Equity Comittee

Welcome to the MSS Equity Committee’s webpage!

Mission

The Equity Committee of the MSS works to promote equity in the Faculty of Medicine.

Equity in teaching and learning means that those who are historically underrepresented in medicine have their needs promoted and have equal opportunity to succeed and thrive in medicine. Creating an inclusive learning environment allows all students to fully contribute to our medical faculty and will ultimately translate into better care for marginalized populations.

Mandate and Description

Through advocacy, education, and by upholding the MSS Equity Policy, we aim to create a learning environment that is equitable for all students. An inclusive learning environment means that all students feel respected and valued and have equal opportunity to succeed and thrive in medicine. Working towards equity should confront the privileging of dominant groups within society and address the lack of access by non-dominant groups. It includes purposeful work aimed at enabling a more just redistribution of power.

Equity Policy

The MSS Policy on Equity and Diversity was written and passed in 2017. This policy currently applies to all members of the MSS, including all activities and events hosted, funded, and promoted by the MSS.

Contact us

Any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions?

Please send an email to equity.mss@gmail.com

Get involved

If you’d like to be more involved and join the Equity Committee, please send a 250-word blurb of why you are interested in joining to equity.mss@gmail.com. Applications are on an ongoing basis.

File an Equity Complaint ANONYMOUSLY 

Admissions Motion

After the Faculty of Medicine removed the personal narrative from the admissions process, the Equity Committee felt that there was an element missing that allowed applicants to give a context on their life and experiences. In response, the Equity Committee suggested that with each entry in the CV there should be a place to add this context (e.g. if you worked all throughout undergrad to support yourself/your family).  The Faculty was very responsive to this, and an area to add context to the CV will be added to the Class of 2023 admissions process!

 

More Initiatives/Events coming soon! Join our Facebook Group to stay informed on the committee’s events and to discuss issues related to social justice in medicine.

Statement Opposing Bill 62

The Equity Committee wrote a statement denouncing the racist and islamophobic nature of Quebec’s Bill 62. The statement was endorsed by the MSS at the Fall 2017 General Assembly, and is therefore the official position of all MSS members. For more information click here.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Motion

At the Fall 2017 General Assembly, a motion to mandate Indigenous land acknowledgement was passed. It was written in part by Equity Committee members and and proposed on behalf of the Equity Committee. It mandated all MSS events and meetings to start with the following statement. “McGill University is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations”

The Equity Bookshelf

The Equity Bookshelf is a library for all med students interested in exploring social justice, racism in health care, access to health care for LGBTQ people, anti‐oppressive practices in medicine, and personal testimonies from marginalized people interacting with the healthcare system. Containing books, zines and online resources that students can view or sign out, the equity bookshelf helps students build skills they can use in their clinical practice. It emphasizes that we are becoming physicians in a system which has done a lot of good but also has the power to systemically harm.

McGill’s medical students are eager to learn about the impacts of discrimination in medicine. As students read and share the resources in the equity bookshelf, it will help them enrich and build upon an understanding of their own identities, those of their peers, as well as others’ communities. We anticipate the benefits to be to our student body, who will have improved access to these resources, but it is our greatest hope that this project will have a positive trickle-down effect into the care that people with marginalized identities receive. There is also an online component to the bookshelf, with even more books and resources, which can be found here!

The Equity Bookshelf is found in the Living Room of the Lady Meredith Annex (3708 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3A 1W9).

List of books on the Bookshelf coming soon!

If you would like to send us a recommendation of a new book or online resource to get for the Equity Bookshelf, please don’t hesitate to write to equity.mss@gmail.com

STEMM Working Group and Letter to Faculty

We are meeting with a group of students across STEMM faculties working to advance equity in their respective departments. The group wrote a letter and sent it to the Dean of Medicine and the Dean of Science making four requests:

  1. A faculty-level equity committee in each department
  2. Training for faculty about creating inclusive learning environments
  3.  Anti-oppression training for students during orientation
  4.  Called upon the Faculty of Medicine to respect McGill’s preferred name policy.

