Zakiya Abdulaziz

Noémie graduated with a medical degree from Université de Montréal in April and began her residency in family medicine at McGill University in July. She is currently doing her residency in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada, where she serves refugees and minorities from South Asia and Latin America among others. She looks forward to working in rural areas with indigenous communities as she continues building a career in the field of medicine. Her tenacity and willingness to help others are inspirational and she has a genuine smile that is both comforting and contagious.   

Recently, during two months off, Noémie celebrated her achievements with another challenge; an unforgettable 31-day off-trail 12,000 km hike through Eastern Oregon. While exploring the natural beauty of the state, Noémie carried supplies and water with provisional stops in rural communities every 4-6 days. The desert surroundings were a new and exciting frontier for the avid cross-country skier. 

Highlights from her studies include her two years of clerkships where she was able to see first-hand the need for medical resources in rural communities. Seeing the components of medicine in remote areas and diverse communities was both interesting and inspiring, solidifying further her passion for delivering family medicine to under privileged populations.  

During the pandemic Noémie worked in a nursing home and in a vaccination clinic, delivering medical and humanitarian services to those in need. For a portion of this time Noémie worked with a mobile clinic and was able to deliver vaccines and health information to several community centres, nursing homes and support centres. She was grateful to have been able to shift her volunteer focus from coaching to the medical field and help fulfill the needs of Canadians during such a difficult time.  

She is appreciative of all the award has afforded her and believes the spirit of the award has helped her during her medical studies. It gave her the time to be more engaged in her studies and humanitarian work. She encourages those interested in applying for the award not to be afraid of sharing their stories, even if it isn’t a typical story. Everyone’s journey is interesting and there is no good and bad when it comes to humanitarian efforts.  

Although the end goal has not changed for Noémie, she has developed an interest in emergency medicine and is planning to do an additional year during her residency in the emergency department as a family doctor to enable her to explore this option further. She looks forward to working in rural areas and doing Dépannage” where she will be able to help many communities for short periods of time that are lacking medical resources. 

She plans on being a doctor that helps her patients not just with their medical issues but hopes to offer social resources as needed as well. With the resources and connections available to her, Noémie feels the impact she can make is far-reaching. We look forward to seeing where the future takes her!   

2019 Recipient Biography

Noémie Chenail


Noémie suffered from an eating disorder that caused her mental and physical distress. After three long stays in the hospital, Noémie finally reached a level of stability, her passion for outdoor sports greatly helping fixing and reaching goals. Her studies in Cegep at Collège André-Grasset allowed her to get involved in different volunteering activities such as the organization of snow camps for disadvantaged children, the construction of gardens specific for bees, and tutoring sessions with immigrant children. Currently studying medicine at Université de Montréal, Noémie hope to work with immigrant and disadvantaged populations as a family doctor.