Chance Park is a third-year medical student at The University of British Columbia (UBC), with an interest in medical innovation and leadership. During his undergraduate years at UBC, Chance was a director of STEM Fellowship, a national student network that provides youth with experiential learning opportunities. Chance spearheaded the establishment of 16 university clubs, holding events such as research competitions and writing workshops, and founded a community that is now known as the Canadian Association of Physician Innovators and Entrepreneurs (CAPIE), an associate organization of the Canadian Medical Association that engages more than 100 physician members across Canada. Chance’s passion for medical innovation can be seen through his research project with Stanford University, which aims to develop quality improvement medical technology, and through his role as a medical consultant at GYANT, a San Francisco based start-up specializing in patient engagement technology. Chance is committed to prioritizing and amplifying the voices of health care professionals in the design and development of innovative medical technologies.
Inspired by 2016 Laureate David Naylor MD DPhil
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series | Chance Park
Under the mentorship of Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, 2011 CMHF Laureate and Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, Connie Le is an MD | PhD student at the University of Alberta, studying the hepatitis B virus and its interactions with infected host cells. Connie has created new cell models to study the infection of hepatitis B and to test potential therapies. She has applied bioinformatic analysis of complex RNA sequencing data at the single cell level to understand mechanisms of viral infection. Her interest in improving patient care with multidisciplinary and collaborative research has resulted in nine publications and collaborative research projects at the University of Toronto, University of Washington and Medical University of Vienna. Connie has received numerous distinguished awards and honours recognizing her academic excellence, leadership and service including being named a Vanier Canada scholar. As an advocate for mental health and graduate student wellness, Connie has volunteered for nearly a decade with the University of Alberta Peer Support Centre, which offers crisis intervention on campus. Connie aspires to become a clinician-scientist, working to bridge basic science, medical research and patient-centered care.
Inspired by 2011 Laureate D. Lorne Tyrrell MD PhD
Crystal Sixian Liu is a final-year medical student at the University of Calgary with a passion for community outreach, advocacy and medical education. As vice chair of the University of Calgary Student Run Clinic, Crystal led the development of this new, nonprofit collaboration with The Mustard Seed, a local poverty relief agency. She believes in promoting health equity where individuals can reach their full potential regardless of social class, financial status or level of education. Through her work with underserved populations she was motivated to promote a culture that recognizes and responds effectively to individuals affected by violence and with colleagues, co-founded the advocacy group Medical Students Against Interpersonal Violence. Working with social workers and standardized patients, she organized a novel Intimate Partner Violence Workshop that allows students to practice their communication skills through simulations. With an enthusiasm for teaching and innovation, she served as editor-in-chief of the Calgary Guide to Understanding Disease, a student-run, online resource that provides clinically relevant explanations that connect disease pathogenesis to its clinical manifestations. Outside of medicine, Crystal enjoys hiking and yoga.
Raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Jessica Froehlich is grateful to grow and learn close to her home on Treaty 4 Territory. She feels privileged to collaborate with peers of similar passions and diverse perspectives through her work with federal advocacy initiatives organized by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. Jessica has served as co-president of the University of Saskatchewan Family Medicine Club and as co-chair of the Health Innovation and Public Policy Conference, which engages students in topics such as health access, trauma-informed care, harm reduction and environmental justice. Committed to continual learning, Jessica has volunteered at a community clinic, completed a summer practicum with Indigenous communities and earned the Making the Links Global Health Certificate which develops competency in working with marginalized, under-served communities locally and globally. Her research is focused on community-driven, land-based healing for addiction and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scoring which helps clinicians to understand traumas patients may have experienced and what factors have lead to their resiliency. These experiences have taught her there is much more to health and healing than what is offered in a hospital. Inspired by the advocacy that enriches Saskatchewan communities and challenges society to meet people on the margins, Jessica hopes to pursue a practice in family medicine among the prairie communities that raised her.