The group is continuing to work with administration to realize these goals.

 

Trans 101

Every year, Gabrielle Bouchard from the Centre for Gender Advocacy leads a workshop on how medicine has contributed to the marginalization of trans people in Quebec and ways that we can advocate for our trans patients at the individual and structural levels.

This year the event is happening on April 5th!

 

Frosh: Board Game Night

The MSS Equity Committee hosted a Board-game Night during Frosh week for the incoming Med-1/Dent-1s. This non-drinking event was a great success and allowed all the new students a calmer venue to get to know each other and have some fun.

 

Zine Event

More info coming soon!

Pregnancy Policy

Description coming soon!

 

Not My Normal: Developing Tools to Navigate the Medical Workplace (joint event with the F Word in Medicine)

This workshop tackled how to respond to and manage inappropriate behavior in a hospital environment. Many students have found that they often feel ill equipped to respond to awkward comments, discriminatory remarks, or micro aggressions, especially in a hierarchical environment such as a hospital. As such, this workshop, led by Parker from the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) office in conjunction with Dr. Razack from the Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement, focused on concrete tools that students can use in inappropriate situations in order to respond in a constructive manner.

 

Urban Psychiatry (joint event with Psychiatry interest group)

We invited Dr. Oliver Farmer to host a discussion on the challenges of urban psychiatry in Montreal. Dr. Farmer is the psychiatrist in charge of the Active Care Team of the CHUM and the on-call psychiatrist for the homeless follow-up team of the CSSS Jeanne-Mance. He has also led an intensive readaptation unit within the community at the Maison Papineau. This event was of particular interest to students wanting to work with the homeless community and wanting to know more about the challenges this population faces.

 

Discussion of experiences about discrimination in health care (joint event with MBMSA)

We worked with the McGill Black Medical Student’s Association to host a discussion on inclusivity and equity in med school. Students were invited to discuss ways we can create safer spaces in medicine and share stories of anytime they have felt discrimination during their time in medicine at McGill.

How to File an Equity Complaint

(Anonymous form located at the top-right side of the page)

If you have encountered a situation during your studies in which you feel someone has violated the MSS Equity Policy, please feel free to file a complaint through the following form. The form is completely anonymous if you want it to be, and is completely confidential – the message you send is only read by the Equity Committee Commissioners.

When you file your complaint against an MSS member, committee, club, or council, or the Faculty, you must detail the way it infringes on the Equity Policy clauses and what steps you would wish us to undertake to remedy the situation.

Upon submission of the complaint, commissioners will review the story, followed by an individual meeting with both parties, the claimant and the respondent, within two weeks. This is to ensure that both sides are heard while avoiding confrontation before any solutions are proposed.

Afterwards, the equity commissioners will discuss together avenues for resolution of the conflict. They will reconvene with the respondent to discuss the issue behind their actions and what can be done to correct the harm done. Various tools at the disposal are laid out in the Equity Policy (Article 6.4). The claimant may be present if she/he/they wishes.

The respondent will have two weeks to appeal or to carry out the resolutions. Trusting the good faith of MSS members, no further punitive action will be carried out if the agreed upon corrective measures are applied. However, if repeat offenses are committed, the Equity Committee may investigate other means of ensuring compliance to the policy.

The commissioners may bring forth the resolutions to the MSS Council or enlist the MSS Council to help them carry out the resolutions, as needed.

If you wish to submit an anonymous complaint, the complaint will be registered, but this may make the commissioners’ investigation harder to complete.

The Equity Committee will keep a log of the complaints it has processed. Names of both parties will be removed to ensure confidentiality.

Resources

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for resources from McGill, including Medicine and McGill Mental Health, McGill Health Services, Legal Services, and Financial Services.

In addition, please see the following resources from McGill:

If you have not found a resource that applies to your situation, please send the equity commissioners an email at equity.mss@gmail.com, so we can help you find a resource and also share it on this page.