Equity Committee

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 

MSS Women’s Day 2019

In the spirit of the International Women’s day on March 8th, the MSS Equity Committee invited members of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry to nominate an inspiring woman they know. We want to highlight the amazing work that female healthcare professionals, researchers, students or residents do every day and the success they have achieved!  We would like to congratulate the several female professionals nominated and share with you the inspiring submissions we received.

Maria Gueorguieva

Maria is an absolutely fantastic person! She works extremely hard and puts her heart and soul into everything she does (even staying until midnight almost every day at the dentistry lab to perfect her drilling skills!). She always has a smile on her face and treats everyone around her with kindness and respect, no matter who they are. She inspires me to work hard and to stay positive, no matter what.

Dr. Beth-Ann M. Cummings

As a young woman, she occupies a major leadership role in a very traditional institution. Dr. Cummings’ dedication to the medical students of McGill University is unbelievable. Her work is often not recognized by them to its rightful value but she continuously inputs countless hours to strive for something she firmly believe in: the best possible medical education for us. Despite her busy schedule, she takes the time to mentor students and to make sure to answer each individual inquiry with a prompt, complete, and honest reply. She is exemplary as a medical educator and woman leader.

Kelly Hennegan

Kelly’s dedication in all spheres of her life is what inspires me most. She is able to be involved in multiple extracurriculars (ACE, Explore! Careers in Health, Family Medicine student symposium, research, etc) and never fails to fully commit to them. She goes above and beyond in every single of her endeavours, and never expects recognition, though she deserves praise for her ability to challenge the status quo and create positive change for her community. For instance, in 2017, her leadership and dedication allowed the Explore! Careers in Health team to open their program to rural high school students, a component of the program that keeps growing every year since.

Xin Mei Liu

Xin is like a ball of fire. Whether it is by leading the MSS, creating Probeficiency, an ultrasound teaching service or giving to the Haitian community, Xin is able to connect with people, make them feel heard and empowered, and create change. Her fierceness and open mind make her a trusted leader in the different communities she belongs to. She is not scared to fight for what she believes in and challenge the status quo, and this makes her a model for her peers.

Anudari Zorigtbaatar

Anudari has undertaken many projects in the past related to youth empowerment and organ donation which she still leads today. In this nomination text, I will focus on her initiatives in global surgery to outline her qualities. Anudari initiated a collaboration between the Center for Global Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre and the only trauma center in Mongolia, her home country.
The first time she traveled there with the purpose of establishing this collaboration, she had to start from scratch. With her natural charisma and determination, she eventually built a team of medical students and officials at various Health institutions in Mongolia to evaluate improve the trauma care in Mongolia. Two years later, her team now has partners at the Ministry of Health, Centre for Health Development, and Mongolian National University in Medical Sciences. They have also established many research involving local medical students, residents, doctors, and nurses, and implemented a Trauma and Disaster Team Response course. More stakeholders are joining the conversation with the goal of improving the trauma system in Mongolia. The collaboration has now become official and both institutions agreed to collaborate on research, educational and exchange projects for the next decade. As one of the key architects of this growing partnership, Anudari was an ambassador, cultural mediator, and negotiator—unique roles that exemplify her abilities as a communicator, collaborator and leader.
I had the chance to witness her work ethic in the past years. Leading this type of international collaboration requires her to be accountable and responsible to ensure its constant evolution. A long-lasting partnership like this one must be established on solid bases of honesty from both part and she makes sure of it by being transparent with all her colleagues on the progress of the research projects, the feasibility of some initiatives, and the various obstacles they encounter.
However, at its core, I believe Anudari’s involvement epitomizes her altruism. Put simply, Anudari lives to serve those in need. She is the most selfless person I know—and most of my friends have dedicated their life to patient service. Constantly placing the needs of others before her own, she is continually seeking to improve herself in the optic of one day serving others while remaining respectful and honest with her colleagues. She seeks not only her own growth, but also that of those around her.

Dr. Wendy Chiu

Dr. Chiu is not only passionate and empathetic towards her patients, she also was wholeheartedly devoted to teaching the medical students the ins and outs related to each patient. Extremely likable, she brought out the sunshine in a place where people were very elderly and inflicted with co-morbidities. When I was there, I loved the interpersonal dynamics of the department, that people worked together, communicated frankly, and had a very positive vibe. I loved working with and learning from Dr. Chiu, and the same was felt by my fellow students.

Dr. Preetha Krishnamoorthy

Phenomenal teacher, great clinician, humanistic values and inspires students to stay well and pursue their interests. Genuine attempts to accomodate students and help them meet their career goals. Empathy towards patients and families and very involved in faculty, all this while maintaining a great life balance.

Statement Opposing the Implementation of Bill 21 

On behalf of the Equity Committee of the MSS, Ali Elias and Safina Adatia, we have published a statement opposing the implementation of Bill 21, branded as the Secularism Bill. Introduced on March 28, Bill 21 seeks to invoke religious neutrality across the province. The Equity Committee of the MSS believes this Bill discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities and is in clear contradiction with the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Link to the statement can be found here.

For more information or to get involved:

 

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!

 

120 battements par minute: Panel Discussion & Screening

The McGill Medical Students’ Society Equity Committee, McGill Global Health, and HealthQueer Professionals presented a panel discussion and screening of the documentary “120 battements par minute”. The event took place in the Leacock Building, room ARTS150, on Monday, October 15, 2018 from 6:00-9:00pm.

“120 battements par minute” relates the fight of French AIDS activist during the AIDS crisis in the mid 90s. Their struggle spans many fronts, whether it is trying to access promising anti-retroviral therapy, pushing for sexual education in schools, or surviving the horrific illness itself. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, this beautifully shot movie, pulsating to 90s synth pop hits, dresses a moving portrait of illness, identity, and advocacy.

For the panel discussion preceding the film, we were pleased to have Dr. Jean Robert (Microbiology, Immunology and Public Health physician), and Mr. Ken Monteith (Director of Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA).

 

 

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.

Budget

As a show of transparency, here is the link to the Equity Committee’s budget.