Event Summary: The 1st COSIG Annual Meeting: A National Conference on Ophthalmology & Global Health

Jul 09, 2021 | 2 min

On May 29th, 2021, the Canadian Ophthalmology Student Interest Group (COSIG) hosted its 1st Annual Meeting (Virtual). The theme for this year’s event was Global Health.

The one day-long event featured a series of poster presentations, insightful addresses from distinguished clinician-researchers, speed mentorship sessions with ophthalmology residents, introduction to MEDSKL and a trivia session, as well as many opportunities to win awards and prizes. Overall, medical students not only had the chance to gain exposure to the field of ophthalmology but also had opportunities to present their research to peers, network with residents and other medical students, and have fun winning great prizes.  

The 7.5h day started and ended with insightful talks from distinguished keynote speakers Dr. Hélène Boisjoly (Université de Montréal) and Dr. Jennifer Rahman (University of Manitoba).

There were 21 poster presentations on various topics, available on our website throughout the event: www.cosig-gecio.com/conference

Dr. Hélène Boisjoly (Université de Montréal) walked us through her journey to ophthalmology as a clinician-scientist. She provided a riveting introduction to her research on corneal grafts, penetrating keratoplasty and more. Moreover, students had the opportunity to hear an intimate account of how to balance research and clinic while also achieving a fulfilling personal life.

During the 1h lunch break, students had a chance to learn about Global Health opportunities such as ORBIS, Seva, and Laico, as well as community opportunities such as Kids2See, So Kids Can See, Brandan’s Eye Research Foundation, Eye-Mac Project, and McGill Primary Eye Exposure and Prevention Sessions (PEEPS).

Dr. Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Ophthalmology and Epidemiology at Queen’s University provided an engaging introduction to medskl.com and an intriguing Kahoot Trivia session. medskl.com is a free, open-access medical education platform with a library of content that comes from a collaboration of nearly 200 of the best medical school professors from around the world. Check it out!

There were ~20 prizes in total with top prizes being a HEINE pocket LED direct ophthalmoscope and penlight, 2020 copy of Toronto Notes, copies of Toronto Guide to Clinical Ophthalmology for and Trainees, and many more for over $2000 available in delegate prizes. Prizes were available for top research presenters, trivia winners, and those who actively participated throughout the conference.

The Speed Mentoring Sessions with the Canadian Ophthalmology Mentoring Program (COMP) was one of the highlights of the conference.

Before award winners were announced, conference delegates were able to hear from Dr. Jennifer Rahman, an ophthalmologist specializing in the treatment of glaucoma and the current president of the Eye Physicians and Surgeons Of Manitoba (EPSOM).

While stereotypes of different specialities exist and have been showcased in a comical manner by the famous TikTok ophthalmologist, Dr. Glaucomflecken, Manitoba’s own Dr. Jennifer Rahman spoke of 10 things to consider before becoming an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Rahman discussed her journey to ophthalmology and emphasized the importance of:

1) Being self aware

2) Knowing your talents,

3) Understanding the profession

4) Recognizing “ The good, the bad, and the ugly”

5) High incomes and high expenses

6) Being an advocate

7) Broadening one’s perspective

8) Being tech savvy

9) The realities of burnout, and most importantly

10) Practicing self care.

Although such advice was shared within the realm of ophthalmology, many may find value in Dr. Rahman’s advice in whichever speciality they hope to pursue.

The event concluded with the announcement of the lucky winners of various prizes and awards.

Thank you to all attendees and we look forward to meeting you next year at the COSIG Annual Meeting!

The 2021 COSIG Conference Team


Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen, COSIG Executive Director

Andrew Samuel, CAM 2021 Co-Chair

Charles Paco, CAM 2021 Co-Chair​


Dominique Geoffrion

Abdullah Al-Ani

Daiana Roxana Pur

Clara Long

Cody Lo


Amirthan Sothivannan

Diana Gueorguieva

Michael Penny


Kristen Piché

Emma Hillier

Daiana Roxana Pur

Eisi Mollanji


Stuti (Misty) Tanya


Dr. Michael Nguyen

Authors: Daiana Roxana Pur, Andrew Samuel, Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen