MedQUEST experience comes full circle

Monday, July 8, 2013

Shawn Segeren's enthusiasm is palpable as he speaks about his time as a high school student at the Chatham-Kent MedQUEST Exploration Program. The experience inspired him to follow a dream of becoming a doctor, which at the time was just starting to form. Things have now come full circle as Segeren, a first year undergraduate medical student, is taking the MedQUEST Clinical Elective program and for one week will have the chance to work with and even inspire high school students with the same dream in his home town.

Known for having an interest in health care, a high school counsellor suggested that Segeren apply for the week-long MedQUEST Exploration Program being offered in his town. It was his time spent at the camp doing things such as shadowing physicians, nurses and surgeons, and watching procedures like endoscopies that solidified his interest in medicine.

"Spending time with the councillors, getting to talk to them about med school, and why they got into the field, was very useful for me," stated Segeren. "I had one counsellor who was from Chatham, and it was really great to see someone from my community pursue such a career. It really gave me the drive to carry on." He eventually applied to Schulich medicine.

Segeren was keen to apply to the MedQUEST Clinical Elective. "I believe the program gives you a well-rounded, hands-on clinical experience in many fields," said Segeren about his clinical portion of the six week elective. "I'm looking forward to the week of teaching, and showing high school students in my community that this [going to medical school] is possible."

First launched in 2005, the program aims is to provide first and second year medical students with a unique opportunity to experience living, learning, and working within rural and regional communities, as well as to inspire and mentor local youth to consider the health care careers. Taking place in six rural and regional locations across Southwestern Ontario, this year's MedQUEST Program runs from June 10 - July 21with the high school Exploration Program taking place the week of July 8-12.

"The experience will give me time to reflect on why I'm here, will motivate me more and reinforce why I came to Schulich Medicine and why I decided to get into medicine," stated Segeren.
This summer Segeren and three other MedQUEST alumni (grads from the high school program), are participating in this summer's elective program. We look forward to seeing their students from the program in the next few years at Schulich Medicine.

For more information about the MedQUEST program visit,