Student Leadership Award

The Student Leadership Award recognizes and honours two medical students, one student in Year 1 or 2 and one student in Years 3 or 4, in the UBC MD undergraduate program, who demonstrate excellence in leadership by engaging and guiding others in promoting a responsible and evolving medical student community and/or health care system.

Each recipient of the award will be presented with $500 to be used towards tuition.

Congratulations to our 2019 Student Leadership Award Recipients:

Alec Yu

Alec is a second year medical student with passions in student advocacy, medical sustainability, and poverty alleviation. He represents the students of the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program in various Faculty of Medicine committees, where he has made significant impact on issues including student mistreatment, access to learning resources, and the CaRMS elective process. He’s also served as the co-founder and director of a non-profit organization supporting youth engagement with humanitarian issues, and as the innovation officer for Royal Columbian Hospital, working with physicians to bring their innovative ideas to reality.

A passionate problem-solver, Alec loves combining his interests with his lived experiences to start grassroots initiatives in his community. He currently leads a research program on medical sustainability in partnership with Fraser Health and the University of Oxford which has led to a decrease in medical waste in Critical Care Units. He is also collaborating with the Canadian Medical Health Association and St. Paul’s Hospital to introduce and evaluate a Peer Health Navigator program for patients who are homeless.

Alec is incredibly honoured to receive the MAA Student Leadership Award, and thankful to the Medical Alumni Association for their support!

Eric Zhao (BSc’13)

Eric Zhao is a data scientist and health innovator in genomics and oncology. As an MD/PhD student, he has co-authored over 25 original research articles, reviews, and book chapters and has delivered oral platform presentations at leading international conferences such as AACR, AGBT, and ASCO. Eric’s PhD dissertation involved developing computational methods to personalize cancer therapy using whole-genome DNA stability analysis. For his accomplishments he has received the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award, Lloyd Skarsgard Research Excellence Award, and Vanier Canada Scholarship. Eric has served as vice chair of the UBC Vancouver Senate and president of the UBC Medical Undergraduate Society. Eric co-leads a Faculty of Medicine strategic working group on disruptive innovation in medical education. In 2015, he co-founded a start-up tailoring evidence-based medication care plans for patients with complex health needs. Nationally, Eric advised on the CIHR Strategic Working Group on Health Research Training and served as VP Internal of the Clinician-Investigator Trainee Association of Canada.



The inaugural Student Leadership Award will be presented at the 2019 MAA AGM & Awards Ceremony on May 9, 2019.


  • Nominator must be a current student in the UBC MD undergraduate program
  • Candidates must be a current student in the UBC MD undergraduate program

Nomination Criteria:

  • Student demonstrates responsibility for their medical student community and the health care system
  • Student engages others in creating proactive initiatives or inclusive events for the enhancement of the medical community and/or improvement of health care
  • Student is dedicated to the building of relationships to ensure a cohesive professional community
  • Student mentors and supports fellow students to create a culture of openness and foster a compassionate environment
  • Student inspires and encourages people within medicine and/or across disciplines to collaborate towards common goals benefiting their community and beyond

Nomination Process:

Step 1: Complete a nomination form – fill in and save a copy

Step 2: E-mail the nomination application form to

The deadline for 2019 nominations has passed. Nominations for the 2020 awards will open in Fall 2019.

For questions, please contact Isaac Rodin at