Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

MedConnect will be featuring lectures from esteemed physicians, workshops from a team of nurses and a team of medical students, and a panel of medical students from each year of med school. Speakers and a short biography will be revealed periodically on this webpage as the event approaches.

Lectures from physicians will cover topics relevant for aspiring physicians challenging a modern medical world, such as a showcase of some of their most interesting cases, what their daily lives are like, and the hidden unknowns of their specific fields.

Our medical students will be sharing their unique perspectives on medicine, having gone through both the rigorous application process and the daily lifestyle of a physician in training. Giving advice on the pathway to medicine, holding specially catered workshops, and inspiring their future colleagues, the medical student panel cannot wait to meet the motivated event attendees of MedConnect.


2020 Speaker Panel COMING SOON!


Our speaker panel for MedConnect 2019 was:

Dr. Matthew Orde

Matthew is a forensic pathologist at Vancouver General Hospital and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.  He is a ‘Geordie’, originating from Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England, but attended medical school in Scotland and undertook the majority of his pathology training in southern England.  During his training he also spent a year-long sabbatical in South Africa, and prior to commencing work in Vancouver in 2013 he spent nine years working as a forensic pathologist in Sydney, Australia.  Matthew also holds legal qualifications, culminating in call to the London Bar, and previously held office as Her Majesty’s Assistant Deputy Coroner for the City of Brighton and Hove, England.  He is married with three children.


Veronika Zaytseva

Once, just a simple girl with many passions at heart, I left Russia at the age of fifteen to have partaken from my family and sought for my life adventure and calling elsewhere. Insatiably curious consultant and coach, leader, writer, and simply creative soul. I’ve come to realize that there is more to my vision of success. It is about sharing while purposefully helping and empowering ambitious, courageous souls like you through authenticity. That is necessary during the moments of growth, change and uncertainty in life. I work with people to help them create attractive authentic personal images through coaching, copywriting, career portfolio development, and styling, that not only help them feel even better professionals in their own fields. But, have thought leadership opportunities come to them through LinkedIn and other mediums. Residing in the heart of Vancouver’s Gastown, you can always find me with a cup of coffee, writing. Writing about people. Maybe, even writing about you?
Reach out to me via LinkedIn for questions:


Jaimie Topp

Jaimie started down the first aid path in 2000 as an occupational first aid attendant. After working and volunteering as a first aid attendant in many different capacities, she became a first aid instructor in 2005. She also works as a Corporate Instructional Designer and Trainer. Jaimie has a passion for teaching and aims to make her first aid & CPR classes fun and interesting for students.


Vanessa Bicknell

I have a love for the science and the arts of nursing.  I have spent the last years working as an RN in Vancouver. Starting my career at Lions Gate Hospital I enjoyed working on an orthopaedic, general surgery, neurology and palliative unit. I have a passion for health promotion and education and incorporate this in my daily practice. Currently I work at Vancouver General Hospital in the Pre-Admission Clinic. I meet with people and complete preoperative health assessments and provide education to patients in need of surgery to treat injuries, diseases, or other disorders. My passion and love for medicine continues to grow. I have had the pleasure of teaching workshops with MedConnect the last couple of years and look forward to  MedConnect 2019. 


Natasha Jalili – Emergency Nurse

A strong interest in the area of health sciences is what encouraged me to begin a career in nursing. It involves a combination of both knowledge-based practice whilst also providing therapeutic and empathic care to patients. Since graduating from school three years ago I have been building on my medical/surgical experience while working as a Registered Nurse in a fast-paced, high acuity Emergency Department in Surrey. I work with a diverse population of patients from many different walks of life. I get the opportunity to assist patients in times of crisis. Health promotion and prevention is my favorite part of what I do. My passion lies in teaching/mentoring students, colleagues, and patients.


Emily Potusek – ICU Cardiac Nurse

Emily graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She started her career as a Registered Nurse at Surrey Memorial hospital on a medical unit. Since then, she has explored other interests working in neurology, internal medicine, and acute care for the elderly. In 2018, Emily completed her high acuity certificate through BCIT and currently works on the Cardiac Care Unit, High Acuity Unit and Surgical Unit (General & Thoracics) at Surrey Memorial hospital. Emily has a passion for nursing and enjoys making meaningful connections with her patients. She finds it inspiring to see the strength and resiliency of her patients during recovery after an acute illness or surgery.


Our speaker panel for MedConnect 2018 was:

Dr. Audrey Chan, Pain Medicine Resident, R7

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

St. Paul’s Hospital Pain Centre


Dr. Michael Butterfield, Psychiatrist

Interventional and Complex Pain

St. Paul’s Hospital Pain Centre


Dr. Baldev Sanghera, Physician

Family Medicine

PrimeCare Medical Centre


Our facilitators for our workshop were:

Ms. Vanessa Bicknell, RN

Ms. Emily Potusek, RN


Our Medical Student Panel was:

Mr. Andrew Chang, Third Year, UBC School of Medicine

Ms. Valeriya Zaborska, Second Year, UBC School of Medicine

Ms. Alli Jussila, First Year, UBC School of Medicine

Mr. Alec Yu, Second Year, UBC School of Medicine


The speaker panel for MedConnect 2017 was:

Dr. Ali Akbarzdeh

Dr. Baldev Sanghera

Mr. Andrew Chang

Mrs. Sandali Chandrarathna

Mrs. Valeriya Zaborska