Wellness Wednesdays III: 10 Reasons to Join the OMSA Wellness Committee Julia Povieriena & Christine Prudhoe

This is the third and final post of a special three-part OMSA wellness series from Julia & Christine of the OMSA Wellness Committee 2014-2015.

Want to join our amazing team? Look out for applications for the OMSA Wellness Committee and OMSA Wellness Liaison in September!  Feel free to email us at services@omsa.ca for more information on the roles.


1. Embrace your creativity and think of ideas to promote wellness initiatives and plan the Wellness Retreat, which is one of the most exciting events of the year!

2. An excuse to spend some time reading wellness literature, which you can incorporate into your own life and help others do the same. This means no guilty feelings when reading The Happiness Advantage or IronDoc before you go to bed instead of Lilly (for all of you cardio lovers).

3. It keeps wellness high on your radar by having regular meetings. We tend to sacrifice some of our favorite activities once exams hit. Talking with like-minded individuals from all years of medical school across the province helps you remember to keep up with the things you love.

4. A chance to escape from your studies. The monthly telephone meetings give you the opportunity to talk about something other than differential diagnoses and other medical jargon. We begin each meeting with “3 things we’re grateful for” which keeps you thinking positively.

5. Exchange wellness initiatives with students across the province. You learn about all of the amazing initiatives from other medical schools and then can bring it to your own school. Which is helpful because often someone else has already worked out some of those nitty gritty details. Who doesn’t want to see their peers at school lookin’ fresh?


6. You could make a friend or even a mentor. We’re not given many opportunities to meet students from other medical schools. Being on the wellness committee gives you an opportunity to work with other students that you would not have otherwise met at different stages of their training. These friends can provide you with a different perspective and can offer advice regarding school, wellness and life.

7. Network with a wide range of inspirational people: physicians, psychologists or other professionals from all walks of life. They share valuable life experiences that help us learn from them and integrate their life lessons into our own life.

8. Build your leadership skills.  Since you are apart of the planning, you get to help choose what you think is important to medical student wellness.  You decide what topics/activities are important, and see the planning through from start to finish. You are then even more engaged when you listen to the speakers because it’s an issue that is directly relevant to you. It’s also exciting to see attendees trying activities for the first time that you arranged, like painting or yoga.

9. You help rejuvenate exhausted medical students. It is extremely rewarding receiving positive feedback from the attendees. You see many students loosen up and have some fun with various workshops and activities. It’s encouraging to see students leave the weekend feeling refreshed and to know that you were a part of it.

10. You are guaranteed a spot to attend the wellness retreat. This reason alone should convince anyone to join the committee... the retreat reminds us that we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.  You’ll have a unique experience with the behind-the-scenes planning, and you’ll have plenty of time to soak it all in.  You’ll leave the weekend feeling refreshed and ready to return to your busy life.

Special thanks to Julia Povieriena (University of Ottawa) & Christine Prudhoe (University of Ottawa) for this blog post, as well as the other members of the OMSA Wellness Committee: Rebecca Wang (Queen’s University), Norah Cockburn (McMaster University), Calvin Santiago (Queen’s University), Talia Ryan (NOSM), Cindy Shen (University of Toronto), Meghna Dua (McMaster University), Jasmine Multani (University of Toronto), Nicole Archer (McMaster University), Marie Leung (OMSA Wellness Liaison, Queen’s University) & Venus Valbuena (OMSA Director of Services, University of Toronto).