Azza Osman

Azza Osman, seen from the chest up, wearing a University of Toronto pull over, and medium length brown hair, smiling

Name: Azza Osman

Researcher/Supervisor: Dr. Ibukun Abejirinde

Area of Research: Digital Health Solutions and Systems

Azza Osman, seen from the chest up, wearing a University of Toronto pull over, and medium length brown hair, smiling

What or who inspired you to join the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP)? 
The Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP) is notable for providing learning opportunities for underserved high school and post-secondary students. By doing so, ESSP makes a conscious effort to bridge the gaps for these students who continue to be systemically excluded in healthcare and science career pathways. As a visibly Black woman with a strong interest in the healthcare reform, I was inspired by ESSP’s strive to give students like myself a chance to breakthrough. Diversity in leadership is something I value deeply, and I believe that this program allows us to step forward in creating equity across health care professions.

What was your first impression of Women’s College Hospital?
Women’s College Hospital (WCH) stood out for being one of the only hospitals with a strong focus in women’s health. Historically, women have been disadvantaged, and continue to be, in healthcare. WCH aims to transform healthcare for a healthier and equitable world through its focus on women with respect to intersectional disadvantages. WCH’s mission and values are reflective through their diverse team of professionals that work hard to push towards innovative and positive change. Upon working here, I was immediately welcomed into a warm and safe environment. The uplifting and encouraging words from all the staff have empowered me to work hard towards healthcare reform and led me to have the experience of a lifetime working with a phenomenal team!

What interests you most about the area of research that you’re working in?
My current research is focused on patient digital identification and authorization. The team that I am working with is exploring digital identity and how it can be used to access healthcare services remotely. I was drawn into this area of research given that virtual health is relatively new and a growing area of interest within health care research. I believe that advancements in digital health technology can work towards enhancing integrative client-centered care through leveraging patient autonomy, participation, and decision making. Further, technological advancements can work towards making healthcare services more accessible and could play a role in bridging the equity gap in healthcare provision.

What do you think you will enjoy the most about being part of ESSP?
I think I will enjoy the opportunities to network with like-minded students and professionals the most! ESSP allows for continuous opportunities to meet a diverse set of people, which I believe is a critical part of the learning process itself. Not only is it enjoyable to connect with new people, but networking allows one to branch out for other professional and learning opportunities that can help to leverage career trajectories. Additionally, I am looking forward to strengthening my relationships with the other ESSP students and staff members over time.

Personal or professional answers welcome: What is something that makes you smile? 
Being able to spend time with people I truly care about! It may sound simple, but as I’m getting older, life can get busy, and it may become harder to see some people as often. Therefore, I try my best to cherish the moments I have with the people I love, and it never fails to make a smile on my face!