In June, HOSA-Future Health Professionals hosted their 40th International Leadership Conference (ILC) at Disney World, in Orlando, Florida, where the University of Ottawa was represented by six students. Originally founded in the United States, HOSA is an organization devoted to providing high school and university students with an opportunity to explore their passions for healthcare. Now the largest organization of its type in the world, with over 220 000 members, HOSA organizes national and international conferences comprised of debates, case studies and exam-based competitive events, with a heavy focus on team-work, leadership, and simulation of medical practices. Now in its 3rd year, the Canadian HOSA organization is rapidly expanding, with the most recent introduction of a University of Ottawa HOSA chapter in 2016.
Around 10 000 students from high schools and universities around the world came to compete in over 40 events such as Forensic Medicine, Clinical Nursing and Biomedical Laboratory Science. The University of Ottawa’s first ILC was one definitely marked by success. Keshav Goel, Rishi Gupta, Olivier Brandts-Longtin, and Graham Sanford on the University of Ottawa’s Biomedical Debate team won gold after intense debate on world healthcare systems. Rebecca Xu was also a finalist in her event of Medical Law and Ethics, coming in 8th place, as was Jahnusha Shriraam coming in 9th in Pharmacology. Throughout their week in Orlando, these competitors had the invaluable opportunity to participate in enriching workshops, network with like-minded students and professionals, and ultimately grow their understanding of biomedical science and healthcare.