New MD initiative supports students of low socio-economic status

Front view of Roger Guindon Hall

In collaboration with current student leaders of the low socio-economic status (LSES) program, Neraj Manhas and Leonardo Martin Calderon, uOttawa's MD Program will implement another phase in its social accountability mandate. 

Beginning this September, the MD program will implement Phase I and Phase II of its LSES program.  Phase I reserves two spots per year for MD students from lower socioeconomic households. Phase II will provide bursaries and mentorship for LSES students who wish to pursue pre-medicine studies.

This goal of Phase I, in its creation of a pipeline program for LSES students at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine, is to make medical school more accessible to applicants coming from homes with limited financial resources.

This means improved equity for future LSES applicants, while also adding to the diversity of the Faculty’s student population. Within this initiative, all applicants must foremost meet the academic and extra-curricular criteria required of the admissions process.

“In medical education, a diverse student population is deemed crucial in creating a physician workforce that can meet the needs of an equally diverse Canadian patient population,” said Dr. Geneviève Lemay, Assistant Dean, Admissions, Undergraduate Medical Education at uOttawa.

According to recent reports from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the current demographics of Canadian medical students do not reflect those of the general population. The majority of students come from a higher average family income, are disproportionally from urban areas, and have parents who have completed post-secondary education. This trend risks contributing to increased inequalities in access to care.

“By addressing some of the barriers to medical education, we hope to alleviate the current socioeconomic disparity in medical school admissions, and offer equal access opportunity for the future generation of doctors,” added Dr. Lemay.

If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office for the Undergraduate Medical Education program at uOttawa.

MD Program, uOttawa



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