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UTSG: Invisible Challenges in Medicine

August 31, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm


Being a medical trainee is a great privilege but it also holds a certain weight of responsibility – late nights spent studying, never-ending exams, countless extracurricular commitments, and the persistent struggle to establish some sort of work-life balance. In addition to all of this, mistreatment of medical trainees is another phenomenon that has been shown to be prevalent (17-95%).

Has it ever crossed your mind that as a medical trainee, you might be subject to discrimination and mistreatment by residents, staff physicians, patients, or even peers simply because of a part of your identity you cannot control? This can be related to your race, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religious views , a visible/invisible disability, etc. It is believed that such mistreatment can have a negative impact on medical trainees, which is why it is problematic and worrisome that we often don’t know how to respond or deal with such mistreatment.

The purpose of this conference is to not only expand the dialogue around mistreatment, discrmination, and allyship, but to empower medical trainees with strategies on how to respond to such mistreatment – ideally before it occurs. The conference will feature two keynote speakers ( Dr. Nanky Rai and Ms Chika Stacy Oriuwa), three workshops designed to be as interactive and engaging as possible, and a panel of medical trainees, residents, and staff physicians who will be speaking on their lived experiences and answering your burning questions!

As medical trainees, so much is expected of us. In order to perform to the best of our ability, we deserve to be able to learn and work in an environment that is supportive of our differences as individuals, and in the case that it is not, we should be able to thrive in such environments.



9:30 am – 10:00 am: Arrival and Registration

10:00 am – 10:30 am: Keynote Speech: Dr. Nanky Rai

10:30 am – 12: 00 pm: Morning Workshop

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Keynote Speech: Ms. Chika Stacy Oriuwa

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Workshop

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Panel


Workshop Descriptions;

Morning Workshops – 10:30 AM:

Microaggression & Verbal Harassment: How to Respond

This workshop will be in the format of “Theatre of the Oppressed” . This is a technique which uses theatre to promote social change by inviting members of the audience to become actively engaged in, and interact with performers who are acting out scenarios that highlight microaggression and verbal harassment in the medical environment. Participants will be invited to interject and change the course of the scenario. Thus, participants will not only be able to witness these issues, but will actively engage with them, and in doing so will be able to better understand how they themselves might respond if found in such a situation.

Allyship: How to Practice It

The concept of allyship is becoming commonplace within medicine but it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to practice allyship as medical trainees in an environment in which we are newly becoming accustomed to. This workshop will begin with a discussion on privilege, followed by tangible steps on how to practice allyship. Participants will get a chance to use these practical steps to play the role of an ally in scenarios that feature a medical trainee being mistreated or discriminated against based on race, gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religious views, a visible/invisible disability, etc.


Afternoon Workshop – 1: 30 PM:

Intersectionality: Walk a Day in My Shoes

This workshop will be centered on an exercise where participants will go through their shift in the hospital as an individual who is seen as a visible/invisible minority. Participants will be encouraged to explore the challenges that may be associated with this ‘new identity’ and contrast it with how they may have walked through that space had they not identified as this individual or how this may be different from what they may be used to based on their own lived experiences. We understand that it would be impossible for us to fully understand the lived experiences of different groups of people, thus, we have made necessary efforts to collaborate with and seek assistance from various stakeholders to ensure that this workshop is as informed as respectful as possible.


August 31, 2019
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
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Multi-Faith Centre
569 Spadina Crescent
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2J7
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