_MG_1237What do human anatomy, tele-health, family medicine, the evolution of HIV and medical imaging have in common? All were among the workshop topics offered to students during the 2013 McGill Discovery Day event.

On Wednesday, December 4, approximately 150 high school students from greater Montreal participated in Discovery Day activities, organized by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in collaboration with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, the Montreal Neurological Institute (The Neuro) and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Prior to the day of the event, students were asked to register for two among twelve workshop options designed to provide them with a greater understanding of studies and careers in the health sciences.

The day began with welcome remarks from Mrs. Lissa Foster, Executive Director of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, who also served as the day’s emcee. Dr. Saleem Razack, Assistant Dean of Admissions for McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Dr. David Ragsdale, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Neuro and Associate Director of the McGill Integrated Program in Neuroscience, each offered brief introductory remarks.

The day’s keynote lecturer, Dr.  Madhukar Pai, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at McGill, researcher at the Research Institute of the MUHC and Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre, spoke passionately about his own career path while simultaneously providing an overview of global health.

“I found it interesting how he [Dr. Pai] talked about all the different jobs or professions that form the chain which is global health, and how if you want to make an impact, there is not just one or two or three specific ways, but there are all these different things that when brought together, produce positive impacts on health across the world,” said Edgar Brown, a grade 11 student from Lower Canada College. Dr. Charles Scriver, a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame laureate shared a few words of wisdom with participating students during the opening session and was a key sponsor of this year’s event.

The full day of events culminated with a career panel discussion featuring experts from various fields who spoke about their own career paths before answering student questions.

The event is one of many outreach activities held by McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in support of efforts to attract young people to pursue their studies and careers in the health sciences. Based on surveys conducted at the outset of the 2013 Discovery Day, 91% of participating students indicated that compared to before the event they had the same or an increased level of interest in pursuing a career in the health sciences following the experience.