Inspired by 2017 Laureate Justice Emmett Hall
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series: Jessica Froehlich
Jakob Weirathmueller is a medical student at the University of Manitoba with a passion for scientific communication and innovation. Jakob comes to medicine with a background in physics and has combined his knowledge of computer programming and robotics to develop several mobile applications focused on improving diagnostic and prognostic outcomes for medical conditions. Another of his applications is currently being used nationally by surgical residents to track their training and log procedures. Jakob has assisted in the development and manufacturing of two sets of surgical simulation kits used to train residents in breast reconstruction and eye alignment surgery. With an appreciation for the intersection between art and medicine, Jakob partnered with the Winnipeg Art Gallery on a new initiative, originally developed in Montreal, whereby patients suffering from depression or anxiety are prescribed museum visits as an adjunctive therapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jakob supported the development of emergency reusable respirators for health care providers in Manitoba. Jakob volunteers as a guitar teacher for inner city youth, trains as a triathlete and is working towards obtaining his pilot’s license. He hopes to leverage his skills as an innovator to make a difference in medicine.
Inspired by 2019 Laureate Jacalyn Duffin MD PhD
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Series | Jakob Weirathmueller
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, it has always been Brittany Pennock’s dream to practice medicine in Northern Ontario. Now in her third year at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Brittany is passionate about the evolving idea of physician wellness emerging in the medical field. Brittany is the current chair of the Learner Wellness Committee and sits on the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Wellness Round Table, with the goal of improving the experience of medical learners at NOSM and other Canadian medical schools. An executive member of the NOSM Student Council, Britany is also involved in the advocacy and facilitation of various opportunities for learners. Outside of medicine, Brittany is passionate about staying active and enjoys playing hockey, rock climbing and Olympic lifting. Brittany plans to continue to serve as a leader and innovator in medicine.
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series | Brittany Pennock
Gali Katznelson’s passion lies at the intersection of medicine, health policy and bioethics. Prior to starting her medical education at Western University, Gali graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Science and from Harvard University with a master’s degree in bioethics. During her master’s training, she was a student fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, where she later returned as a research assistant. Gali worked with her mentors on research surrounding the ethics of artificial intelligence, opioid policy, solitary confinement, medical education, genetic testing and pandemic response. Now at Western, Gali serves as class president, is a writer for the ethics and law section of a student journal and co-leads the Political Advocacy Committee’s initiative to increase access to free tax clinics. She has helped lead newcomer, homeless and women’s health outreach initiatives, including efforts to start a student-run clinic for the community of London, Ontario. Following participation on policy committees with the Ontario Medical Student Association and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, Gali currently serves as the medical student representative on the Canadian Medical Association Committee on Ethics.
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
Maxwell “Max” Gelkopf is in his final year of medical school at McMaster University. From a young age, Max was encouraged to care about people and community, and sought leadership and engagement opportunities to develop his skillset in education, advocacy and social justice. As a volunteer counsellor at Camp Oochigeas, Max was able to help children with cancer experience the joy of childhood and be free of the “cancer” label, eventually co-authoring an article about the “Magic of Ooch” in Scrub-In magazine. For the past three years, Max has participated in the Camp Oochigeas 10k charity race, and this year, raised more than $2,000 by selling homemade bread. Max is actively involved in research with the hopes of becoming a clinician scientist. He has co-authored three papers advocating for the patient voice in retinoblastoma research, with his most recent work focussed on developing and executing a national patient engagement strategy. Max spends his free time baking with his father. In 2017 the duo created The Science of Baking: A Father & Son Baking Laboratory, an online platform used to share their favourite recipes.
Inspired by 2014 Laureate Max Cynader PhD
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series | Maxwell Gelkopf
Anser Daud is passionate about what he calls his three H’s: human rights, health advocacy and humanitarian relief. After graduating from the Life Sciences at McMaster University, Anser developed CardiacClinic.ca, an innovative patient-education tool for heart disease patients at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN. Inspired by personal experiences, Anser advocates for marginalized groups, writing prolific opinion-editorials and letters that have appeared in more than 30 prominent news outlets. As a national board member with Humanity First, Anser is involved in developing the Disaster Response program in partnership with the World Health Organization, and has heavily contributed to their Feed the Hungry, Refugee Resettlement, and Shelter Bus programs. Anser presently serves as the co-chair for the Conference on Health Advocacy Toronto. Co-author to multiple peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters, his research interests include sports medicine and cartilage restoration in orthopaedic surgery, and 3D-printing and health systems which he pursues at hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto and Harvard University. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anser co-founded the 3DPPE initiative which mobilized 3D-printers and volunteers across Canada to produce and donate tens of thousands of face shields to more than 150 health care facilities in Ontario.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honoured by this recognition which is a testament to the guidance and empowerment that I have received from family, mentors, and friends. As a member of the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim community, I’ve been taught that service to humanity is essential and to me, the journey of serving others is life long.”
