Med student Andrew Lee receives Hall of Fame award
Andrew Lee, third year Medical Student at Queen’s University, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Award for Medical Students.
The CMHF celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances health nationally and internationally. Every year the CMHF Award is granted to a group of students from across the country who demonstrate outstanding potential as future leaders and innovators of health care.
Andrew decided to pursue medicine after his time volunteering with the Peer Support Line at McMaster University. “Being able to connect with other people and have them open up to you and be extremely vulnerable is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had. I felt that medicine was a way for me to continue to pursue that experience and help others by bearing witness to their experience and validating their emotions.” After beginning his studies at Queen’s University in 2018, Andrew was inspired to apply for the CMHF Award by CHMF laureate and Queen’s alumni Dr. Jacalyn Duffin.
In addition to his academic success, Andrew has dedicated an extensive amount of his time to volunteering at Queen’s and in the community with groups including the Global Health Committee, Health Providers Against Poverty Kingston, and the Racial Equity Network. Andrew is passionate about advocacy and equity and he believes that it is the responsibility of all citizens to use their power, privilege and education to lift other people up.
“When you grow up and you see injustice and you live through injustice there’s this moral imperative to make your life better but also to make the lives of others that are part of your community better. I think that’s what advocacy work is,” says Andrew. “We’re acting on issues that we know and have evidence for that make our patients sick or make our society sick. Which is why I think that advocacy is so essential to what we do as medical students.”
Andrew believes that all aspiring medical students should try to pursue their passions and reflect on why they are interested in a specific path. “If you’re applying or you’re looking towards medicine, you have to really reflect on why. If you’re able to write down or conceptualize the story of why you want to do medicine, it helps so much, and you will find clarity in terms of whether medicine is right for you.”