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Annual conference helps students get interested in medicine and science

“I like the social aspect of medicine,” said Ola Lemanowicz, explaining why she’s always loved medicine. “Being able to directly help those in need, that’s definitely a huge interest of mine.”

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The donor: Ola Lemanowicz

The gift: Founding Operation Med School

The reason: To help high school students learn about medicine

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Ever since she was about three years old, Ola Lemanowicz has had a fascination with doctors and science.

By the time she reached high school in New Westminster, B.C., Ms. Lemanowicz knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but she also realized that many of her classmates weren't as certain about their futures and didn't know where to turn to for help. That's when she decided to start Operation Med School, an annual conference for high school students that features doctors, medical students and researchers explaining their fields and how they got there. The first conference was held in 2012 in Vancouver and attracted about 150 students. Since then Operation Med School has expanded to Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa and now reaches up 350 students at each conference.

Ms. Lemanowicz, 21, is studying pre-med at Queen's University and she's still involved with the non-profit organization. The group is planning to expand to more cities in Canada and into the United States. It's also launching a scholarship award and a program to attract more students from at-risk neighbourhoods.

"I like the social aspect of medicine," she said explaining why she's always loved medicine. "Being able to directly help those in need, that's definitely a huge interest of mine."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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