MedEd Conference 2024 - Lions Gate Hospital Foundation
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MedEd Conference 2024

February 18 @ 10:00 am 2:00 pm

High school students interested in a career in the medical field are invited to attend our 6th Annual Med-Ed conference hosted by Lions Gate Hospital Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee.

Our annual conference brings together experienced health care professionals and students for a morning of information and insight into medical careers. We have an incredible line-up of panelists for this year’s event who will share their personal experiences and provide valuable advice and guidance into the world of medicine.

We hope you will join us for this great learning opportunity on February 18, 2024 at the HOpe Centre located at 1337 St. Andrews Avenue, North Vancouver.


Featured Speakers:

Dr. Doug Courtemanche

Dr. Courtemanche is a plastic surgeon with an interest and focus on craniofacial surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, and vascular anomalies. He has been in practice in Vancouver at BC Children’s Hospital and the Vancouver General Hospital for 32 years, accumulating a wealth of clinical experience and collaborating with many great colleagues.

Having played diverse roles in clinical care, administration, research, and teaching (medical students, residents, and fellows), he still works as a member of the Cleft Palate Program and the Vascular Anomalies Team at BCCH. Maintaining a small office practice, he has a few patients left on his surgical waiting list. Heading for retirement at some point, he continues to find fulfillment in his work. After 30+ years of 1:3 call, he is no longer on a call schedule.

In his semi-retired state, Dr. Courtemanche has passed on most of his leadership responsibilities in the last couple of years. Despite this, he still holds the position of Division Head of Plastic Surgery at BCCH and serves as a clinical professor of Surgery at UBC.His main focus now is planetary health. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Doctors for Planetary Health – West Coast, and works with Cascades and the Summer Institute for Sustainable Health Care. Additionally, he is involved in two committees at BCCH focused on planetary health and green health care. He teaches planetary health to all third-year medical students at UBC when they have their orientation at the start of their block rotation.

Dr. Graeme Koelwyn

Dr. Graeme Koelwyn is the Dr. James Hogg Chair and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Public Health ‘Omics in Exercise and Disease at St Paul’s Hospital. He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He received a BSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Calgary, his MSc in Integrative Physiology from UBC, and his PhD in Pathobiology and Translational Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He then completed his postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He joined SFU and HLI in 2021.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy

Dr. Srinivas Murthy is a critical care specialist trained in infectious diseases and an investigator at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Srinivas Murthy studies severe infections and how to best manage critically ill patients. He has been awarded the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada Chair in Pandemic Preparedness Research. Infections are often a reason for children to become critically ill and often occur in the critically ill child. Dr. Murthy’s research focuses on stemming this burden by optimizing their management in various settings.


Brandon Chai

Hi I’m Brandon, a third year medical student at UBC. I did my undergrad at UBC Vancouver in behavioural neuroscience. I pursued competitive golf prior to medical school but also participated in a variety of other sports, clubs and research. Now, I am much more involved in research primarily focusing on medical/ patient education while balancing my hobbies outside of medical school.

Nikita Telkar

Nikita is a final-year PhD Candidate in Medical Genetics at The University of British Columbia, where she works at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the BC Cancer Research Centre to investigate how gene expression is regulated in the human placenta.

Through her Bachelors in Biomedical Genetics from Newcastle University and Masters in Human Genetics from University College London (UCL), she discovered that her curiosity and interest lay in discovering patterns in big genomic data – her research projects have thus spanned diverse genomic disciplines, both in the lab and computational. Driven by her interest in bridging the gap between scientific exploration and real-world patient impact, she further actively engages in assessing student-founded companies and spearheading a life sciences entrepreneurship training initiative.

When not coding, she enjoys reading, cooking, discussing Greek myths, and playing board games. You can find out more about her here!

Masih Sarafan

Masih is a fifth year undergraduate student specializing in physiology and anatomy at the University of British Columbia. Throughout his degree he has had the opportunity to explore several research topics alongside many amazing teams at UBC. He is currently a research assistant at the St. Paul’s Sinus centre and is completing his thesis at the BC Cancer Research Centre on the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts on tumour environment in oropharyngeal cancer.

Outside of research, Masih is passionate about promoting mental health awareness and providing mental health support as a crisis responder for the Crisis Centre of BC.

In his free time, Masih enjoys practicing his Brazilian Jujitsu skills, memorizing random geography facts and volunteering for various organizations.

Elsie Wang

Elsie (she/her) is a second year medical student at UBC’s new Fraser Cohort and she is passionate for quality improvement for the primary care system in BC. Throughout her undergraduate degree in UBC’s Integrated Sciences program, Elsie explored research in digital health and immunology, cultivated interests in education, and always aimed to support her community with innovative projects. In her free time, Elsie loves exploring Vancouver’s food scene, chasing sunsets, and exploring new places with her friends across the world.

Kimia Ziafat

I’m currently a second-year medical student at UBC’s Fraser Cohort. As a first-generation immigrant woman, I have always been passionate about promoting health equity, particularly for those in marginalized communities and less access to resources. I completed both my undergraduate and graduate trainings at UBC Vancouver, with a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Population and Public Health, focusing on addictions and substance use care in BC. I am also interested in women’s health and most of my time currently is dedicated to initiatives promoting women’s health through education, research, and fundraising efforts. In my free time, I enjoy dancing and binge watching Modern Family.

Sheila Lam

My name is Sheila and I’m currently in my first year of medical school at UBC. As a first generation student it was quite hard navigating through this whole process but the struggles have made me passionate on helping/empowering others who live similar experiences. 

I grew up on Montreal and came back to Vancouver to do my BSc in Microbiology & Immunology at UBC. Throughout my undergrad, my extracurriculars have revolved around the theme of empowerment, especially for student leaders, youth groups and vulnerable populations. I’ve dedicated much of my time towards student-led groups such as the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS), the Heart & Stroke Foundation Club, the UBC Vietnamese Student Association and more! In these executive roles I was able to spearhead volunteer initiatives that would improve community involvement and inspire future student leaders within our cohort. Being in various leadership positions instilled within me the importance of leadership built through trust and connection, rather than power of age or ranking. This goal continues to motivate my involvement in multiple clubs since my first year. 

My passion towards supporting vulnerable populations has encouraged me to seek opportunities in the field of research that align with these same values. Being part of the Global Surgery Lab, I’ve had the privilege to work on projects with the aim to improve knowledge of and access to surgical care in underserved, rural communities through equitable educational platforms and research projects. Our team has also spearheaded the creation of a podcast that would share the voices of pioneers in global surgery working in low-resources settings. I’ve also spent some time doing research related to improving the quality and accessibility of orthopaedic care for children experiencing various pathophysiological conditions (ie.Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cerebral Palsy) through the creation of registries and international partnerships. 


HOpe Centre, Lions Gate Hospital

1337 St. Andrews Avenue
North Vancouver, V7L 3L4 Canada
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