In February 2007 the Pan Am Clinic, Pan Am Clinic Foundation, Winnipeg School Division, Children of the Earth School, WRHA Aboriginal Health Programs, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the University of Manitoba-Access Program constructed a working group to develop a high school educational and health career promotional program for Aboriginal students in Inner City High Schools.
This project involves the development, implementation and evaluation of an experiential strength-based educational/mentorship program within a healthcare setting and community high school. The program will provide support and encouragement to Aboriginal high school students from the Winnipeg’s inner city to stay in school and gain confidence in their educational aspirations to pursue careers in the health care sector.
The Medical Careers Exploration Program was developed to meet the needs of both the medical community and the Aboriginal population. Currently, medical personnel are at a critical level not only in Manitoba but also in Canada. As the population ages, qualified medical professionals are either retiring or choosing to practice outside of Manitoba and, in some cases, across the border. Fortunately, in Winnipeg, we have the human resources to replenish our diminishing pool of medical professionals.
The Aboriginal population is one of the largest underutilized human resources within Winnipeg. The purpose of the Medical Careers Exploration Program is to demystify the healthcare system and promote healthcare careers to the Aboriginal population. The program will not only meet the needs of the medical community, it will also promote the economic growth of our underutilized Aboriginal population.
The Medical Careers Exploration Program is a School Initiated Course (SIC) which consists of four phases. The first phase of the program is Grade 9 Orientation Discovery Days at Pan Am Clinic. Students attend three Orientation Days that focus on introducing the students to the Healthcare Environment and provide them with information about the Medical Careers Exploration Program. Students rotate through various departments and workstations including Surgery, MRI, Physiotherapy, Casting, Nursing, Sport Medicine and Research. Speakers from various organizations come to talk about the critical need for Healthcare workers in the future and offer support and encouragement to the students so they can achieve the goals that they set for themselves. Grade 9 students then have the opportunity to apply to the program which begins in Grade 10.
The next three phases of the Program involve classroom learning as well as Internship hours within a healthcare setting. Students enrolled in the program will obtain credits towards their High School Graduation. Students in Grade 10 will be exposed to different careers in healthcare and gradually focus in on their careers interest by Grade 12. Accepted student candidates attend Children of the Earth High School which is located in the Inner City area of Winnipeg. Children of the Earth School has been named as one of the top High Schools across Canada. The progressive curriculum for the program was designed by the Winnipeg School Division, Children of the Earth School, WRHA Aboriginal Health Programs and Pan Am Clinic.
The Pan Am Clinic Foundation thanks The Winnipeg Foundation for their support of this program.