Medical Careers Exploration Program
In February 2007 the Pan Am Clinic, Pan Am Clinic Foundation, Winnipeg School Division, Children of the Earth School, WRHA Indigenous 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 Indigenous students in Inner City High Schools and in 2017 Windsor Park Collegiate, Louis Riel School Division, joined the program.
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 Indigenous high school students 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 Indigenous 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 Indigenous population is one of the largest under-utilized human resources within Winnipeg. The purpose of the Medical Careers Exploration Program is to demystify the healthcare system and promote healthcare careers to the Indigenous population. The program will not only meet the needs of the medical community, it will also promote the economic growth of our under-utilized Indigenous 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 two Orientation Days that focus on introducing the students to the Healthcare Environment and provide them with information about the Medical Careers Exploration Program. During the 2 days students will experience an interactive live surgery event, which allows them to watch a live surgery and ask the surgeon questions in real time. During the second orientation day, the students rotate through our Research Centre and once again have a hands-on experience. 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 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 or Windsor Park Collegiate.