This is Emma. She is an obstetrics and gynecology resident and the resident lead for the UofT OBGYN advocacy committee.
“I’ve always felt that advocacy work is not something you choose. As healthcare providers we have the privilege of having advocacy find us. When COVID hit and everything started to unravel, this feeling couldn’t have been more true.
One could see the social determinants of health in action with each passing day of the pandemic. We witnessed our most marginalized patients face insurmountable challenges worsened by the pandemic: intimate partner violence, food insecurity, financial loss, access to sexual and reproductive care, and reduced social supports and mental health resources during pregnancy.
When elective surgeries were cancelled and our curriculum was re-structured amidst the uncertainty, over 25 OBGYN residents came together to fight health inequity. It was incredible to see so many residents from a busy surgical speciality assemble like this.
Our initiatives rolled forward while we took turns on the frontlines, quickly adapting to emerging evidence, policy changes and hospital redeployment.
I’m so grateful for and inspired by my colleagues. Their thoughtfulness and work ethic has profoundly impacted those in need. I think it’s fair to say that we all felt advocacy find us, and with that we found community, camaraderie and a sense of therapeutic connection in each other.”