After two months of studying slideshows, reading through textbook material, and diligently crafting posters and reports, MGCI students competed in the Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) as part of HOSA – Future Health Professionals.

HOSA is an internationally recognized organization dedicated to helping students learn all about the world of healthcare through workshops, university student panels, and content-based slideshows, offering students an in-depth view of various aspects of the healthcare system. The organization boasts thirty different events, from individual knowledge-test events like Medical Law and Ethics to team-based practical events like Emergency Medical Technician to submission-based events like Research Poster, where students have the opportunity to research any healthcare issue in their community. 

Annually, HOSA holds three main competitions: the online Fall Leadership Conference in November, the Spring Leadership Conference (SLC) in May, and the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in June. Every student has the chance to compete in FLC and SLC, while only the top three in each event at SLC qualify to compete in ILC, to be held this year in Dallas, Texas. The purpose of the Fall conference is to allow students to gauge where they are in their studying and among their peers, offering them the experience of competing in their event so they can decide if they wish to continue it for the remainder of the year. After the conference, students are free to change their event before the Spring conference, which is the official qualifier for ILC.

This year, FLC took place online from 19 to 27 November. To prepare, MGCI HOSA executives sent out study schedules and resources to members, allowing them to skim through the required information before the competition. 

Normally, some events would only have an exam, some would have two rounds with an exam in the first and a skill demonstration in the second, and some would have live presentations to judges. During FLC, for the events that had an exam, only that portion–with fifty to one hundred multiple-choice questions–was tested through an online platform during the nine days allotted. For events requiring the submission of a speech, poster, or research paper, students first submitted their necessary components by 19 November, then presented live to judges over specific days following their submission deadline. 

MGCI HOSA members were nervous yet excited before starting their exams. Before commencing his online pathophysiology exam, Paul Shur, a Grade 11 member, said: “I currently feel very excited because it’s my first time doing HOSA. At the same time though, I’m nervous because [competing in HOSA this year] costs one hundred dollars… so I better do well! I’m excited to see how far I am when it comes to the material.” The FLC top ten rankings will be sent out in early January to show students where they rank among their peers and their overall score on the exam. 

With SLC coming up in May 2023, MGCI HOSA has a lot planned. Members can expect cozy library study sessions, workshops for practical skills such as CPR, monthly quizzes, and field trips within the next couple of months, all in preparation for SLC as well as their potential futures, through a solid foundation in healthcare-related knowledge and experience in the club. Amy Li, the club president, said: “I was really happy to see that all the training coordinators were able to create super high quality study schedules to help their trainees prepare for FLC! In the week of FLC, all the event channels in our discord server were active with friendly banter among competitors and their trainers. I hope FLC was an enjoyable experience for all who participated… but I guess we’ll see whether or not that was the case as the post-FLC survey results come in!” As she reflected on the upcoming future of MGCI HOSA, she said: “I’m really excited for the months to come because MGCI HOSA’s training is about to get real. If you’re a HOSA member reading this, get ready for workshops, in person study sessions, field trips, medical student Q&A’s and an in-person multi-school mock SLC! In the meantime, happy studying!”