The Pitch
Help us bring crucial interpretation services to the McGill University teaching hospital network by pairing medical students translators with patients through an easy-to-use app.

The Highlights

  • Reduce language barriers between patients and providers
  • Develop an online MedComm platform connecting healthcare professionals with trained medical student interpreters
  • Offer MedComm platform to healthcare professionals and interpreters across the McGill University hospital network at no cost

The Story

Barriers to communication in healthcare settings increase the risk for misunderstanding, negatively impact the thoroughness of health investigations, and can lead to delayed diagnosis and increased readmissions. In addition, language barriers disproportionately affect the most susceptible populations, exacerbating health disparities and increasing the vulnerability felt by underserved populations.

MedComm aims to fulfill the need for easily accessible and sustainable interpretation services within McGill University teaching hospital network by harnessing McGill medical students’ language skills, multiculturalism, and professionalism. We plan to develop an online, two-sided platform that connects health professionals in need of translation services with capable medical students trained in medical interpretation. The platform will serve patients who do not fluently speak the same language as their healthcare providers.

The MedComm website and mobile app will mitigate these challenges by allowing healthcare providers to rapidly place an interpretation request to the medical student interpreters. The students will provide immediate, professional, on-site or over-the-phone interpretation services in the requested language.

All of the funds raised through this campaign will go towards the second phase of the development of the MedComm website and mobile app. With the successful fundraising campaign, we aim to launch the app in Spring 2020.

MedComm currently has a database with more than 100 medical student volunteers who together speak over 25 languages. We plan to recruit more McGill medical students as interpreters. Every student will participate in a two-hour training session to prepare them for interpretation in the healthcare setting.

Meet the Project Team: 
Shu Yi Zhai
  • Medicine Class of 2022
  • Value the crucial role that communication plays in improving clinical outcome, I am honored to contribute to the implementation of this platform that will benefit Montreal allophone patients for the long run.
  • I find peace from practicing Chinese calligraphy and reading Arthur Kleinman
Darya Naumova
  • Medicine Class of 2022
  • Having worked as a medical interpreter, I have witnessed how medical interaction can be positively transformed when a trained interpreter is present. As a team member of MedComm, I want to bring a sustainable and user-friendly solution for medical interpretation to Montreal hospitals and clinics
  • I am a proud and active member of the Ukrainian-Canadian community
Kenzy Abdelhamid
  • Medicine Class of 2021
  • Team leader
  • As a proud aunt to 3 boys and 2 girls, I will always find a reason to slip in baby pictures in any conversation
Elie Ganni
  • Medicine Class of 2021
  • Team leader and application manager
  • I am the 22 year old guy who makes the 50 year old dad jokes
Jenny Xinyu Ji
  • Medicine Class of 2021
  • Team leader
  • I grew up in three countries and loved every bit of it.
Ellen Chow
  • Medicine Class of 2021
  • Team leader
  • I went to 7 elementary schools in China and Canada for grades 1 to 6.