Aboriginal students explore a future in medicine

The Northern Medical Program hosted the 14th annual Aboriginal Preadmissions Workshop this summer in Prince George at the UNBC campus. The UBC Faculty of Medicine event is held each year at a different UBC distributed medical program site.

“The workshop gives prospective Aboriginal students the opportunity to both experience and learn more about different aspects of the application process,” said James Andrew, Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator at the UBC Faculty of Medicine.  “It also gives them great exposure to the medical school environment and to university life as well.”

“The workshop was phenomenal and more than I expected. We were able to go in and see the labs as well as the classrooms, and also connect with one of the professors,” said participant Reinelda Sankey. “I had also wanted to personally see this campus as this is where I would choose to go if I do get accepted into medical school. The whole experience has definitely put that reassurance and drive in me that this is really what I want to do, and what I need to keep working towards.”

The three-day event helps to provide Aboriginal students with the necessary tools to be successful in their application process into and completing the undergraduate MD program. There is no cost for the workshop, and accommodations and meals are covered. Attendees are responsible for travel costs.

“My favourite part has been meeting the other students, who come from all types of backgrounds and different parts of the province,” said Nolan Chem, who has attended the workshop over the past few summers. “Although everyone is at different stages of applying to medical school, we are all in it together as a team and help each other out, such as sharing information on different scholarship or volunteer opportunities. We all have that same initiative and that same objective to be an Indigenous physician and give back to our communities, helping to improve health care for Indigenous people.” 

Last year, the event was held in Kelowna at the Southern Medical Program, and in July 2018, it will be hosted by the Island Medical Program in Victoria.