Explore! Careers in Health, a program developed and implemented by McGill Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry students was recently selected as the recipient of this year’s McGill Award for Equity and Community Building as a co-recipient in the Team category. The award recognizes the work of students, faculty and staff committed to advancing equity, inclusion and community engagement at McGill.
“As co-presidents speaking on behalf of our entire team, Amanda (Try) and I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Selection Committee,” says second-year medical student Kelly Hennegan. “It is truly an honour to receive this award, which we hope will help increase the visibility of Explore! Careers in Health as well as other important McGill initiatives aimed at promoting diversity. Through this initiative, we feel that we are contributing to a movement toward greater inclusivity of communities that have historically been underrepresented within the Faculty of Medicine. As healthcare practitioners of tomorrow, we believe this is a vital goal—one that will lead to greater diversity within our workforce and, ultimately, create a more socially responsible healthcare system as a whole. We feel humbled to be able to achieve this through youth outreach, and we hope that this exposure will allow us to reach more and more deserving young students.”
Explore! Careers in Health is a bilingual program offered free-of-charge to high school students who are interested in the health sciences. Organized by an interprofessional team of McGill students, this annual event held on the downtown campus allows students who come from communities recognized as being underrepresented within the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry to participate in a series of hands-on educational workshops. This project is supported by the Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement, which has the shared goal of promoting diversity within the healthcare field. To achieve this, the Explore! Careers in Health team leads outreach to underprivileged and rural-area schools, as well as to local community organizations. Throughout the program’s three days, participants also have the opportunity to engage in cultural and recreational activities, which allows them to bond with fellow participants and build meaningful relationships with the McGill student volunteers who they often come to see as mentors.
“We would like to recognize and thank all the students and staff members who have devoted themselves to Explore! Careers in Health over the past ten years,” adds fellow second-year medical student Amanda Try. “We hope that more and more youth from underrepresented communities in the faculties of Medicine and Dentistry will hear about Explore! and apply. Our goal is to have an impact on our participants’ journey to become leaders in their communities. Their bright minds, undeniable talents and admirable compassion make us strong believers that they will brilliantly shape the future of healthcare and of our society.”
Explore! Careers in Health will be honoured along with the rest of this year’s winners during an award ceremony on Tuesday, May 1 at the Royal Victoria College lounge.
Congratulations to the entire Explore! Careers in Health team!