Simran Sandhu and Ishita Aggarwal are investigating the ways in which EDI can be more effectively implemented in medical training.

Both students agree that EDI needs to be more than just supplementary in healthcare. Though they are still in the early stages of their project, they hope to eventually survey and interview health sciences students and clinicians to discern what their needs are, devise actionable methods of meeting these needs, and expand the understanding of EDI within healthcare and education. “In the future, we're going to be treating diverse populations and it's important that our education reflects that so that we're prepared to provide the best possible care that we can” says Ishita.

Exposing medical students to EDI and anti-oppression practices from the beginning of their training allows them to become more compassionate, safe and informed healthcare providers and colleagues. “Our profession directly impacts the livelihoods of our patients; it’s important that we understand how we as future physicians can perpetuate inequity when we are ignorant of those unlike ourselves” says Simran.

Simran and Ishita agree that the opportunity to undertake research projects supervised by their professors has challenged them to think more critically while also allowing them to take agency and enact positive change even before they begin their careers as clinicians. Both students are grateful to Queen’s Health Sciences for providing them with such a meaningful research opportunity during their studies and look forward to helping their peers and future colleagues become better informed healthcare providers. “This is a crucial project to engage in, and we can’t wait to see where it leads us” says Ishita.

Support learning opportunities for medical students like this when you contribute to the Medical School Excellence Fund.