Hundreds of Ontario medical students are descending on London, Ontario to participate in the Ontario Medical Students’ Weekend (OMSW) on October 14 and 15.
An annual event for pre-clerkship students, OMSW brings together delegates from each of Ontario’s six medical schools. Hosting responsibilities rotate each year.
OMSW 2016 was organized by a team of 18 Schulich Medicine students across the second, third and fourth class years. Initial planning started more than a year ago, and the team has been hard at work during that time to make the weekend a success.
A major goal for the organizers is to connect students with each other and opportunities around the province.
“We’re trying to encourage more integration between the medical schools,” explained Cory Lefebvre, Medicine Class of 2019 and VP External for the Hippocratic Council. “Meeting other students is one of the highlights and something we’re all looking forward to.”
The theme for the weekend event is ‘The Future of Medicine’, focused on advances, trends and issues in medicine. “With this broad theme, we’re covering topics related to social awareness, research, technology and medical skills,” said Kriti Kumar, Medicine Class of 2019 and Co-Chair of Logistics.
Delegates, most of them first year students, arrive on Friday in preparation for a full-day conference on Saturday. The agenda includes a wide selection of workshops, as well as the Medical Exposition, a career-fair environment with booths from a number of education programs and medical organizations.
Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, a senior consulting physician at the University Health Network and author of The Art of Medicine: Healing and the Limits of Technology is delivering the keynote presentation. The renowned physician, called a “diagnostic magician” by The Globe and Mail, has received many teaching awards and is well known for his unique teaching style.
Two Schulich Medicine & Dentistry faculty members are also speaking at the event. Dr. Arlene MacDougall will be outlining the need for innovative social entrepreneurism to tackle the growing global burden of mental disorders. Dr. Richard Kim will be presenting about personalized medicine.
After months of hard work leading up to OMSW 2016, planning committee members are excited to see their efforts come together.
“Most of the student participants haven’t been in medical school for more than two months at this point,” said Kumar. “This is an opportunity to see what to look forward to in their education and careers, so hopefully they leave inspired by the experience.”