CFMS success and wrap-up: Yousif Atwan

The CFMS Executive arrived on Thursday night for their Executive meeting onsite while all delegates arrived to their hotel accommodations at the Waterfront Hotel. We had about 160 student leaders from across the country attend - with 27 delegates from Western. The official Agenda started on Friday morning with opening remarks by Dr. Strong.

Students were touched by Dr. Strong's remarks due to his history growing up in the local area as well as his previous role on the CFMS Executive as the CFMS President while he was attending medical school at Queen's University. He encouraged students to take leadership roles in their schools, communities, provisional and national organizations to advocate for patients, students and education as a whole - especially during these times of political changes. Current MD/PhD cuts, residency position cuts as well as Ontario Healthcare cuts - provide student leaders with an opportunity to stand up and advocate for what they believe is right. This talk resonated with students throughout the weekend and was very well received.

Dr. Cooper provided a wonderful welcome to students and reminded everyone of his days at in Northern Ontario, which was appreciated by the NOSM representatives (Many let me know that they appreciated the shout out afterwards)! He provided an excellent summary of what is available to students at Schulich Medicine and the potential future that students from across the country could have by working/studying at our institution. Great points all around and students later asked me many questions about the program. Thank you for that.

We had the honour of hosting a great number of high profile guests from out of town as well. These included:

  1. Dr. Geneviève Moineau - President/CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)
  2. Dr. Cindy Forbes - President of Canadian Medical Association
  3. John Gallinger - Chief Executive Officer – CaRMS
  4. Dr. Ivy Oandasan - Director of Education, College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  5. Irving Gold - Executive Director, Resident Doctors of Canada
  6. Dr. Thomas McLaughlin - President, Resident Doctors of Canada
  7. Colin Leslie - Editor, Medical Post
  8. Monica Staley - Windsor Regional Hospital (Local)

This was a phenomenal number of guests who brought forward great remarks about Windsor, and the host institution. They were very sincere and were happy to join all the students from across the country and present them with updates as well as opportunities for collaboration and support on numerous topics and issues.

A large part of the AGM involves students gathering in small and/or large groups to discuss various issues affecting students across the country. These issues surround topics such as school specific students education, or national issues affecting all students. The purpose of this set up is to provide students the opportunity to share their experiences at their respective schools and bring forth ideas that may support their colleague schools. It is amazing the quality of discussion that come of these meetings. These are brought forward to national committees and organizations to better serve students at the national level (i.e. the initiation of AFMC Student Portal was ignited by small group discussions at previous AGMs). Furthermore, students were able to discuss local issues such as the role of mentorship, research, and students wellness at their respective schools. This allowed students to learn from one another and bring back unique ideas back to their respective faculties.

Another portion of the AGM included the election of the new CFMS Executive Council. In the past, these elections were had minimal nominees due to their national magnitude. At this AGM in Windsor - the election period was slated for two and a half hours. It resulted in an a five hour period with more than 35 nominees for the 12 positions available - the most candidates at a CFMS election. Fortunately, Western came out with two students nominated within the CFMS Executive Council: Han Yan (Medicine Class of 2017) and me (Medicine Class of 2017) and we hope this will be a great bridge built for all Schulich Medicine students. We hope this will provide us with the opportunity to not only serve the over 8000 medical students across the country, but also learn how to better serve our Schulich Medicine colleagues. The 2015/16 CFMS Executive include:

  • President: Anthea Girdwood (University of Ottawa)
  • Past President: Bryce Durafourt (Queen's University)
  • VP Medical Education: Nebras Warsi (McGill University)
  • VP Communications: Carl White Ulysse (McGill University)
  • VP Finance: Franco Rizzuti (University of Calgary)
  • VP Student Affairs: Marie-Pier Bastrash (McGill University)
  • VP Global Health: Golden Gao (University of British Columbia)
  • VP Government Affairs: Jessica Harris (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Atlantic Regional Representative: Anthony Maher (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
  • Quebec Regional Representative: Emily Hodgson (McGill University)
  • Ontario Regional Representatives: Yousif Atwan (Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Western University) and Han Yan (Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Western University)
  • Western Regional Representative: Emily Macphail (University of Calgary) and Fatemah Ramazani (University of Alberta)

Fun fact: two other executive members (including the President-Anthea) completed their undergraduate studies at Western University.

Finally, I really feel this event brought forward a positive light to our institution, the City of Windsor and our students. Many of the students that arrived from across the country had never been to Windsor or have had the opportunity to learn about Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. This brought them a great prospective and I hope it leaves a positive impact for years to come that our school can feed from.

I am very thankful for all the support provided from the school and all our great sponsors. This event would not have been possible without everyone who supported it. The former CFMS Exec (as well as current) were so delighted by our hosting and I can't begin to tell you about the numerous compliments we received as a school. Some schools even indicated their ambitions for hosting this event in the future and requested our aid with their future bids. I really hope this is something that our institution is proud of as we really shined bright on the largest platform for medical students in Canada.

Thank you once again for all your support and for providing our students with this platform and I hope this provides you with an adequate summary of how the AGM went.