My name is Alison and I am not a medical student. I am a Master’s of Public Health student at Queen’s University. I met Kevin before he was a medical student. He has always been a kind, caring and compassionate person. He is also a creative, driven and curious student who is constantly seeking to understand the world around him. I have nominated Kevin for his abilities in knowledge translation and communication, for his leadership in wellness and peer support and for his achievements in finding balance in life as a young father and medical student.
Kevin has actively been developing his communication skills since he began medical school. He has consistently been striving to improve the quality and efficacy through his writing. His blog, Aboot Medicine, is an example of his efforts to share his experiences and exploration of medicine and medical education through writing and other artistic outlets. His messages are delivered with concision, clarity, and in some cases, humour. His entries are moving narratives that act as powerful pieces of knowledge translation about patient care, human connection, education and many other topics. Kevin’s writing is a reflection of his commitment to understanding the perspectives of peers, educators, the healthcare system and, most importantly, patience experience. For example, his positive attitude and teaching abilities shine through in his posts written for future medical school applicants, aggregated in “That Time of Year”.
Kevin’s shared publications reveal his boundless creativity and desire to explore medicine from other vantage points and disciplines. His interest in the arts and humanities are evident in many posts and his talents in these fields are on display in some posts as well. Kevin was recently recognized for his artistry, when his piece, “The Crying Doctor” won third place in the University of New Mexico Poetry and Medical Narrative contest and was published in the Spring 2014 edition of their publication, the Medical Muse. Although he never blogged about it, Kevin is also in interested in the history of medicine. He presented his research at the History of Medicine Days in Calgary in both 2013 and 2014. Last spring he received the 2014 Harvey Club Prize at the History of Medicine Colloquium at Western for his work on Dominique Larrey and the move from amputation to casting for battlefield fractures.
Kevin has also demonstrated leadership in supporting student wellness through his writing and in his community at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University through his work with the “Vitals Student Wellness Project”, which placed third overall in the 2014 Mental Health 2.0 Student Competition and also received the People’s Choice Award. Kevin and other Vitals team members, including Daniela Kwiatkowski, Julian Surujballi and Ethan Cassidy, were initially able to develop their project with an OMSA Innovator Grant. Since then, they have been working hard to promote wellness among medical students at Western through activities on campus and online. Their multi-dimensional approach aims to support student wellness by recruiting existing resources and through developing innovative new tools.
In addition to having the roles, responsibilities and stress of a medical student, Kevin also holds the unique joys and challenges of being a young father and husband. Consequently, he places great value on achieving and maintaining balance between his work and home life by maintaining his personal wellness. He makes time for physical activity, reading, writing and makes the time to be with his wife and daughter. Kevin is a role model in maintaining wellness and health in the midst of the challenge of medical school.
Additionally, Kevin serves his community though Western’s Wisdom mentorship program and has been volunteering as a mentor since his previous degree. Although Kevin may not share every detail of his life with his peers, he shares some aspects of his lived experiences, and in turn, his peers see a resilient, engaged, intelligent, accomplished, and empathetic member in their community who values and practices personal wellness.