MMSC Election Nominations c2026 - VP Global Health
Five years ago, when starting university, I knew I had an interest in biological sciences. However, it wasn’t until fourth year of my physiology degree, as I found myself knee-deep in a public health-related thesis, that I discovered my interest for global health. In pursuing a Global Health Master’s, I learned a lot about the field, and completed a practicum conducting research interviews about health status in rural Ecuador. This, along with my employment experience in a remote Indigenous community, allowed me to witness first-hand how health is shaped by a complex combination of societal forces, and further sparked my interest in global health. I love connecting with and collaborating with peers, and have always cherished such opportunities, including serving as VP Events of Western’s American Sign Language Club. On the topic of ASL, in my free time, I love learning languages, playing volleyball, and learning (usually unsuccessfully) new recipes!
If elected as VP Global Health, I would strive to uphold a three-pronged platform. My first priority would be to increase student awareness and engagement of global health events. This would entail effectively liaising between the CFMS and our student body, as well as reaching out to other groups on campus and in the community - including tapping into the network I have developed through my Global Health Master’s. My second priority would be to work with the Global Health Interest Group to host events providing education on conducting global health research, including principles of data sovereignty and how to engage stakeholders, with the aim of eventually incorporating this into the curriculum. Finally, I would like to expand on opportunities for international electives, which were scaled back recently due to Covid. These provide valuable exposure to different health systems, unique health challenges of different countries, and innovative global health solutions.
At its core, global health work strives to achieve universal health equity. Unfortunately, however, research has shown that there are several marginalized populations that repeatedly face barriers to achieving good health. Whether due to historical forces or current structural determinants of health, global health work seeks to understand these challenges in order to work towards more inclusive health systems and more equitable health outcomes. We cannot truly understand these challenges nor develop initiatives in line with the priorities of various marginalized communities, without first seeking to understand their lived experiences. As such, I would make it a priority to involve individuals from diverse backgrounds in the development of our initiatives, both from our class but also from the larger community outside of the privileged circle that is medicine. This would ensure our global health initiatives are inclusive and equitable, and actually focus on the priorities identified by equity-seeking communities.
Hello everyone! My name is Jenny, I’m from Milton, Ontario and I am so excited to be running to be your VP Global Health. I am passionate about knowledge translation, and have completed a masters in global health with a focus in implementing innovations for underserved communities around the world. After working in disaster risk management with clients like the WHO and PAHO, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of knowledge accessibility. For us, this would include increased access to resources and opportunities for global health engagement and learning. My platform includes an LOC approach: Learning, Opportunities, and Contribution. For example, I intend to diversify the SP's in our global health mock OSCE to include more BIPOC individuals, gender minorities, and people living with disabilities. (read more in my platform section). If you have any questions or want to chat, catch me in the HSC lounge with boba (always 30% sugar)!
LEARNING: Diversify SP’s and include more folks from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g. BIPOC individuals, gender minorities, and people living with disabilities) for our global health mock OSCE. Advocate for the inclusion of diverse global health cases in our curriculum to support your development of cultural competency skills. OPPORTUNITIES: Strengthen collaboration with the McMaster Global Health Program, Canadian health leaders, and GH journals to offer a range of webinars and opportunities for you to get involved in global health advocacy (e.g., research, youth governance, NGO initiatives). Increase our global health committee’s online presence so as to improve access to these opportunities and keep you in the loop on emerging global health news. CONTRIBUTING: Establish an online platform for students and clerks to share experiences from their electives especially in underserved rural and remote communities. Spotlight your contributions in issues within global health, underserved communities, and addressing existing health disparities.
Uplifting underrepresented voices is crucial to global health. I plan to promote a GH committee that embraces the diversity of our cohort’s lived experiences through identifying barriers in engagement with previous committees and reviewing feedback so as to improve inclusion as VP Global Health. Additionally, I believe it is pertinent to regularly liaise with our EDI and Indigenous Health VPs to ensure we are organizing initiatives that are safe and accessible to people of various backgrounds. Lastly, I believe self-reflection is critical in promoting global health EDI. I intend to hold myself responsible in this position by reflecting upon areas of improvement, educating myself on topics I am not well versed in, and recognizing that I come from a position that holds privilege in some spaces. I plan to keep an ongoing anonymous feedback form for students to bring forth concerns, questions, and issues they believe need to be addressed.
