Feature: Medical students help with vaccination effort

By Alexandra Burza, MMJC'19

On May 15, a group of tenacious Schulich School Of Medicine & Dentistry - Windsor Campus students arrived at Dr. Magbule Doko’s clinic, ready to lend a helping hand in vaccinating the Windsor community.

During his paediatric outpatient rotation, Rutik Patel, Medicine Class of 2022, was approached by his professor, Dr. Doko, looking for medical students who could help direct and assist patients, fill out paperwork and administer doses when necessary.

Patel reached out to a few of his peers: Kelsey Ambrose, James Colapinto and Tajdeep Brar, Medicine Class of 2022, and Sarah MacDonald and John Kelly, Medicine Class of 2023.

“As medical students, it’s important to act as role models. This is the best way to keep our community healthy and safe right now, and we should take initiative to help encourage and facilitate vaccination,” said Ambrose. “It was empowering to be on the front lines and see the action, knowing this is the first step toward getting back to normal.”

The experience was also personally rewarding for the students, providing an opportunity to practice patient care and connect with individuals outside of a hospital setting.

“It was a great opportunity to work on our communication skills by focusing on the vaccine and explaining how it works,” Colapinto shared.

“It’s been such a positive experience; when we’re working in hospitals, there’s always talk about the number of cases and stories about vaccine hesitancy. We can get overwhelmed with the negative, so it was rewarding to go into an environment where we can see how happy people are to receive the vaccine,” Patel said.

Since their initial visit to the clinic, some of the students have returned to assist Dr. Doko again, as their schedule allows. From witnessing the relief of front-line health care workers receiving their seconds dose to celebratory phone calls to family and friends to the needle-averse overcoming their anxieties, they say the atmosphere in the clinic is remarkable.

“It’s nice to be able to be that friendly face in that moment for them, and reassure them as they go through the process,” Ambrose said.