On January 10, 2018 the second annual Calgary Medical Students’ Association Advocacy Symposium was held at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine. This event was created by third-year medical student Mackenzie Grisdale, with the intent of showcasing the incredible advocacy work done by students, which may otherwise be missed in a more traditional research symposium. Students competed in either the three-minute thesis contest or the poster competition. 

Kate Eppler and Ciara Pendrith won first place in the three-minute thesis competition for their work, Choosing Wisely at the Cumming School of Medicine: Advocating for resource stewardship in undergraduate medical education. Their work has helped first-year medical students feel more confident when learning management plans and it is influencing how resource stewardship will be taught in the future. Second prize was awarded to Genevieve de Caen and Safia Marani for their presentation, Running Indigenous youth mental health programming in Alberta: Reflections and insights. 

In the poster competition, Nicole Thompson was awarded first place for TRANS-Forming UME at the Cumming School of Medicine, where she created inclusive classroom and physical exam content to educate students on how to effectively care for gender diverse patients. Second place was awarded to Gurleen Chahal, Jocelyn Law, Stephanie Gill, Katie de Champlain and Dr. Ian Wishart for their role in Implementing an interprofessional opioid overdose workshop at a local Indigenous school

This symposium helps foster a culture of advocacy in the medical school with each project affirming the important advocacy role that medical students and physicians can play in their communities.  

We would like to thank Dr. Neil Cooper, Dr. Paul Boucher, Dr. Glen Sumner, Dr.Wayne Chang, Dr. Kerri Treherne and medical students Mackenzie Grisdale and Henry Annan for donating their time to adjudicate and speak with students about their projects. We would also like to thank the AMA for its support, along with all the student volunteers. 

If you would like to contact one of the students about their work or get involved next year, please do not hesitate to email rachel.bethune@ucalgary.ca

Banner photo (L to R): Stephanie Smith, Nicole Thompson, Emma Pillsworth, and Rachel Bethune. (Photo: William Kennedy)