By Gemma Raeburn-Baynes
MONTREAL, Quebec Friday, October 2, 2020 — University students as well as parents, teachers, professors and members of the Black and Caribbean Canadiancommunity, who are interested in learning more about the application process to secure a place in one of Canada’s leading medical schools, are invited to a free online information session on October 7, from 7pm to 8pm.
The free webinar, “Applying to medical school: a webinar for Black students in the pre-med journey”, is an initiative of McGill University’s Social Accountability and Community Engagement (SACE) Office, the Admission Office and the Supporting Young Black Students Initiative (SYBS).
It will offer tips and resources on understanding the admission process, on how to prepare for every step of what is an extensive and, sometimes, arduous undertaking.
This initiative on the part of the university follows the call made by Yvonne Sam, in her keynote address at the 10th Anniversary of “A Taste of Tea”; a Caribbean Tea Party, honouring seven Black female doctors in Montreal, which was hosted by Playmas Montreal Cultural Association of Quebec.
At the event, on March 8 — the last event held in the Montreal Black community before the big shutdown, due to the coronavirus pandemic — Sam, a former registered nurse practitioner and secondary school teacher, shed light on the lack of Black students entering the med school at McGill University.
She shared stats that showed that there was an abysmally low number of Black students admitted to McGill University’s medical school for the period 2010-2019, and went on to declare that wealth and health are synonymous, thus Black Doctors Matter.
The keynote speaker also used the opportunity to call on the honorees/awardees to stand as shining examples for potential Black medical school aspirants and to parents, grandparents, as well as educators, to encourage the children to consider pursuing a path that would let them see that they, all, could be doctors.
The Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement (SACE) at McGill University responded to these provocative revelations, stating “0.7 percent Black entrants in 2019 (in medicine) is quite frankly devastating. If we are going to remedy historic under-representation, we need proactive measures focused on building ‘critical mass’ within our institutions”.
While the October 7 webinar is geared towards university students, another session for CEGEP students will be held in the coming months.
To register for more information on the free webinar: Applying to medical school: a webinar for Black students on the pre-med journey, contact (firstname.lastname@example.org), Faculty of Medicine, McGill University at Tel: 514-398-1471.