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[Renee Pang]

Renee Pang

Addressing the shortage of medical professionals in rural and Aboriginal communities

When Renee Pang, Meds’13, realized that medical students from rural backgrounds are far more likely to practice in a rural community, she saw an opportunity to address two issues in her field: securing family doctors in underserved regions and encouraging Aboriginal high school students to consider medicine, nursing or rehabilitation therapy. She turned to her Queen’s classmates and created MedExplore, an education and mentoring program for underrepresented populations in healthcare professions. Renee partnered with the Office of Global Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences to help develop her new initiative.

Renee believes the choice to work in health care should be open to all regardless of economics, geography and status. MedExplore provides opportunities for skill development, networking, and career exposure to under-represented populations in health-care professions so they can make informed educational and career decisions. By breaking down the barriers, these students are more likely to consider a career as a health-care professional.

"People have amazing ability to achieve their goals," says Renee. "There is a wonderful health-care provider in anyone who wants to pursue this career. I want people to realize they can do it. MedExplore empowers them to be successful."