Hi everyone! My name is Urmi and I’m so excited to be running for MMSC. Thank you for taking the time to read my platform! :) I did my undergrad degree in global health at York. There, I served as VP Student Engagement on student council, where I led the creation of formalized feedback mechanisms to better advocate for students’ needs to faculty and was involved in planning some super fun events. Outside of school, I love to dance – I’m trained in an Indian classical dance style! I really enjoy discovering new music (let me know if you have any recs!) and spending time with family and friends. It’s been wonderful to get to know many of you over the past few weeks and I’m so looking forward to continuing to meet everyone. Please feel free to message me anytime, I’d love to connect! The communities that we will serve as physicians are increasingly diverse with changing needs. As VP Global Health: 1. I would make it a direct priority to advocate for improved integration of health equity in curricular objectives and outside of the formal curriculum (eg. through increased opportunities for engagement with equity-deserving populations in the Hamilton, Niagara, and Waterloo areas - such as a speaker series to allow students to learn from diverse perspectives and to improve our cultural competence). 2. There are many health-related topics and issues that transcend national borders (including climate change, AMR, the opioid crisis, and the use of emerging technologies in medicine), and I would like to create an avenue by which our voices as medical students are heard within these spaces. 3. I would love to collaborate with organizations, physicians, and researchers that work in health internationally to build opportunities for students interested in these pathways.
I hope to heavily integrate EDI(D) into all aspects of the roles for which I am applying. For example, within the VP External Affairs role, one of my goals is to improve student access to career development opportunities; as part of this, I would like to include an element that allows students, particularly those who belong to equity-deserving groups, to access opportunities that specifically consider these characteristics (for example, helping trans students connect with trans physician mentors). In the VP Global Health role, I hope to both help push for the integration of objectives related to EDI and health equity within the curriculum itself and also create opportunities for students to develop the cultural competence required to serve an increasingly diverse population. In both positions, I would also aim to work closely with the VPs in charge of the EDI & IH portfolios and would always be open to feedback.
Hello! My name is Faisal Khaleel and I use he/him pronouns. To start, I was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 2002 but I actually grew up in Dubai, UAE. I came to Canada late 2010, where I have since been a Hamiltonian! In fact, I did all of my elementary and high school education here as well! At this point, I was obviously committed and so I did my undergrad at McMaster, where I studied Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences. Of course, to keep the streak going, I am now part of the McMaster Medicine Hamilton cohort. Other than that, some of my hobbies are soccer, basketball, photography, and working out! Also, I’m fluent in Arabic and alright with Spanish, having studied it for 2 years. To end off with a unique yet embarrassing fun fact, I can proudly say that I’m quite skillful with a yo-yo.
With medicine having no boundaries, many of us aim to have a global impact in what we do. To achieve this, it becomes vital that our foundational medical education be closely integrated with most major global health topics. To successfully bring this about as VP Global Health, my platform is generally 2-fold. Primarily, I recognize the imperative responsibility to represent McMaster Medicine internationally to the extent that professionalism, desired involvement, and dedication to growth is reflected. Consequently, the plan of action shifts to an initiative of collaborative implementation, led by my role in this position but driven by the students. To illustrate, while I plan to share global health focused activities, learnings, and events as discussed within meetings, I also plan to attentively listen to the student body’s active feedback and directional desires in this context such that a fine tailored, self directed approach to global health is provided.
Being a first-generation immigrant in Canada who identifies as a member of cultural, ethnic, and religious minority groups, I feel that I especially resonate with the topic of EDI integration. Having personally experienced the challenges associated with EDI being overlooked, especially in an academic setting as a student myself, I feel that I can use my own experiences today to guide my empathy and understanding of others in similar situations. Thus, I can ensure that EDI is integrated in my role by using said lived experiences to enable sensitivity, allowing me to remain aware of both emerging obstacles and opportunities for EDI progression. I also plan to apply this experience-informed sensitivity when I consequently reach out and establish communication with the relevant groups. In doing so, I aim to provide and share my platform, fostering an environment of shared decision making and action with every EDI focused endeavor.