August's Ontario Medical Student of the Month: Linden Head

Although he doesn’t like to talk about it much, Linden is tirelessly committed to improving the society in which he operates; always questioning the status quo and looking for opportunities for change and growth.

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As a second year medical student at the University of Ottawa, Linden is involved in many of the activities that most medical students are including, intramurals, student government, and interest groups. In addition to those commitments, over the past year Linden worked with another colleague, Brittany Greene, to bring the Surgical Exploration and Discovery (SEAD) Program to the University of Ottawa. 

The SEAD program was originally created at the University of Toronto. The program has run successfully in Toronto since 2012; the Ottawa chapter represents the first Canadian expansion of the program.

The SEAD Program is a two-week, 80-hour program that seeks to provide first year medical students with exposure to surgical specialties in order to facilitate career decision-making. The program is organized by second year medical students and run with the support of the Department of Surgery, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Skills and Simulation Centre. Over the course of the program, first year students are exposed to all direct entry surgical specialties through three core elements, including (i) observerships in clinics and operating rooms, (ii) hands-on simulations, and (iii) presentations from surgeons about each surgical specialty.

 

Linden and his colleague Brittany worked tirelessly for a year to bring this program to the University of Ottawa. Their work involved significant collaboration and coordination across the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, and the Skills and Simulation Centre. Their worked culminated in a successful program running in June of this year; with rave reviews coming from all parties, planning has already begun for next year’s program.

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Amidst all of his other commitments Linden also trains as an elite triathlete and is an award-winning photographer. Although Linden only started competing in triathlons in the summer of 2013, this year at the Canadian Championships Linden finished first in his age group, qualifying him to represent Canada at the World Triathlon Championships in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

This summer Linden was also recognized for his photography, winning a travel photography competition on a global online gallery for one of his photographs of the Moroccan Desert. Along with his colleague Brittany, Linden has helped to bring a program to Ottawa that will benefit countless University of Ottawa Medical students in the years to come. And he has accomplished this while preserving balance in his life and continuing to excel in his artistic and athletic endeavors.