Schulich Medicine & Dentistry sends first-year medical students into rural and regional communities for the first day of school

Before 171 first-year medical students take their seats at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry this fall, they will have the chance to learn from health care providers in rural and regional communities across Southwestern Ontario during Community Day.

Community Day, on August 26, 2015, gives medical students entering first year an opportunity to learn from health care providers who interact with patients and families with diverse and unique health needs, from elderly patients and children with special needs, to new Canadians and First Nations communities.

“For many of our students, Community Day is the first experience in a rural or regional community,” said Dr. George Kim, assistant dean, Rural & Regional Community Engagement. “On their first day as medical students, they are going to see first-hand that some of the best clinical medicine and research is happening in smaller communities across southwestern Ontario. They will discover that medicine is exciting, vibrant, dynamic and very rewarding.”

Local community health providers will introduce students to the realities of practising medicine, demonstrating infection control techniques, how to assess seniors, and teaching blood pressure and body mass index calculations. The Thamesview Family Health Team in Chatham-Kent will even introduce medical students to nutrition and food preparation, with patient participation.

Community partners supporting the event include Woodstock General Hospital and Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and Central Community Health Centre in St. Thomas, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Chatham Kent Community Health Centre and Thamesview Family Health Team. In Sarnia, community partners include Bluewater Health and Rapids Family Health Team and in Petrolia, Central Lambton Family Health Team and Bluewater Health.

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s commitment to medical student learning in rural, regional and underserviced communities continues with Discovery Week in May 2016.