uOttawa Faculty of Medicine’s annual mini-medical school for Indigenous youth had another successful year
“Come Walk in Our Moccasins”, an indigenous-specific mini-medical school program at uOttawa, wrapped up its fifth year of offering two sessions to the public as unique opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth to learn more about the medical field.
Organized by the MD Indigenous Program, these two Saturday sessions – which took place on January 27 and February 24 of this year – included a presentation from a local Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont and explored the importance of integrating Indigenous culture into the Canadian health care system.
Dr. Darlene Kitty, Director of the Indigenous Program, spoke about what it’s like to practice in the Cree community of Chisasibi and described the many opportunities that exist in the field of medicine.
uOttawa’s Indigenous medical students and graduates were also on hand to share their personal journeys of becoming accepted into medical school and their experiences in the uOttawa MD program.
Each year, the mini-meds are facilitated by uOttawa MD students in the Indigenous Health Interest Group. They prepare and deliver the morning lecture on a human body system, facilitate a Case Based Learning session, and lead a short visit to the Anatomy Lab. This year’s topic was the respiratory system and tuberculosis. MD students also assist participants in hands-on activities, such as using a stethoscope and taking blood pressure, applying a cast and suturing.
Since 2010, "Come Walk in Our Moccasins" has had 268 Indigenous people attend 20 mini-med activities, including one in Iqaluit in March 2017.
One of the best parts of this program is when Indigenous students, residents and practicing physicians share about their journeys toward a career in medicine. This year, in addition to our Indigenous MD students, testimonials were shared by Dr. Alex Petiquan, Dr. Donna Kimmaliardjuk, Dr. Sarah Funnell and Dr. Tim Moran. It’s so inspiring for all the participants.
There is no registration fee to attend these one-day mini-medical schools and all participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the day. The Faculty of Medicine averages of two Indigenous mini-medical schools each academic year. The January session is for post-secondary students and adults, while the February session is for young people from Grades 7 to 12. This year, there was 11 attendees for the January session and 16 for the February session.
For more information about the program and possibilities of attending next year, please contact the Indigenous Program Coordinator at 613-562-5800 ext. 8687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.