FM-CFS CANADA ESSAY COMPETITION
Beginning in 2010 FM-CFS Canada took a strategic view on how best to introduce the medical profession to both Fibromyalgia and M.E./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Previously we engaged with a few medical schools and delivered abridged versions of the Canadian Diagnostic Protocols (for Fibromyalgia and ME/ CFS) to them. These were to be used for teaching purposes in the first year of university education of medical students.
To further advance teaching and medical understanding, we are convinced that early introduction to these illnesses is vital in developing the capabilities and understanding of clinicians as they go forwards in their education and careers. As a result of our deliberations we came up with a plan to offer a monetary award each year to medical students who wrote the best essays to a title developed by FM-CFS Canada. The first year of this competition was 2011.
In the spring of 2011 members of the Board of Directors of FM-CFS Canada worked with Ms. Rosemary Conliffe, General Manager of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students to design and offer a competition to medical students in Canadian Teaching Hospitals to write about Fibromyalgia. A theme and title for the essay was created along with adjudication criteria. The essay title agreed upon was “Managing the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia – What do they Mean?” Prizes of $1000.00 were awarded to the two best essays, one from a female student and one from a male student. Second and merit prizes were also offered.
At the beginning of 2012 FM-CFS Canada decided again to run an essay competition, this time focusing on the illnesses known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One again we were greatly assisted by Ms. Rosemary Conliffe, of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. The 2012 essay title was “Are ME and CFS the same disease? – Is there a difference in their treatment?”
We are delighted that numerous essays were received and by mid September 2012 a panel consisting of medical, expert patient and caregiving members adjudicated the essays. The adjudication panel was very pleased with the standard of all essays received and it took several rounds of discussion to enable the panel to reach a consensus decision.
FM-CFS Canada congratulates all students who participated and who provided the adjudication team with excellent essays, well considered and each capturing some unique points related to the symptoms and complexities of ME/CFS. These illnesses impact the lives of over 400,000 Canadian families, are poorly understood and get undeserved skepticism in the media. It is truly impressive that young medical students took the time to consider in detail the life changing and complicated impacts of these illnesses and we sincerely hope that they can go on in their respective careers promoting good care for patients who present at their clinics with the symptoms of ME/CFS.
As stated above our award scheme was aimed at both male and female students with equal awards being given to the papers adjudicated respectively first ($1000.00) and second ($500.00). We are pleased that we were able to acknowledge seven other entrants too, who received an award of $100.00 each in recognition of their meritorious efforts.
The Board of Directors of FM-CFS Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the first and second prizes in each gender.
|Female Medical Student:|
|First Prize:||Natalja Tchajkova||UBC Medical School||$1000.00|
|Second Prize:||Paula Tchen||University of Ottawa||$500.00|
|Male Medical Students:|
|First Prize:||Robert Lavers||Dalhousie University||$1000.00|
|Second Prize:||Thach Lam||University of Western Ontario||$500.00|
|Seven other entrants will receive an award of $100.00 and these are:|
|Aaron Lau||McMaster University|
|Mohammad AlNajjar||University of Calgary|
|Zachery Hynes||Memorial University of Newfoundland|
|Paul Szelemej||University of Manitoba|
|Sophie Flor-Henry||University of Calgary|
|Aliya Nurmohamed||Queen’s University|
|Soraya Mehdizadeh||University of Ottawa|
The Board of Directors of FM-CFS Canada wish to extend a sincere vote of gratitude to Ms. Rosemary Conliffe and to the Canadian Federation of Medical Students for their unflagging support on our behalf in this second year of our Essay Competition. It has been a real pleasure to work with them.
The Board of DirectorsFM-CFS Canada
Charity Registration Number 892417742 RR0001. www.cra-arc.gc.ca/charities