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Episode #11: Piece of My Identity

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Lina Elfaki

Lina Elfaki, MSc, joins us to discuss health advocacy and equity, the importance of recognizing intersectionality when looking at representation in STEM, finding balance as a medical student and so much more!


Lina Elfaki is a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto (UofT). She completed her undergraduate degree in Physiology and Human Biology at UofT. For her Master of Science at the Institute of Medical Science, Lina worked with Dr. Howard Leong-Poi at St. Michael’s Hospital to study a novel gene therapy for aortic aneurysms. More recently, she has been passionate about equity-seeking cardiovascular research. Beyond academics, as an immigrant Black woman, she has been promoting gender and racial equity in healthcare and STEM education. She is the inaugural Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UofT’s Medical Society pushing for systemic and cultural changes to curriculum, student wellness, and admissions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lina has been focusing on community-based health promotion to support her Black community in Toronto. In her free time, Lina loves to dance and walk by the lake, even at freezing cold temperatures. 


This episode of Accidental Intellectual is produced by Holly Boyne, Manon Feasson, Lauren Goldberg, Bronwyn Lamond, Rachael Lyon, Harrison McNaughtan, Stephanie Morris, Lee Propp, and Ariana Simone. Our theme music is by Alexandra Willet and our branding by Maxwell McNaughtan.


To learn more about the Accidental Intellectual podcast and get full show notes and a transcript of this episode, visit our website at www.accidentalintellectual.com.



  • How Lina became interested in healthcare and medicine

  • What sparked Lina’s interest in advocacy for health equity and her experiences seeing multiple health care systems

  • Becoming involved with the Toronto Political Advocacy Committee and understanding the various systems and external factors that influence health

  • The importance of recognizing intersectionality when talking about the representation of women in science

  • How Lina has created opportunities for racialized women to get involved in STEMM through mentorship

  • The role advocacy and mentorship work has played in Lina’s career trajectory 

  • Not fitting the mold of a “Canadian doctor”

  • Finding a balance with extracurriculars in medical school: using a triage approach

  • Challenges, leveraging skills and power to help others, and Lina’s words of wisdom




Get the transcript of this episode HERE.