News at Medicine - November 2015 - Medical student receives national award in leadership

Medical student receives national award in leadership
November 2, 2015
Mr. Desmond Whalen, a Phase III medical student at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine, has been awarded the Charles Tabachnick Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Award for future leadership and innovation in health care in Canada.
Desmond WhalenEach year the CMHF invites students who are completing their second-year of medical school that demonstrate leadership thorough community involvement, superior interpersonal and communication skills, academic excellence and an established interest in advancing knowledge to apply for the CMHF Award for Medical Students.

By submitting a 1,000 word essay describing why he should be considered for the Award and the qualities and impact of the CMHF Laureate who inspires him the most, Mr. Whalen was eligible to receive the award.

"I am deeply honoured to receive this award. The future of medicine is supported by the shoulders we stand on; by the people and discoveries that have come before us," said Mr. Whalen. "The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame honours the achievements of great physicians, researchers and leaders in health care, and being granted a scholarship that embodies the ideals, values, and vision of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is truly humbling."

Mr. Whalen is a member of the Canadian Forces Reserves Cadet Instructors Cadre, has served on the advisory board for the Community Sector Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (ACE Guidance Committee), is the president of a provincial political youth organization, is the tutoring coordinator for the Center for Distance Learning and Innovation, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Labrador-Island Link Operating Corporation subsidiary company of Nalcor Energy. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in December 2012 for community involvement.

Mr. Whalen’s dedication to the education community played a significant role in receiving this award. Being a student member on the admission committee for the Faculty of Medicine, as well as his heavy involvement with the MUN Rural Medicine Interest Group and performing other volunteer roles demonstrates his commitment to future leadership and innovation in health care in Canada.

Dr. Mohammad Ravalia is the assistant dean of the Faculty of Medicine’s Rural Medical Education Network and has been a Twillingate physician for over 30 years. He has also worked closely with Mr. Whalen through various initiatives that have focused on rural medicine and the student-lead Rural Medicine Interest Group.

"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Desmond on receiving this prestigious award," said Dr. Ravalia. "He has demonstrated very strong leadership skills and has impressed me with his passionate commitment to rural health issues. He recognizes the importance of the social justice mandate that the Faculty of Medicine honours."

CMHF Award recipients receive a significant cash award over two years and a travel subsidy to attend The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Ceremony on April 14, 2016 in Hamilton, ON. Mr. Whalen will then have the opportunity to meet Laureates of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and interact with health leaders from across the country.