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Huron Perth & Area Welcomes Medical Students for Discovery Week 2024

This summer, Huron Perth and Area welcomes 43 first- and second-year medical students for Discovery Week 2024, marking the 26th year of this enriching partnership with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. Led by Gateway Centre for Excellence in Rural Health and Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance.

Why It Matters

  • Hands-On Learning: These students will gain invaluable hands-on experience in various healthcare settings across Huron Perth.
  • Community Integration: Students will engage with patients, healthcare professionals, and local residents, providing a comprehensive understanding of rural healthcare dynamics.
  • Sustainable Healthcare: Exposure to rural practice helps foster future physicians’ commitment to serving in regional and rural settings, addressing healthcare access disparities.

Placement Breakdown

Clinton: 4 students; Exeter: 2 students; Goderich: 4 students; Listowel: 6 students; Seaforth: 4 students; St. Mary’s: 4 students; Stratford: 16 students; Wingham: 3 students

Voices from the Field

Dr. Shanil Narayan, Regional Academic Director and HPA-OHT Physician Lead emphasizes the importance of showcasing rural practice and strengthening community ties. “Opportunities like this allow us to showcase excellent rural and regional practice and reaffirm commitments to our broader community,” he said.

Dr. Victor Ng, Assistant Dean, highlighted the program’s success in inspiring students to return and practice in these communities after their training. “Working together, we’re creating a cohort of physicians who are ready, willing and able to care for people across Ontario in a variety of settings,” he noted.

Aligning with Strategic Priorities

Discovery Week also aligns with the Huron Perth and Area Ontario Health Team’s (HPA-OHT) third strategic priority: Revitalize the HPA-OHT Workforce. This strategic direction focuses on enhancing recruitment and retention, increasing equity across sectors, and developing a regional workforce strategy. By welcoming medical students into the community, Discover Week not only addresses immediate healthcare needs but also builds a pipeline for future healthcare professionals committed to rural practice. This initiative supports equitable employment opportunities and fosters healthcare staff’s well-being and professional growth.

Program Impact

Discovery Week has placed more than 170 Schulich Medicine students in 31 communities, from Owen Sound to Windsor-Essex and Woodstock to Lake Huron, offering diverse medical training environments.