NMP Community Partnership Program

Objective:

The goal of the NMP Community Partnership (NMPCP) will be to form a relationship between communities of northern BC and the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern BC (UNBC). The project will provide an opportunity for participating communities to host NMP students during their undergraduate medical training for a short weekend community visit. During this visit, students will be able to experience first hand the diversity of northern-rural medicine along with the vast opportunities that rural communities can provide to future physicians. The primary goal of this project is to provide medical students exposure to all the facets of a northern community and not just a medical experience; in fact, it is our vision that the medical component be a small component of the overall visit.

Project Description:

The community partnership will involve the NMP Trust (NMPT), NMP medical students, the Northern Medical Program and participating communities in Northern BC.

1. Community Involvement: One of the main goals of this project is to provide an opportunity for Northern communities to be involved as part of the medical education that students receive through the NMP and to ‘showcase’ the benefits that a future physician would experience by living in a northern or rural community. It is our hope that participating communities would provide a ‘homestay’ (this would be preferred as it would provide an opportunity for interaction with a local family) for the student(s) while they are visiting the community, an opportunity to have meals with physicians and non-medical members of the community, and then the opportunity to see and experience the community and the activities that it provides (ie. festivals, celebrations, events, etc). The community would be asked to help in the identification of a community contact(s) and perhaps the development of a small community overview package.

2. Student Involvement: The student would visit the community in order to observe first hand the northern component and the vast number of activities and opportunities that many of these communities have to offer. The student would be asked to focus on the activities that the community offers and what daily experiences are like for members of the community. Students will be provided with a community overview package and provide the community with a personal introduction. It is hoped that students will be able to maintain contact with the community through updates and additional community visitations where/when possible during their time in the NMP. Typically students would make a visit during the Summer or early Fall/late Spring months – arriving on a Friday afternoon and departing Sunday. Students would be required to submit a brief summary of their visit as a means of sharing with future NMP students.

3. NMPT and NMP Involvement: We ask that the NMPT provide assistance for transportation and any uncovered meal costs or accommodation if a ‘homestay’ was unavailable. The NMP Student Affairs & Admissions Site Coordinator would act as a liaison between the NMPT communities and the NMP students through the maintainence of a community contact database and aspects of the community visit planning were required. For the most part, the visit will be coordinated between the community representative and the medical student(s).