This is part of an ongoing article series to raise the profile of education, teaching and learning in the Faculty of Medicine and to advance the Faculty’s Education Strategic Plan (2017-22). 

By Matthew Brett

Students, faculty, staff, family and friends are encouraged to register now and join the Faculty of Medicine team for the September 15 Terry Fox run, putting interprofessionalism into practice for a great cause.

The Faculty’s planning committee members are a living illustration of interprofessionalism in practice. Committee co-chairs Jill Ranger, a fourth year student in Medicine, and Liam Bienstock, a second year Master’s student in Occupational Therapy, met on the committee and have since bumped into each other in clinical settings at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The experience of seeing each other in a clinical setting “made me feel a sense of connection to students in other domains of healthcare, which I’m certain I’ll carry with me as I move on to a career as a physician,” Jill said.

Liam shared a similar sentiment. “Although we weren’t working together, it was really nice to see a friendly face” in the clinical setting, he said. “It cemented the fact that we will all be working together in the near future—something that does not always feel real because we have such little interaction during our education.”

As for her experience organizing the Faculty’s participation in the Terry Fox run, Jill traces memories right back to childhood with a legacy that carries into the present day.

“As a kid, I remember participating in the Terry Fox Run every year with school so, for me, there’s a nostalgic quality to the run,” Jill said. “Later, in graduate school at McGill University, my research was supported by a Terry Fox Foundation grant.  As a result of this funding I had the opportunity to attend a conference where one of the activities was to participate in a run to the place where Terry had intended to finish his Marathon of Hope. I was inspired by the legacy that was left behind because of one person’s dedication.”

Liam’s experience organizing the race “has been very rewarding. It has been a great place to meet peers and share ideas.  I have been able to make a couple of meaningful connections.”

This spirit of interprofessionalism is woven through Liam and Jill’s experience.

“It’s been clear to me throughout my clerkship training that it takes much more than just one professional to effectively treat disease,” Jill said.

“We know that interprofessionalism is essential for proper delivery of healthcare, but it can also extend past health care to policy change, research and initiatives like this one,” Liam said.


Keeping the legacy alive and running

Dr. Barry Slapcoff, a Family Doctor and Director of the Physician Apprenticeship Course, has been involved in this event for nearly 20 years. He began participating in the annual Terry Fox Run with patients from his practice to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. In 2012, he started collaborating with McGill medical students and his team expanded to include family medicine residents and other faculty members.

In 2017, under the leadership of Professor Deborah Friedman, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Co-director of the WELL Office, the initiative expanded to now include learners from the Ingram School of Nursing, the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy. The WELL Office Team has worked hard behind the scenes to support learners in this interprofessional activity.

The leadership team is also comprised of dynamic student representatives from all programs and schools within the faculty. The Faculty of Medicine’s participation in the Terry Fox Run has become a great way for future and current health professionals and researchers to meet outside of clinical settings.

The goal is to bring together students and faculty from professions and disciplines across the Faculty of Medicine, supporting the community, promoting health and fostering leadership and interprofessional collaboration…and to have fun.

Register now to participate and see you at the run!



August 21 2019