Western University 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 Western University’s 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 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tristan Joseph, Media Relations Officer, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, t. 519.661.2111 ext. 80387, c. 519.777.1573, tristan.joseph@schulich.uwo.ca

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.