Since 2015, the STARS (Students and Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship) campaign has been instrumental in engaging students in resource stewardship. Eight cohorts and over 300 medical students later, it’s reassuring to know that student leaders, like Daniel Wong and Alyssa Chen, continue to find new and innovative ways to engage the next generation of clinicians in Choosing Wisely.
Alyssa and Daniel are both medical students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and 2022-23 STARS student leaders. Driven by their keen interest in resource stewardship, Daniel and Alyssa joined STARS to learn practical ways to tackle the issue of unnecessary testing and treatments in Canadian health systems and to help others to do the same.
In late 2022, they launched an Instagram page, @ubcchoosingwisely. The account serves as a hub for showcasing a diverse range of Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations through engaging visuals, informative Instagram stories, and interactive quizzes. The content was designed to align with the curriculum of the undergraduate medical program, providing timely and relevant information to students.
Alyssa, Daniel, and peers also organized a poster competition centred around Choosing Wisely. This contest welcomed medical students to participate by submitting posters that showcased Choosing Wisely recommendations. The school community voted for their favourite posters, and the winning entries were rewarded with prizes. These posters are currently displayed in the student lounges of several hospitals across Vancouver.
“We noticed many medical students were experiencing event fatigue, both online and in person,” they share. “We wanted to incorporate resource stewardship education into platforms they are already using, such as Instagram, or exercise their creativity through a poster competition.”
Alyssa and Daniel were recent recipients of the SuperSTARS Award of Excellence for their dedication and innovative initiatives. This scholarship is awarded to students who exhibit a strong interest in resource stewardship and demonstrate outstanding implementation of their STARS project. As part of the scholarship, Alyssa and Daniel had the opportunity to present their work at Choosing Wisely Canada’s 2023 National Meeting in Toronto.
The continued dedication and active involvement of STARS leaders like Alyssa and Daniel highlight the exceptional creativity and commitment within the medical student community. These efforts play a crucial role in shaping medical students into future leaders in resource stewardship, driving positive change in patient care and health care delivery.