Saman Arfaie and Dr. Joseph Petruccelli are recipients of CAME’s 2024 Rising Star Award – Certificate of Excellence 

Two McGill learners have been announced as recipients of the Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME) 2024 Rising Star – Certificate of Excellence Awards 

Saman Arfaie, a fourth-year medical student, and Joseph Petruccelli, MD, a master’s student in Experimental Surgery, are set to be recognized at a virtual event for CAME members on Thursday, February 29.   

The two are among the 40 individuals across Canada to receive the award, which recognizes learners who have demonstrated a commitment and/or passion for medical education (e.g. through education research, curriculum or workshop development, leadership, advocacy, etc.) that has had a positive impact for the health professions education community at their school or beyond.  

Saman Arfaie 

Saman has led and been deeply involved with numerous medical education initiatives since his first year of medical school in 2020. He is President and co-founder of the Canadian Medical Student Interest Group in Neurosurgery (CaMSIGN), the first Canada-wide student-led initiative that enables medical students to explore the field, connect with residents, faculties and neurosurgery programs, and thrive as future leaders.  

He is also co-founder of the Neuro International Collaboration (NIC), which has created global partnerships with undergraduates, medical students, residents, eminent scientists and clinicians under the umbrella of nervous systems research, and mentors students who are new to research. 

Saman is currently co-writing and co-editing two university press textbooks: one on COVID-19 (University of Manitoba Press) and another on the neurobiology of creativity (Cambridge University Press). Both are projected to be published in 2025.  

“I am elated that my contributions to the medical landscape have been interwoven and supplemented by outstanding contributions between colleagues across institutions, and that we are recognized for the impact of this work,” says Saman. “I would like to thank my parents and partner, Violet Antonick, for their unwavering support and devotion to me, as well as my closest friends and co-founders of the Neuro International Collaboration: Mohammed Mashayekhi and Mohammed Mofatteh.”  

“I am also grateful for my mentors at McGill (Drs. Rolando del Maestro, Abraham Fuks, Pedro Rosa-Neto, Michael Weber, Roy Dudley, and Dan Liberman), University of Toronto (Drs. Sunit Das and Ashish Kumar) and Harvard University (Dr. Phillip Pearl).”

Joseph Petruccelli 

While studying medicine at Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) in 2021, Dr. Petruccelli co-founded ZoneVerteMD, an online resource connecting medical students and physicians with a view to helping learners overcome career orientation challenges during the pandemic. That same year, he also co-founded Wise Threads, which helped UdeS medical students in financial need purchase their first lab coat and stethoscope.  

Dr. Petruccelli is also co-founder and project manager of Stetos, a start-up dedicated to helping medical students learn clinical skills independently through a bilingual interactive website.  

In his current studies and as a graduate student researcher at Montreal’s Shriners Hospital, Dr. Petruccelli focuses on surgical innovation. His thesis involves using AI and 3D reconstruction to predict pediatric orthopedic outcomes. He is also the Chief Medical Officer of CoeurWay, a digital scribe company that automates notetaking and document filling for healthcare professionals, simply by recording meetings.  

Dr. Petruccelli has been a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Ambassador since June 2023.  

 “Winning this award was an exciting and humbling affirmation of my passion and dedication to improving medical education,” says Dr. Petruccelli. “My vision to be a transformative leader in healthcare is deeply intertwined with a commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning, collaboration and trust. Through projects like ZoneVerteMD, Wise Threads and Stetos, I strive to empower and mobilize our colleagues to reach their goals, grow and contribute to the mission of the collective. However, this accolade does not solely recognize my efforts but also highlights the significant contributions from my peers, Dr. Giancarlo Sticca, Dr. Max Frija-Gruman, and our mentors.” 

Congratulations to both recipients!