In defence of her ideals - Meeting with Dr. Stéphanie Benoît

Posted on Monday, March 8, 2021

Dr. Stéphanie Benoît

Dr. Stéphanie Benoît

Belief and commitment
By Claudine Auger

Dynamic and idealistic, Stéphanie Benoît completed her residency only a year ago and is now enjoying a period of exploration before settling into her practice. However, one thing is already clear: she aspires to help change her community for the better. The young woman recounts how a serious accident, when she was only sixteen years old, nearly cost her her life: “I spent two weeks in intensive care, and it is thanks to the care of the medical team that I am still here. Once I recovered, I decided to go to medical school – I felt indebted. And also… I had a great biology teacher,” she adds with a laugh. Later, she began medical school in Ottawa, a city she fell in love with. “I grew up between the countryside and the city – Ottawa is a perfect balance between the two. I immediately felt at home.”

Originally from Sherbrooke, Quebec, the Francophone lived for about ten years in Edmonton, Western Canada, where her father worked. She has always studied in French. “In my family, French is embedded in our being! In Quebec, it is taken for granted to be served, educated, and cared for in French. I became aware of the challenge of being a Francophone living in a minority setting.” So, while studying science at the University of Alberta, she represented the interests of francophone students as Academic Vice-President. “Faced with cuts to services on the Francophone campus, letters were collected from the population: our mobilization finally bore fruit with government authorities, but it is an ongoing struggle,” says Dr. Stéphanie Benoît, who also taught at the National Ambassador Youth Forum, a project of French for the Future. “It was a great experience where I learned about leadership, communication, and most importantly, where I developed tools to help transform my community and where I built an incredible network.”

Stéphanie Benoît chose family medicine in order to play an active role in the early stages and in the prevention of disease. “What interests me is a biopsychosocial approach. As I am currently doing a lot of replacement in different clinics, I miss following a patient over the long term,” admits the young doctor who feels particularly concerned about disadvantaged clienteles. “I have already considered getting involved with Doctors Without Borders, but I realized that there is still so much work to be done here! There is a lot of disparity in a developed country like ours. As a society, how did we get here? We can do much better.” And to change the world one step at a time, she believes Francophone Affairs has a vital role to play. From the moment she entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, she has been involved in the organization of wellness seminars and has given her time to various training programs. Passionate about teaching, she collaborates on research projects in French, discovering a whole new network. All of which are strings to her bow to defend the rights of the francophone community. “There are two official languages in Canada, but sometimes you have to speak a little louder to be heard. I am convinced that it is through collaboration that we will succeed in changing things for the better.”

Back to top