Discovery Week provides Western University’s medical students with the foundation to begin their careers in health care

First-year medical students from Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry are about to experience the most important week of their careers.

Discovery WeekMore than 170 first year undergraduate medical students will spend one week in 50 rural, regional and underserviced communities across southwestern Ontario, learning about real medicine, from doctors and nurses, and the entire community.

The program, called Discovery Week, provides each student the opportunity to take the knowledge they learned during the past nine months in the classroom, and translate it to the real world, in regions with diverse populations and equally diverse medical needs.

Discovery Week is a flagship program organized by Schulich Medicine & Dentistry that exposes students to the breadth of real-world medical experience and knowledge available outside tertiary health care centres providing them with a broad world view as they transition to practicing physicians.

During the Week, students will work alongside a wide range of health care providers including family physicians, nurse practitioners and chiropractors. Day-to-day, students learn in different environments, from emergency departments and specialist practices to family medicine clinics.

Dr. George Kim, assistant dean, Rural & Regional Community Engagement, who participated in the program, sees this as a pivotal week in the curriculum and one which will direct the course of each student’s career – from residency to where they will practice and live. “It’s an anchoring experience for our students,” said Kim. “There’s something about Discovery Week that resonates with our students and assists them in their decision-making processes throughout their undergraduate medical education experience. We have seen our students continue to reflect back, on the Week, positively as they decide what the future holds for them.”

Discovery Week showcases the incredible facilities available throughout southwestern Ontario and shows students what it is like to live, learn and work in the region.

Each student participates in one week of the program which takes place the weeks of May 25 and June 1.

Video of Discovery Week can be found here:

MEDIA CONTACT: Tristan Joseph, Media Relations Officer, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, 519-661-2111 ext. 80387, c: 519-777-1573,

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.