Medical students participating in 20th Discovery Week

Some 20 first-year students will 'shadow' doctors and visit patients in Lambton County

These first-year medical students are participating in Western University’s 20th annual Discovery Week by spending this week at Bluewater Health. This unique learning opportunity provides the students an intimate understanding of the diverse experiences which impact health and wellness in rural and regional centres.

In its 20th year, Discovery Week will see 170 first-year medical students from Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in close to 30 communities throughout southwestern Ontario to receive a hands-on learning experience in rural and regional healthcare. The experience offers a unique learning opportunity for these students by providing an intimate understanding of the diverse experiences which impact health and wellness in the centres within Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s Distributed Education network.

This week there are 20 first-year medical students shadowing physicians and visiting patients across Lambton County as part of Discovery Week. At Bluewater Health, there are 14 students (10 in Sarnia and four in Petrolia), two at the North Lambton Community Health Centre, and four at the Rapids Family Health Team, who are gaining a better understanding of how patient care is delivered in this community.

“Sarnia-Lambton is a great place to learn and practice, and Discovery Week is our opportunity to showcase our hospitals and the practice opportunities that exist within our community,” says Dr. Mike Haddad, chief of Professional Staff, Bluewater Health. “Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for practicing medicine locally, by working side-by-side with local physicians.” The medical students will spend time in the Emergency Departments, Ambulatory Care clinics and Operating Rooms, and also in physicians’ individual offices.

“The North Lambton Community Health Centre welcomes students to learn about our comprehensive primary care model and to see the impact of how our team supports clients by including health promotion in their care and breaking down barriers of the social determinants of health,” according to its Kathy Bresett, its executive director.

 “We are always so pleased to be involved with Discovery Week,” said Lynn Laidler, executive director at Rapids Family Health Team. “This is the first real hands-on opportunity for these first-year medical students and we are proud to show them how physicians work within the team of allied health professionals to help our patients reach their most optimal level of health.”

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