Welcome to the Student Affairs Office. Whether you are a new or returning student, we’re here for you!

Message from Dr. Kay-Anne Haykal, Assistant Dean

Dear students,

As you embark on your journey in medicine, the Student Affairs Office will assist you with the support to achieve your academic and personal goals.

Our team is committed to provide you with the mentoring and advocacy support as well as to promote your wellbeing and good health. We also offer personal counselling, career counselling and financial guidance. 

In the next four years of your medical school, you might face personal, academic or health challenges. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities available to meet with our team prior or during any struggles that you may be experiencing. 

We are dedicated to help you develop your full abilities and succeed academically as well as grow personally.


Kay-Anne Haykal, OD, MD, CCFP
Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

Picture of Kay-Anne Haykal

The Team

Rita Elazar (She/Her)
Maternity leave
Senior Psychotherapist, Student Health and Wellness
Email: [email protected]

Diane Parent (She/Her)
Intermediate Coordinator, Administrative Support
Email: [email protected]

Henrik Vierula (He/Him)
Senior Psychotherapist, Student Health and Wellness
Email: [email protected]

Olivia Warnock (She/Her)
Senior Psychotherapist, Student Health and Wellness 
Email: [email protected]

Your health and wellness are very important, so we make it our priority!

The mandate of the Faculty of Medicine’s Student Affairs Office (MEDSAO) is to support every student during their medical school experience in order to promote and maintain student health and wellness and facilitate their success.

We offer a comprehensive program of services to undergraduate medical students in the MD program such as: personal wellbeing, psychological health, financial and career planning. We recognize the heavy demands of medical school. Our team can help students develop techniques that will allow them to reach their goals, improve their study skills and build resilience. Our personal counselling services are open to undergraduate medical students in the MD program in the Faculty of Medicine only.

The Student Affairs Office counsellors provide multiple workshops in both French and English, in collaboration with student interest groups and with the academic advisor. Through a Wellness Series and a Career Series, we aim to assist students in acquiring evidence-based transformative skills. We have career planning tools throughout the 4 years of study that allow students to be proactive, to explore career possibilities and to set goals. We collaborate with students throughout the residency application process and our counsellors offer individual practice interviews in preparation for the CaRMS residency interviews.

The team also oversees the mentorship program, which allows students to connect with their peers and Faculty members and helps them navigate through their medical studies.

We also interact with multiple partners, namely the University of Ottawa SASS (Student Academic Success Service) and the Faculty of Medicine FWP (Faculty Wellness Program). We function at arm’s length from the academic UGME (Undergraduate Medical Education) office, and advocate on the student’s behalf in a safe environment while respecting confidentiality.

Contact Information

Student Affairs Office

451, Smyth Rd., Room 2024
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M6
Phone: 613-562-5800 x8136
Toll free: 1-877-868-8292 x8136
Email: [email protected]

Office hours

September 1 to May 31:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Evening hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7 p.m.

June 1 to August 31:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Evening hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7 p.m