Queen’s Class of 2015 student Eve Purdy received the CaRMS Sandra Banner Award for Student Leadership at the CaRMS forum held in conjunction with the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) in Vancouver on April 26.

Richard Reznick, Dean of the Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences, presented the award on behalf of the award selection committee.

“Eve has always challenged herself to be a leader and is never afraid to ask questions and really to push the limits,” Reznick said. “She has a passion for evidence-based medicine and has demonstrated a strong ambition to be a leader in this field.”

“In just the last two years, Eve has made notable contributions to medical education, particularly in advancing and promoting the role of social media in medical education,” he said. “She’s also served as a mentor and an educator for our younger students. She has a stellar, unbelievable record of volunteerism and has won numerous academic and community awards.”

Reznick noted: “Her unique combination of energy, dedication and leadership stand out as an example we can all admire.”

“I’m also absolutely thrilled that Eve’s chosen to become a resident at Queen’s next year, so we have the great honour of having her for the next five years at Queen’s,” he added. “I have no doubt that this award will contribute to Eve’s continued development in medical education.”

“I am completely overwhelmed to be accepting this award in an audience that is chock full of people I admire greatly,” Purdy said.

Citing the Queen’s School of Medicine motto which translates as “a doctor works with her hands and her heart”, Purdy observed that “during my time at Queen’s, I’ve also realized that great educators and great leaders do work exactly in the same way.”

“Queen’s is just full of people who are going to support students and who are willing to build us up to become the best that we can,” she said. “I don’t want to start naming names, because there are way too many people at the Queen’s School of Medicine who have supported me and all of my classmates on our journey. And I’m thrilled to be there for another five years.” Purdy will be an emergency medicine resident as of July 1.

Purdy also thanked her mentors from the online world of medical education. “There’s a completely inspiring group of educators who are engaging online. Not only have they helped me get through medical school by producing free content that I found very accessible and useful for learning clinical material, but they’re engaging with each other in a way that is collaborative, and is in itself a form of leadership.” She encouraged others to join this online discussion by getting a Twitter account and finding people who have like-interests. “It’s changes my world and my path and my journey,” she said.

“I’m very appreciative of this award and will use it to its full potential,” she said.

The purpose of these annual awards, established in 2013 by the CaRMS board of directors, is to encourage the development of future leaders in medicine, through public recognition and financial support of one undergraduate and one postgraduate medical trainee who has demonstrated interest in/aptitude for leadership.

Each award is accompanied by up to $3,000 in funding to support learners’ proposed leadership activities, such as leadership conference feeds, formal leadership education at an accredited educational institution, or for a leadership elective.