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Melinda Chelva

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 16:33

An extremely well written post Matthew! I think you did such a great job highlighting the takeaways from Dr. Joneja’s presentation!

The MGR last week was very enjoyable and motivating! I also strongly believe that the press can be used as a platform to reveal the health disparities that minority and underrepresented groups experience across the world. However, even though we live in Canada, a country that is extremely diverse and welcoming to differences, I do believe that the media in Canada has not been very effective in revealing the health inequities that many minority and underrepresented groups continue to experience. To be specific, several recent studies have revealed that Canadians of colour are more likely to get infected with COVID-19 compared to those who are not considered a minority. However, from what I’ve seen, not many news stations reported such a finding. And this makes me wonder- why? I’m left to think whether the media has been manipulated to under report such results with an intention to “hide” the health disparities that still exist for underrepresented populations? Could this be because the government is worried about the potential repercussions and backlash they could face if such results are released to the general public?

With the multiple discriminatory acts that have taken place this year, there has been much more talk about racism, and many changes have been made to address these situations. However, as we discussed during the MGR last week, I still wonder what steps can be taken to ensure that Queen’s continues to take action to promote inclusivity, even when the pressure settles?

I think it is also important to highlight the difference between equality and equity, as many individuals tend to use these two terms irreversibly, when in reality, they don’t have the same meaning. Specifically, while both equality and equity strive for fairness, it is important to note that equity involves considering an individual’s needs and current situation.

As an individual of colour, I appreciate the recent steps that Queen’s Medicine has taken to increase diversity, inclusivity and equity in its program. In my opinion, I believe that all programs that produce health professionals should have mandatory courses and seminars that educate their students about the importance of welcoming differences and promoting equity. In conclusion, I strongly believe that more open discussions regarding inclusivity, diversity and equity should continue to happen in institutions, in order to foster a sense of belonging among its members.

Melinda Chelva

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