committee & contact

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& the kids behind this whole thing:

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Bahar Orang  is a medical student at McMaster University. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto and a BASc. from McMaster University. One fateful day during her undergraduate years, Charon’s Narrative Medicine fell into her lap; it was a transformative, empowering read and some years later, she ended up in medical school. Her graduate work was mostly in the field of narrative medicine, and especially how such theory can be used to understand writing and art by Frida Kahlo. She is currently a chair for the ‘Humanities in Medicine’ interest group at McMaster, through which she hopes to continue her medical humanities writing and research.

12343101_10156621419540179_1407731081_oGeorgia Chappell is a medical student at McMaster’s Waterloo Regional Campus. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a BA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications. Her areas of interest are narrative medicine, women’s health, and the intersections between health, wellness, and the media. After completing her medical studies at McMaster, she hopes to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology or Family Medicine while continuing to learn about and engage with language, writing, and narrative study as a powerful tool both within and outside the field of healthcare.


Franziska Miller recently completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and is currently studying medicine at McMaster University. As the representative for the Niagara Regional Campus, Franziska hopes to explore the intersections between medicine and the humanities and she is very excited to be part of this conference. When Franziska is not at university, she can be found at art galleries or coffee shops planning her next travels abroad.


David R. Anderson is a medical student at McMaster.  Prior to studying medicine, David was a clinical social worker and holds an MSW from York University. With his years of practice as a therapist, David has long been interested in how we construct stories about our lives, and the ways in we make meaning of our experiences.  He is also an advocate for increasing the recognition of social determinants in health care policies and practices, and working to deconstruct the stigma associated with mental health and substance use.  He strongly believes that physicians should work as allies with the communities that they support, and looks forward to incorporating his former career and activism into his work as a physician.  When not knee-deep in medical texts, he may be found sipping espresso in Hamilton, Toronto, and even the occasional European square.
Karen Ngo is a medical student at McMaster University. She previously worked in pharmaceutical consulting and completed her MSc in International Health Policy at the LSE. If Karen was not studying medicine, she would have loved to become a concert pianist or the owner of a seaside café. Karen is interested in exploring the potential spaces for art and music in medicine and opening up more conversations about perspectives in death and dying among medical students. When not studying, Karen is probably either cycling up and down a lakefront or playing some rag time on the piano.

Liza.jpgLiza Futerman is a second-year PhD student at the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, where she researches the popular discourse around Alzheimer’s disease and the ways it affects policymakers and, in turn, family caregivers and patients. Futerman is the organizer of the MemoryShift conference (2015) and the founder of the Arts for Dementia online project. She holds an MA in History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford and a BA and MA from Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

IMG_0419Palika Kohli holds both her BASc and MSc in Global Health from McMaster University. She is currently continuing her masters research in medical education, and is working to develop a curriculum focussed on communication skills, professionalism and medical ethics for Indian medical schools. Palika is passionate about global mental health, medical education, and the intersections between religion, culture and medicine. When she’s not working, you can find her in a coffee shop, library or bookshop with her head buried in one of the three books she’s currently reading.


Alice Cavanagh is a midwifery student at McMaster University. She holds a BArts Sc. from McMaster where she honed her interests in reproductive justice and literary depictions of mental illness. When she is not in the anatomy lab, Alice can be found working with the McMaster Interprofessional Students Collaborative, and with the Sexual Assault Centre: Hamilton and Area. She’s currently reading Dodie Bellamy’s ‘When the Sick Rule the World’.


Ali Fawaz is a first year medical student at McMaster University. Prior to medicine, Ali completed a 4-year Bachelor of Sciences degree at the University of Toronto, studying Cell and Molecular Biology. By helping to organize this conference, Ali hopes that on top of his extensive science background, he can begin to develop a stronger understanding of the importance of the Humanities and Humanities education in Medicine and beyond. Outside of school, you can find him catching up on the latest tech, playing video games, reading, and most importantly, in pursuit of his next delicious meal.