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Episode #3: Paying it Forward

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Dr. Lesley Tarasoff

Lesley A. Tarasoff, Ph.D., joins us to discuss her research and why it is so meaningful to her, boundary setting in academia, the importance of and wonderful things that come from sharing one’s story, and so much more!


Dr. Tarasoff is a CIHR-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Primarily using qualitative methods, her program of research is concerned with understanding and addressing sexual, reproductive, perinatal, and mental health and health care disparities and inequities experienced by populations that have been historically overlooked and often stigmatized, namely women with disabilities and sexual minority women. 


She holds a Ph.D. in Public Health Sciences (Social and Behavioural Health Sciences) from the Dalla Lana School of Public at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tarasoff also holds an M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto and a B.A. (Honours) in History and Women’s Studies from Bishop’s University. She grew up in the beautiful Slocan Valley in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, a five-minute walk from the Slocan Valley River and an 8-hour drive, through several mountain passes and summits, southeast of Vancouver.



  • Lesley’s path from women’s studies to public health

  • Health disparities and barriers to care among women with disabilities, particularly in pregnancy

  • How qualitative research offers a unique insight in analyzing disparities, but also highlighting positive experiences

  • The great privilege and responsibility that comes with collecting and holding participant’s stories, and how Lesley reckons with both

  • Balancing the many projects she is involved with, including community-based research and knowledge translation around equitable access to maternity care, and LGBTQ2S+ health 

  • Lesley’s advice for post-doc hopefuls

  • How a failure (or something that seemed like it at the time) allowed her to build connections and set her on the path to where she is now

  • The importance of breaks and discerning when to say “no” to opportunities and commitments




Get the transcript of this episode HERE