Great turnout at the Graduate Student Symposium

On May 17th and 18th, the Family Medicine Graduate Student Society (FMGSS), in collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine and the McGill Journal of Medicine hosted the 8th Annual Family Medicine Research Symposium with the theme of Improving Primary Care in Québec. As the first in-person FMGSS symposium since 2019, the event held at Thompson House was a great success with around 100 guests attending.

For years, healthcare providers, researchers, and community leaders have been sounding the alarm that access to primary care providers is not adequate in Quebec. Furthermore, there is a shortage of family doctors, long wait times, and silos between health and social services. This symposium provided a platform for students, researchers, and healthcare providers to discuss their research in the realm of primary care and solutions to the current health systems crisis.

“The many challenges we faced during the Covid-19 pandemic led to an increased understanding of the vital importance of research and collaboration, both within the Department of Family Medicine and across academic disciplines. Teamwork between clinicians and researchers is increasingly essential, as better understanding of the health issues facing our aging population and our vulnerable populations, evolves from both research and clinical practice,” said Marion Dove, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine.

Day one was filled with interactive workshops and presenting opportunities for attendees to reflect on their positionality as researchers and clinicians. Day two was attended by a room full of guests from various disciplines and  departments. In the morning, there was a keynote presentation by Dr. Mylaine Breton, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Science and Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke’s Longueuil campus. Her talk was entitled “Access to Primary Care - A Long Journey.”

In the afternoon, there were approximately 50 different student research presentations. Below were the presentation winners:

  • Best Oral Presentation: Isabel Muñoz Beaulieu (Department of Family Medicine): What happens when they leave?: Understanding the role of sustainability during humanitarian health project closure.
  • Best Oral Presentation: Anmol Gupta (Max Bell School of Public Policy): Access to Medicines Upon Release from Incarceration in Canada.
  • Best MSc Presentation: Alua Kulenova (Department of Family Medicine): Understanding how issues of women’s and girls’ health are prioritized in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what it means for health policy: a critical case study.
  • Best PhD Presentation: Francesco Avallone (Department of Family Medicine): How Men-who-Have-Sex-with-Men Living with HIV in Montreal, Quebec construct “Sexual Health”
  • People’s Choice Award: Amol Gupta (Max Bell School of Public Policy): Access to Medicines Upon Release from Incarceration in Canada.
  • Best Pre-recorded Presentation: Albina Tshkay (Department of Family Medicine): Beyond the buggy theory: dysbiosis as a mediator and moderator but not a causal factor in diseases.








The afternoon also consisted of a panel discussion entitled Improving access to care for marginalized communities. The panelists were:

  • Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier, a family physician who works at Clinique Mauve, a service for sexual and gender diverse individuals who are racialized, immigrants or asylum seeking.
  • Alexandre Chadi, a community pharmacist, a clinical instructor at Montreal University and a diabetes specialist.
  • Dr. Geneviève Roch, a nurse and professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Nursing.
  • Liz Singh, a community worker, and harm reduction advocate based in Montreal.

Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, volunteered, and funded this event!

The symposium planning committee:

  • Seerat Chawla (Lead Organizer

  • Raphaela Nikolopoulos (Scientific Review Lead)

  • Wan Lu Jia (Finance Lead)
  • Bluma Kleiner (Venue Lead)
  • Madison Leggatt (Publicity Lead)
  • Nia Kang (Workshops Lead)
  • Sydney Timmermans (Outreach Lead)
  • Khandideh Williams (Advisor)


FMGSS Support:

  • Abdul Cadri
  • Delufa Tuz Jerin
  • Marwa Ilali
  • Yasmine Elmi


MJM Workshops:

  • Meryem Talbo
  • Jae Hyun Byun


For further details, here is the symposium program:


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