What I do: The president's main roles are to interface with representatives from within the MSA, Faculty, University, Canadian medical student community, and Alberta government; to liaise between students and various FoMD offices; to represent student interests at various committees; and most importantly to use lots of bureaucratic jargon in the process. Jokes aside, the MSA requires a team effort to function and succeed. My job is to encourage and enable the other executives to do their best work. It requires knowing a lot about the of nuts and bolts of the operation and being able to delegate to the other representatives within the MSA council. I really appreciate having the broad overview as well as the ability to collaborate on a variety of projects and student initiatives.
Where I’m from: Iqaluit, Nunavut
Premed life: Studied neuroscience in Vermont and then worked at a lab in Boston for two years before coming to the U of A.
Jersey name: Sharkey
Favourite spot on campus: Rutherford Library. A great change of scenery during exam crunch time.
What I love about UofA: Besides the great facilities, students play a significant role as change-makers at the U of A. We work in parallel with faculty at so many levels and it means you can build great relationships with incredible people. Also, the Division of Community Engagement holds a unique place within the University. They are a key player in a lot of the social awareness initiatives, programs for students, and encouragement of diversity of thought within the FoMD.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: I'd have to say that visiting the Old Strathcona Market is one of my favourite things to do after a busy week. It's a great place to sample local produce and find interesting art.
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: Social Committee, Med Night, MMI Video script, former Local Officer of Indigenous Health, avid beginner hockey player on the intramural team (also flag football!), Ice Bowl fan, MCCT participant...What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: Last year was a phenomenal experience. The cool thing about M2 is that because there are so many integrated social and sporting events throughout the year, you basically get to relive the glory of that first year without any fear of the unknown. One of the things I'm particularly looking forward to is MCCT (the charity outdoor hockey tournament), because going from no experience to an ODR tourney was hilarious and incredibly fun, even if it was -30!
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: Do all the things! Including taking time for yourself! Even if it's an entire Saturday the week before an exam, don't feel guilty or worry about missing out. Remember that your state of mind is half of the experience so if you're anxious, exhausted, or emotionally burned out it will colour your perception of any event. That said, when fully charged, make an effort to do all the things!
Favourite Quote: "Don't let schooling interfere with your education." - Mark Twain
Vice President, Administration
What I do: I would say my role is largely logistical, as I help to make sure our MSA Exec, Council, and medical students have the most up-to-date information, contacts, and resources to continue to participate in the many initiatives, clubs, and programs offered by the MSA. I do a lot of background work to ensure that things like the website and social media pages are running and updated, organizing our student elections, and ensuring the MSA Constitution is enforced in our day-to-day lives. Feel free to reach out if you ever have any questions or concerns - chances are, I will be able to help, or connect you with someone that can!
Where I’m from: Medicine Hat, AB (and before that, Croatia!)
Premed life: I completed both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Pharmacology here at the U of A (and no, I am not a pharmacist ;)).
Jersey name: Baby Fly
Favourite spot on campus: KATZ Atrium... or Main Quad.
What I love about UofA: I love the people that I've met here - I think on any given day, you have the opportunity to come across someone who has a completely different background than you, and the conversations are so insightful! I think the diversity of perspectives is something that creates so much opportunity for us all to engage, and work together to create lasting impacts. It's a big campus, but there's so much opportunity for growth!
Favourite thing about Edmonton: It's a cold city with a very warm heart.
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: Participating in the Healthcare Team Challenge by the HSSA, being a CARS instructor for MD AIDE & Camp Counsellor for the Asclepius Summer Camp for HS students are some highlights!
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: I can't wait for all the learning to be done! But also, to hang out with my med fam and make lasting memz.
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: Be kind to yourself, and don't sweat the details - everything will work out!
Favourite Quote: "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." -Marie Curie
Vice President, Community Engagement
What I do: The Community Engagement Team works to promote health equity, to advocate for issues combining social justice and medicine, and to provide students with opportunities to learn about and engage with marginalized or underserved populations in an ethical and responsible way. As VPCE, I act as liaison between the CFMS Global Health team, the U of A UME and Division of Community Engagement, and the student body, helping to connect interested parties with resources and opportunities for involvement. I also facilitate the work done by the Community Engagement Team in running electives, exchanges, and various other events and initiatives related to areas of Indigenous Health, Inner City Health, Sexual & Reproductive Health, International Health, and Global Health Advocacy, to name a few.
Where I’m from: Edmonton, AB
Premed life: I took the long way around getting to med, starting off with a BSc in Honours Physics at the U of A, then completing my MSc in Physics at McGill. By then I'd realized that academia wasn't for me and that I wanted to be more directly involved with improving people's lives; I spent a while looking into various healthcare professions including EMT and PT before I finally decided to go for it and apply to medicine.
Jersey name: Feynman
Favourite spot on campus: 2nd floor ECHA -- you can usually snag a table to work, and it's always beautiful and sunny up there. Plus, close proximity to Starbucks.
What I love about UofA: The dedication to innovation and improvement - there's always drive to find better, novel ways of doing things.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: The number of green spaces!
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: Four days a week I either teach or train in wado kai karate. I'm also one of the two Local Officers for Inner City Health, which means I help organize the Inner City Health preclerkship elective.
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: Working with the amazing MSA exec team! Also, DL - I'm actually really missing it during the summer!
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: Relax. :)
Favourite Quote: "Anger is a gift."
