The Health Innovation Challenge’s summer internship program has been an exceptional, well-rounded experience. Not only was it a unique learning opportunity centred on the Canadian health care system, but it was also a chance for me to test the waters of the working world in a supportive environment. From the very first day, I tackled small parts of several projects, allowing me to explore what I found most interesting. Speaking out was encouraged and new ideas welcomed, making me feel that I made valuable contributions to the work. Best of all were the relationships I formed this summer. The Health Council is home to many enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff eager to teach and to collaborate.
One of my most memorable experiences from this summer was participating in the June Council meeting. As it was held in Toronto, we were invited to sit in on a live meeting and observe the proceedings. To top the day off, the Health Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony occurred that same evening. Held in the prestigious Faculty Club at the University of Toronto, the event was a unique opportunity to make a personal acquaintance with some of the Councillors we had observed earlier in the day and to meet the other Challenge winners.
This fall I will be entering my third year at the University of Toronto, studying Neuroscience and Physiology. Although my work with the Health Council may at first seem removed from my current studies, I have no doubt that the insights I've gained this summer about health policy and the Canadian health system will continue to inform my studies and career.
Reflecting upon this whirlwind of a summer, I cannot believe this all started with an essay submission to the Health Innovation Challenge, but am I ever glad I did it! I encourage all students across the country to consider applying this year—not only is it a fantastic way to share what innovative health practices might be working in your community, but it might just be your first step on an incredible journey!
By: Galina Gheihman, Health Innovation Challenge winner, Health Council of Canada intern