Med student Genevieve Mylocopos finds time for diverse community work to build a world she wants to see

Genevieve Mylocopos always knew she wanted to be a doctor. “It sounds clichéd, but I knew from a young age this is what I wanted to do,” says the dynamic third-year McGill medical student. In high school, Genevieve began taking part in various extracurricular and volunteer activities. Her work included serving as a Youth Ambassador for World Vision Quebec and volunteering at Chez Doris, a women’s shelter in Montreal. Over time, she found the things she enjoyed most always pointed back to a career in medicine.

Genevieve arrived at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) after completing a BSc in Honours Biochemistry (Medical) at University of British Columbia, and an MSc in Global Health (Disease Burden, Challenges, and Changes) at McMaster University. Choosing to apply to McGill was a given. “I grew up in Montreal and always saw myself going here,” she says.

For Genevieve, who is bilingual, some of the pluses McGill offers include practising in two languages and working with a large, diverse patient population. She likes how the curriculum is structured, and notes that the Transition to Clerkship course was really helpful in preparing her for the start of Clerkship in August.

An eye on the future

Genevieve is both thoughtful and passionate about her interests which range from global health to medical education to quality improvement.

“I recently completed an elective in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QI & PS) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital,” she says. “Part of the elective involved a research project regarding the medical student’s role in multidisciplinary pediatric simulations, which I’m now continuing as a personal project. Owing to the Masters I did, I feel there’s a way to bridge my background in global health with QI & PS in the future, and further develop my skills so I can make a larger sustainable community impact.”

Currently, Genevieve is interested in Emergency medicine, but she’s keeping her options open. “I’m really embracing the Clerkship experience, and paying particular attention to what aspect of each rotation I enjoy the most to help determine what I want to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a rotation that captivates me in a way that I didn’t expect!”

Staying connected during the pandemic

The pandemic was months underway when Genevieve started at the School of Medicine. She quickly got used to learning on Teams and Zoom but without the in-person connection to classmates, she was wondering how to stay active and connected. When the provincial COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched, she found her answer.

“I was one of the first people to sign up for administering vaccines and ended up working at Palais des congrès de Montréal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and CHSLD St-Henri,” she says. The experience was beyond anything she expected. “It was a really great learning opportunity and clinically, I learned a lot of techniques. Plus, it was very motivating to meet members of the public and hear their stories of resilience. I worked with a lot of my med school peers, and made great friendships. It was rewarding to know we were working together to help move things forward.”

Beyond the classroom

By her own admission, Genevieve thrives on a full agenda and even with her busy academic schedule she manages to stay active, engaged, and interested in her community.

During her first year at McGill, Genevieve completed the Interprofessional Global Health Course Certification, a non-credit 10-week course offered by the School of Population and Global Health to supplement global health education in the curriculum.

Genevieve is involved in several clubs, holds mentoring and advocacy positions, and works as a research assistant in the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology at the Lady Davis Institute, a position she held full-time during the summer of 2021, and now does on a volunteer basis to continue her research on interventions for vaping prevention among children and youth.

Her role as Vice-President of Community Resources for Helping Hands, a Medical Students Society (MSS) club, involves creating partnerships in the community and organizing educational events about obstacles facing diverse populations, particularly women. An ongoing initiative is preparing feminine hygiene kits with donated items that are distributed to women’s shelters in Montreal.

Recently, Genevieve and a group of friends launched SenseAware, also under the MSS umbrella. Their goal is to advocate for people with sensory disabilities, and organize awareness events to educate current and future healthcare professionals how to better meet their needs.

Genevieve doesn’t stop there. For the FMHS, she’s an Osler co-leader for Physician Apprenticeship and a mentor in the Ambassadors for Comprehensive Education (ACE) Program, both of which are designed to support students throughout their undergraduate medical journey. This fall, she joined the McGill Accessibility Strategy Working Group which contributes to enhancing accessibility for McGill students, faculty, and staff.

Whether through her academic or volunteer work, Genevieve strongly believes in working with diverse professionals to achieve a common goal, which she feels ties in really well to global health work. “Bringing many different people together comes across in a lot of what I do. I guess you could say it’s the “central theme” of where I am: inclusiveness, diverse voices, working together. I can’t wait to see where it all takes me.”