My six-word story

Photograph of Dr. Leandra Stringer, PGY3, Urology


South Porcupine, Ontario


Someone We Know – Shari Lapena

Words of wisdom I live by: “Everything gets better in the outdoors.”

Most memorable training experience in medicine:

  • As a medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, I spent a month on an Indigenous reserve. I lived with a family on the reserve. Everyone was so welcoming and kind. I participated in traditional medicine workshops, medicine walks and community events. I went to bingo every Sunday and worked in the local clinic. I had the chance to build a sweat lodge and participate in a sweat lodge ceremony within it.

    It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I took so much knowledge, understanding and awareness away from it. I still keep in touch with the woman I lived with. My experience there was powerful – it changed me as a person and as a physician.

Career goal:

  • Work in a community practice that has a mix of academic and community medicine. I would like to work, conduct research and teach. It would be amazing if I can set up my practice back in Northern Ontario.


  • Doctor of Medicine, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences – Physician Assistant, McMaster University


  • Pediatric Urology Chapter Best Project (Canadian Urology Association Meeting, 2019)
  • Resident Teaching Award, Department of Surgery (2018)
  • Division of Urology Research Day Best Presentation (2018)

Personal notes:

  • Favourite interest or hobby: Spinning
  • My most played song: “Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac
  • Can’t live without: My family, friends and dogs
  • Something I've learned that's stuck with me: You can choose to get upset about things, or you can choose to let them roll off and keep moving. The end result will be the same, it's your experience you can change.

Say it in Six

Inspired by the legendary Ernest Hemingway example, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” the six-word story is a creative challenge to simplify ideas, spark conversation and inspire action.

What’s your six-word story? Connect with us on social media or by email to share your story.