I completed my master’s degree in Medical Science at the University of Alberta. During this time, I assisted in reviving the university chapter of the Canadian Obesity Network Students and New Professionals, after which I served on their national executive for two years. Using the findings from my thesis dissertation, a clinical tool, called Conversation Cards, was developed to improve family-professional communication. The tool is now available for sale through the Canadian Obesity Network.
The aim of my thesis is to provide novel insights into the treatment and management of severe obesity in youth and young adults in Canada. My study will focus on bariatric care and the ways socio-cultural factors shape individual perceptions and intersect with health decision-making processes.
This qualitative study will engage health administrators to examine the care currently available for severely obese patients and how health policies shape administrators’ attitudes and beliefs regarding weight management. Interviews with bariatric surgeons and pediatricians will examine their attitudes towards the acceptability of weight loss surgery for a pediatric population, as well as their experiences of delivering care to this group. Finally, youth and young adult participants will share their perceptions about health and weight loss surgery through body-map storytelling. Results will be used to inform clinical practice guidelines and clarify the decision-making process in order to tailor treatment interventions based on patient needs.