Being regularly labeled as “Canada’s first female First Nations general surgeon” isn’t what Nadine Caron would like to see happen in the (hopefully near) future. She wants to be known for her accomplishments, rather than a reminder of how slowly equity, diversity and inclusion has moved in Canada.
Likewise, Dr. Caron said during the March 8th virtual celebration of International Women’s Day, she wishes that introductions of and writeups about the Canadian Medical Association’s incoming leader, Dr. Alika Lafontaine, didn’t start with “the first Indigenous president of the CMA… when I know him to be accomplished in so many areas.”
Much of what Dr. Caron had to say in her talk, “Perspective of a First Nation physician: Do you ever wonder what we think?” told us exactly what she thinks… about the healthcare barriers faced by herself, her family, colleagues, and all Indigenous persons in Canada… about how we need to remove health inequities, not just decrease them.
Dr. Caron, one of the Directors of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, started her talk by disclosing her “conflicts of interest” as “an Ojibway and Anishnawbe family member, a First Nations physician and professor, and coach of young Indigenous basketball and soccer teams.”
She pointed out that social determinants of health for Indigenous peoples are different than SDoH for white people in Canada:
— Dr. Russell de Souza, RD, ScD (@DrRussRD) March 8, 2021
Chanchlani Global Health Research Award
After the lecture, Dr. Caron was virtually awarded the 9th annual Chanchlani Global Health Research Award by Dr. Sonia Chanchlani, representing the family that started the Chanchlani Research Centre. PHRI Senior Scientist Sonia Anand is Director of the centre, as well as of the collaborative Population Genomics Program at McMaster.
Dr. Anand moderated the online International Women’s Day event, which included powerhouse researchers at McMaster, Drs. Harriet MacMillan, Zainab Samaan, and Claudia Emerson – speaking about intimate partner violence, women and addiction, and research ethics, respectively.
Elsewhere for International Women’s Day
Dr. Anand who is Associate Chair, Equity and Diversity, for McMaster’s Department of Medicine, and recently was appointed as Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee at the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, was interviewed for International Women’s Day.
Shania Bhopa, McMaster MSC global health student and host of the Global Health Collective podcast, chatted with Dr. Anand about her journey in medicine and other aspects of a busy life. She recalls how, growing up in Nova Scotia, Canada, she thought for a long time that she would become a marine biologist. Raised by two doctors, the youngest and quietest of three daughters, she had always loved science. Luckily for us, Dr. Anand chose vascular diseases and population health research at PHRI and McMaster University!