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Med students take top honours at national conference

Five Memorial University medical students participated in a national History of Medicine Conference at the University of Calgary, with two taking top prizes. From left: Anil Imbulgoda, Kathryn Wheeler, Fady Kamel, Theresa Lee and Boluwaji Ogunyemi.


By Sharon Gray

Memorial’s medical students made a strong showing at the 20th University of Calgary History of Medicine Conference held March 11. Five students were selected to attend and two took first and second prizes for the category Best Paper on the History of Medicine.

The students who attended were Kathryn Wheeler, Theresa Lee, Boluwaji Ogunyemi, Anil Imbulgoda and Fady Kamel. Ms. Wheeler placed first for the Best Paper on the History of Medicine (the Dr. Bill Whitelaw Award) for her paper titled I’m pregnant … now what?: The Discovery of hCG as a Method for the Determination of Early Pregnancy and its Impact on Women’s Autonomy. Ms. Lee placed second in the same category for her paper titled Med Man of the Masses: Virchow’s Legacy in Social Medicine and Activism.

“The conference was a wonderful and inspiring way to celebrate the roots of medicine,” said Ms. Wheeler. “So often we take for granted the knowledge and technologies we have today without giving any thought to their origin. From hemorrhoid repair to obstetrical care in Northern Canada, the conference's talented speakers provided me with a new way of thinking about medicine.”

The other presentations by medical students were Mr. Kamel’s poster Getting Cracking: Revising the Use of Ostrich Eggshells in Bone Grafting Four Millennia Later; and Mr. Imbulgoda’s poster presentation on A Culture of Blood. Mr. Ogunyemi’s paper was titled History of Dermatological Disease in Skin and Colour: Keloid Scars.

Dr. Jim Connor, John Clinch Professor of Medical Humanities and History of Medicine, said Memorial’s medical students are always well represented at this national event. “In the last few years Memorial has been better represented than any other medical school except Calgary. This shows a high student interest in the history of medicine.”