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
Andrew Lee is a third-year medical student at Queen’s University with a passion for advocacy and social change. As an interdisciplinarian, he believes that to better understand health and humanity, we must analyze and understand society through a variety of lenses. Andrew has been involved in a variety of equity and advocacy related initiatives including the Global Health Committee, The Toronto Police Service’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, Health Providers Against Poverty Kingston and the Racial Health Equity Network. As an attendee of the Summer Institute in Bioethics at Yale University, Andrew explored the ethics of public health, psychiatry and policy, leading to his study of Canadian psychiatry’s role in immigration policy of the early 20th century. He believes health to be a central component in the development of policies, programs, laws and institutions. Andrew hopes to continue training in policy and bioethics, creating a more equitable society by improving health outcomes for underserved and marginalized populations.
Inspired by 2019 Laureate Jacalyn Duffin MD PhD
Early in his educational career at the University of Ottawa, Vishesh decided he wanted to improve upon existing standards in medical training. He started by getting involved with the Ontario Medical Students Association and publishing the latest Human Health Resources Guide. Vishesh then joined the medical student council as the vice president of academic affairs, which allowed him to advocate for changes to the medical curriculum that would be of direct benefit to students. At the same time, he became a lead member of a student-driven initiative to design a procedural skills curriculum for pre-clerkship scholars. Developed by Vishesh and his team, the program uses a near-peer model in which third-year medical students and residents teach pre-clerkship students various skills using a longitudinal manner to allow for sufficient reinforcement. Over the past year, Vishesh led a pilot project aimed at conducting research to establish the effectiveness of the new procedural skills training program. Using the unique opportunity offered through his multiple roles at the University of Ottawa, Vishesh was able to work with the Faculty of Medicine to establish a tentative plan for incorporating elements of the procedural skills training program into the medical curriculum.
“Receiving the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame award validates my commitment to research and education while opening the door to new opportunities in the future.”
Inspired by 2016 Laureate Gordon Guyatt MD
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series | Vishesh Patel
Sheetal Pundir received the Dean’s scholarship for her PhD from the University of Ottawa where she worked on novel anticancer drugs that led to patents and the establishment of Ramsey Lake Pharmaceuticals. Her postdoctoral work defined the metabolic traits of healthy and diseased vasculature in proliferative retinopathies and explored new therapeutic interventions with the potential to improve vision. Sheetal has earned numerous awards for her research collaborations on a diverse range of projects including diabetes prevention, health promotion initiatives, assessment of ulcerative colitis disease activity, fetal inflammatory injury prevention, invasive pulmonary aspergillosis diagnosis and the impact of COVID-19 on vision and mental health. As a spokesperson for AIM for Seva Canada, a nonprofit organization committed to the education of children from rural and remote areas, she performed in a spoken word poetry fundraising tour. Recognized through several national and international public speaking awards, Sheetal spoke at TEDxNickelCity and represented Canada at the World Championship of Public Speaking. Sheetal also works for Collaboration Interprofessionnelle Montréalaise Étudiante (CIME), a community-based, interdisciplinary intervention program for asylum seeker families in Montreal, and a finalist for Quebec’s prestigious Forces AVENIR award.
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Emily Stowe MD
Listen: CMHF Excellence in Medicine Podcast Series | Sheetal Pundir
As an active member of her community, Lisa Foudil’s passion for medicine began at an early age. Now a medical student at Université de Montréal, Lisa wants to use her knowledge and experience to dispel certain preconceptions about medicine and show young people from underprivileged communities that health care professions are fascinating, rewarding and within reach for everyone. Lisa has worked with the OSMOSE project at IFMSA-Quebec, which aims to change how teens view mental illness and with the Projet SEUR team as part of the Access to Medicine initiative, to fuel interest in science among underprivileged youth and increase ethnic and socioeconomic diversity at medical schools. Her interest in research inspired her to carry out a study in the field of ophthalmology on the toxicity of blue light on animal corneas, for which she received a FIRST program grant. Lisa was invited to present her findings at the annual meeting of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, a recognized authority on eye and vision care in Canada. With an undying passion for medical practice and discovery, Lisa wants to become a research physician to contribute to the wellbeing of her patients and the pursuit of knowledge.
