By: Mercedes Stemm, Program Assistant, Indigenous Health in Medicine, Dalhousie BSc in Neuroscience/Indigenous Studies Student
Below I will speak about some of the many aspects and initiatives of the IHIM program, although we are currently re-branding our program. Our program shifts with community and is always looking for more ways to engage with communities. We’re currently looking to re-name our program and will be accepting submissions. Get involved with our program and help us re-name it! Follow the link below to our re-branding form.
Current Student Successes:
Summer programming: Due to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, we are unable to put on our regular summer and march break camps, therefore we have compensated with new summer programs. These events will consist of Med Admissions webinars, MCAT preparation, student opportunities such as work and volunteering, and much more. Stand by for more information on our summer programming.
Virtual Sharing Circle: This year, Hannah Asprey (Program Manager) and Dr. Andrew Lynk (Chair, Department of Pediatrics) co-chair a virtual sharing circle for Indigenous medical students at Dalhousie University. These sessions give the students space to discuss and meet with their fellow Indigenous students. In addition, it allows us to gather information on current students and to address barriers that these students face. We give students the opportunity to talk about medicine and receive mentorship from physicians.
Undergraduate Mentorship: We piloted an undergraduate mentorship program this year for Indigenous medical science students interested in medicine. In collaboration with PLANS, I (Program Assistant, Mercedes Stemm) created this program in hopes to connect Indigenous medical and health professional students with Indigenous undergraduate students aspiring to become health professionals. After a year of planning, we were able to pilot this program in September 2020. The creation of this Pilot Mentorship Program is to establish and enhance connections for Indigenous students with other Indigenous students, faculty and/or professionals by providing guidance through academic and professional development. Increased supports have shown to improve completion rates of programs, decrease student stress levels, and increase self-efficacy. The main purpose of this program is to reduce and eliminate barriers to underrepresented students exploring their full potential as learners.
NEW 2021-2022- Med 1 & Med 2 Mentorship Program: We are currently in the process of creating a new mentorship program that will pilot during the 2021-2022 academic year. In this program, first and second year medical students will be paired with upper year medical students, residents, and physicians to further enhance their medical knowledge. Students will learn more information about the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) process, residency programs, what it means to be a doctor, and much more. Stay tuned for more information on our new program.
Doctor for a Day DMNB: With the help of two dedicated medical student leads, Tiffany Brooks and Jenny Melanson (DMNB Class of 2022), the planning committee developed a week of programming that gave those interested in pursuing a career in medicine a behind-the-scenes look at the admissions process, the medical student experience, and the importance of integrating Indigenous voices into the study of medicine. The Indigenous Health in Medicine Program, under Hannah Asprey’s direction, kicked off the week of workshops with Med School 101, a presentation that took the students through the opportunities and supports the program has to offer. During the Mock MMI day, volunteer medical students and community members were paired up with the workshop participants to ask them questions and simulate the Multiple Mini Interview experience in their own virtual breakout rooms.
The March 2021 Doctor for a Day at DMNB virtual March break workshops group.