Faces of U of T Medicine: Narayan Chattergoon
Medical students have to be professional multitaskers, but Narayan Chattergoon takes it to a whole new level. Chattergoon is President of U of T Medicine’s Medical Society, a student group that represents all undergraduate medical students. He spoke to writer Suniya Kukaswadia about what it’s like to be the student leader at one of Canada’s top medical schools.
Name: Narayan Chattergoon
Program/year: Second-year MD student
Role/position: President, Medical Society (MedSoc)
Tell us about your work with MedSoc.
As President, I represent all undergraduate medical students. I oversee MedSoc’s portfolios, help set priorities for the Society and represent the Faculty at health conferences. I regularly meet with the Faculty’s senior leadership to discuss any concerns or ideas students have.
What inspired you to get involved with MedSoc?
I’m what I call a “human switchboard” — I like being the go-to person for people who need help. My fellow students come to me if they need to contact a faculty member or need help with a problem. The MedSoc President role really spoke to me because it’s all about connecting with people and representing the interests of medical students.
What do you find most exciting about your role as President?
The best part of the job is working with all the amazing people. The student body is so diverse and engaged, and faculty members are really committed to giving us a positive experience. It’s incredibly rewarding to work together and come up with solutions that have positive impacts and take everyone into account.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I want to work with students and staff to spread the word about all the great things happening at the Faculty. Everyone should have access to the services they need. I want to be accessible, accountable, helpful, and a strong advocate for students.
Kim Blakely, MedSoc’s previous President was working towards greater accountability, transparency and connectivity with students. She also set the wheels in motion for Med Soc to become a registered not-for-profit corporation. I want to build on all that.
How do you think your work with MedSoc will impact your career as a physician?
Physicians need to have strong communication skills. They often have to work with others to make serious decisions with competing priorities and limited resources. It’s important to be creative, to ensure everyone knows that they are valued and come up with solutions together. I’m developing these vital skills through my experience in Med Soc. In the future, I may end up in a managerial or administrative position, and my experience with the students and faculty will be a great foundation.
What's your favourite thing about the Faculty of Medicine?
I’m able to tap into and learn from people who have a wealth of unique experiences. The faculty, staff and students are some of the most caring, dedicated and committed people that I know. This is one of the most inspiring environments I could be in. I feel privileged to be a MD student here, and I love coming to school every day.
Faces of U of T Medicine introduces you to some of the interesting men and women studying in the Faculty of Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.
Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact Suniya Kukaswadia at Suniya.Kukaswadia@utoronto.ca.
Photo by Paige Zhang
Researchers are mobilizing against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19.Make a gift and support their important work.