Inspired by 2016 Laureate May Cohen MD
Elizabeth Adam is a third-year medical student at Université de Sherbrooke with a passion for innovation in health that has inspired her participation in various spheres of medicine. During the first two years of her MD, Elizabeth was heavily involved in her student association, spearheading efforts to restructure student representation at the Office of Academic Affairs, democratize the elections for numerous committees, develop indicators of student well-being and to review the reporting process for professional misconduct. As vice-president of educational affairs, she was a crisis management leader during the pandemic, quickly delivering pragmatic and coordinated solutions across three training sites. Elizabeth also has a keen interest in research, which has inspired her to take on three affiliated internships at Université de Sherbrooke and the University of Toronto, focused on brain stimulation, a field about which she is passionate. Elizabeth is interested in social entrepreneurship for it’s potential to improve health care access and quality. To that end, she completed a Changemaker Residency and went on to found Fonds MPWR, a non-profit dedicated to mental health in Quebec. She aspires to help advance our understanding of people and the best ways to support them.
Inspired by 2016 Laureate David Naylor MD DPhil
Listen: CMHF Excellence In Medicine Series: Elizabeth Adam
Alexandre Bergeron is a clinical epidemiology student in the joint MD/MSc program at Université Laval. His research looks at optimizing care for victims of severe traumatic brain injuries, who are often seriously ill and faced with limited treatment options. His work has earned him numerous research grants, including one from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). To increase the appeal of medical research among preclinical students, he founded the Medical Interest Research Group at Université Laval. As the group’s co-director, he created an outreach contest for students and organized events led by clinician scientists. Alexandre also has a strong interest in education and sharing knowledge with the public. He has been awarded a university leadership scholarship for his ongoing involvement in tutoring and teaching and has had the opportunity to put his communication skills to use in numerous presentations at research conferences. Alexandre is well on his way to a career as a clinician scientist and looks forward to helping improve evidence-based care and acting as a vehicle for change among his colleagues.
Inspired by 2000 Laureate John Evans MD
FREDDY CHANGSEOK LEE
Freddy Lee is a medical student at Dalhousie University with a background in cognitive science and neuroscience from McGill University. Acting on his strong commitment to student advocacy and organizational leadership, Freddy served as president of the Dalhousie Medical Student Society. He represents the student body on faculty-level and national committees with a focus on diversity and inclusion, student wellbeing and supportive learning environments. His leadership enabled him to support energetic ideas with an accelerated turnaround by providing consultation, resources and a pilot fund to promote student research while reducing out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, Freddy has a keen interest in research focused on optimizing patient care through innovative technologies. Under the supervision of a biomaterials scientist, he recently carried out a toxicological risk assessment on a novel glass microsphere device for the treatment of pain and disability caused by knee osteoarthritis. Freddy hopes to contribute at the forefront of health care with a practice driven by his passion for patient advocacy, medical research and innovation.
Inspired by 2016 Laureate David Naylor MD DPhil
Jason Hearn is a third-year medical student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, where he earned the Lieutenant-Governor Silver Medal for highest academic standing. His keen interest in global health and biomedical engineering led him to pursue a Master of Health Science in Clinical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he designed and developed a mobile phone-based remote management system for heart failure patients living in Uganda. His passion for research resulting from his academic and professional experiences have led to six published articles, five conference abstracts and various academic awards. Through his commitment to health advocacy and community engagement, Jason has worked alongside fellow medical students to advocate for change in health policy at both a provincial and national level. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped coordinate the distribution of more than 34,000 units of personal protective equipment to frontline workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Jason hopes to leverage his unique background to approach clinical and research endeavours with a focus on innovation and health equity.
Inspired by 2010 Laureate Calvin Stiller MD