What sparked your interest in healthcare?
I would say that my interest in healthcare was sparked in 2020 when seeing the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable. Seeing people in my community affected by COVID-19, from those in senior care homes to children that I tutored resonated with me. I developed the goal of strengthening our care systems along with the many social determinants that influence health.
What interests you most about the area of research you’re working in and why?
What interests me most about my area of research is the intersectionality between so many fields. The study that I worked on this summer was on pharmaceutical surveillance marketing, and it combines so many different disciplines, from biology to economics. I believe that it’s important to understand how our healthcare systems in Canada can be both effective and fail those in need, and my area of research allows me to explore this in depth.
What has been your favourite/most enjoyable part about being in ESSP?
This summer, I really enjoyed networking with my peers and scientists at WCH. I enjoyed learning from my fellow students’ unique experiences and goals. Interacting with those involved in the healthcare field inspired me to constantly learn and strive to make a lasting impact.
Share a fun fact or surprising discovery you stumbled upon during research that made you say, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”
One surprising discovery that I stumbled upon during research was the prominence of the drug Ozempic and its impacts on communities globally. While Ozempic was originally intended as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, it has recently been popularized on social media for weight loss. However, this created a shortage of the drug, reducing accessibility for those with diabetes. I was surprised to see the influence that social media can have on healthcare, and this is a case that I want to further explore.
What are your goals for the future and how do you envision leveraging your experiences from this program to contribute to that?
In the future, I would like to continue working in an interdisciplinary setting to learn more about healthcare in Canada. As a student entering the Bachelor of Health Sciences program next year at McMaster University, I hope to take courses that will allow me to further explore these areas with my foundation of knowledge that I’ve gained over this summer. Eventually, I would like to work in healthcare or research to have a positive impact on the most vulnerable within my community.