Vice President, Education
What I do: Represent students to the faculty and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) in matters of curriculum, assessment, and evaluation. in the position to engage students, and provide direction and vision to achieve goals and advocate for large and small global issues. You represent students from Years 1 to 4 and ultimately most things related to education and academics.
Where I’m from: Stettler, Alberta
Premed life: I completed my education and science degree at the University of Calgary. I worked with youth in a variety of capacities in my undergrad such as teaching, Youth Central, Boys and Girls Club, and the Bridge Mentorship Program. I love to read, run, and travel.
Jersey name: Hot4Teacher
Favourite spot on campus: The gym (when it is actually quiet)
What I love about UofA: I love the people, the staff, and the cutting-edge facilities.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: The river valley
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: Inner Tube Water Polo!
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: Seeing my classmates again, and learning even more!
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: You do not have to do everything, nor should you! Do not be afraid to ask for help!
Favourite Quote: She believed she could, so she did.
Vice President, External
What I do: As VP External, I represent the UofA med and its students to various organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). In addition to advocating for your needs and wants, I'm also here to support and promote any initiatives that you want to pursue by connecting you to the right people!
Where I’m from: Calgary, AB
Premed life: I was born and raised in Calgary, and started my undergrad at the UofCalgary. There, I took a combined degree of International Development/Development Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Hence, this shaped my interests in global health, social issues, medicine, and advocacy.
Jersey name: CAPS LOCK
Favourite spot on campus: I absolutely love looking at the Arts Building. It's gorgeous.
What I love about UofA: As cliche as this is, my favourite part about the UofA is the people. My belief is that almost any place can feel like home with good people surrounding you, and UofA definitely has great people. Since I'm not from Edmonton, my classmates have become my new family here.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: My answer is the same as what I love about UofA. But in addition to the phenomenal humans, Edmonton's river valley is beautiful. During the warmer times, there's always people bustling around, joggers speeding by, kids playing with their families etc, and it's just so joyful.
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: I've been involved with Affair of the Heart, which is an annual fundraising event that raises money for local Edmonton charities, such as Basically Babies. Prior to my role as VP External on the MSA, I was also the Professionalism Rep. I tried out volleyball intramural for one semester, which was super fun despite my apparent lack of talent in the area!
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: I am super excited for my role as VP External! It'll be a lot of fun to get to meet medical students from all over Canada. I'm also excited to attend more conferences to learn more about the CFMS and ensure that students know how they can be engaged.
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: Have confidence in yourself because you deserve to be here. You're working towards something that will not only make you happy but will help many others too. So always remember why you're here, especially when it gets challenging.
Favourite Quote: "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive" -Howard Thurman
Vice President, Finance
What I do: My main responsibilities include drafting and maintaining the budget for the MSA, as well as issuing reimbursements for group expenses. Throughout the year, I will also be managing joint funding applications as well. A lot of the work I do is behind the scenes, but feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns about MSA finances!
Where I’m from: Vancouver
Premed life: I completed my undergraduate degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Before entering medical school, I was a research assistant studying the immunopathology of Huntington Disease.
Jersey name: Cheung
Favourite spot on campus: Corbett Quad
What I love about UofA: It's a beautiful campus with lots of open areas! Everyone here is also really friendly and helpful. I especially enjoy the amount of clinical opportunities in the MD program here because the physicians are so willing to teach students.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: It's one of the sunniest cities in Canada!
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: I volunteered as a camp counsellor for Rockin Docs last summer. Throughout the year, I have conducted high school presentations for MD Ambassadors, as well as worked with the post-secondary outreach program to develop a FAQ video. I was also involved with the MD AIDE program, helping to coordinate the logistics of this new initiative. I am currently developing my own HAL project and conducting some research over the summer regarding rheumatic disease and pregnancy.
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: I'm looking forward to the things I'll learn next year!
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: Take it easy, and don't forget to take care of yourself. Also, don't forget to make time to call your parents every so often! Sometimes, all you need is a call to mom and dad to feel less stressed.
Favourite Quote: "Go into the world and do well, but more importantly, go into the world and do good"
Vice President, Student Affairs
What I do: I am lucky enough to oversee all clubs and initiatives under the MSA and to be able to support all the student leaders through project and event planning. Additionally, new to the portfolio, I help oversee student wellness initiatives.
Where I’m from: Calgary
Premed life: I did a four year undergrad at Queen's studying animal biology with a minor in theater. I spent a lot of my time doing mostly club and student government work and definitely didn't feel like I was coming in with a strong premed background (which is so okay!). Some of my favorite projects were creating a clothing line for mental health, running puppy rooms to de-stress students and putting on a Disney themed production.
Jersey name: Instahusband
Favourite spot on campus: Katz-ECHA Pedway (best for pics)
What I love about UofA: The faculty, students and facilities here are incredible. We're truly spoiled and you get to meet the most inspirational, awesome humans.
Favourite thing about Edmonton: Whyte Ave is lit.
Other clubs/initiatives/activities I've been involved in within the U of A/Edmonton: Admissions Committee, Mental Health Advocates, Edmonton Healthcare Improvement Network, Choir, Keeping up with photography
What I'm looking forward to for the upcoming year: All the big events that we have where the pre-clerks all get together and get to celebrate just being a big med fam. Icebowl, Affair of the Heart, AMSCAR and more all going to be fantastic.
Piece of advice I wish I could've given myself at the start of first year: It's entirely normal to feel out of place and to feel like everyone deserves to be here more than you. Just take things one day at a time and in no time you're going to be in love with your classmates and feeling at home.
Favourite Quote: "Those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind" -Dr. Seuss