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Distributed Education: New dedicated space for trainees

When the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) undertook a major renovation at its Stratford site, the plans included new dedicated space for trainees, including medical students, residents and clerks. With financial backing from Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, the new internal medicine space includes three exam rooms with computer workstations for learners to see patients, do research and write and read patient notes.

“As we’ve increased the number of learners at our site, there is an increased need for capacity,” said Dr. Shanil Narayan, the Regional Academic Director for Huron-Perth. “I think it’s important for the learners here to see in a tangible way that they are part of the hospital and part of the culture here.”

In 2016, the HPHA had a total of 85 learners training at its four sites, including Stratford General Hospital.

“We don’t think of it in terms of community hospital versus academic hospital; we think of ourselves as an extension of an academic centre, that happens to practise in a smaller setting,” said Dr. Tom Haffner, head of Internal Medicine at HPHA and a Schulich Medicine & Dentistry faculty member. “Having this dedicated space helps to show learners that just because you are in a smaller community, doesn’t mean you can’t be academically invested and involved in the University.”

Dr. George Kim, assistant dean, Rural, Regional and Community Engagement at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry says this new space will enhance the experience for both faculty and learners in Stratford. “It was important to us to support this project financially because we want our learners to continue to build on the great experiences they are having in our distributed sites. We also want our faculty to know they are fully supported in the fantastic work they do mentoring and teaching here.”

Construction on the 8,000 square foot West Building at Stratford General Hospital was completed at the end of March, and is fully operational this week. Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Office of Distributed Education contributed $3,300 to the project to help fund the technology for the trainee workstations.