Manitoulin hospitals, family health teams, medical centre accredited by Northern Med School for third year studies

MANITOULIN—During the annual face-to-face retreat held on Manitoulin last week, Dr. Roger Strasser, dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), and Dr. Roy Jeffery, site liaison clinician for the Manitoulin  Health Centre, announced that Manitoulin Island now joins the 14 communities that make up the Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC) sites across the North.

As a CCC site, Manitoulin Island accepts two third-year medical students from September to April each year to provide them with hands-on practical experience in the communities of Little Current (Manitoulin Health Centre and Northeast Manitoulin Family Health Team), Gore Bay (Gore Bay Medical Centre), Mindemoya (Manitoulin Health Centre and Manitoulin Central Family Health Team) and Manitowaning (Assiginack Family Health Team), a press release from NOSM states.

“Manitoulin, as a network of communities, is joining the network of Northern Ontario communities that host third-year students as they make the transition from classroom learning to clinicians,” Dr. Strasser said in addressing the audience gathered for the special announcement at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre in Little Current last week.

The dean explained that NOSM is unique in that for the eight months of their clerkships, students live in the community and work within a family practice, giving them the full range of pediatrics, obstetrics and geriatrics.

Through a CCC model, students learn through what is termed a longitudinal integrated clerkship, or learning multiple disciplines on an ongoing basis rather than block rotations.

Dr. Strasser said it is not new for Manitoulin to be part of NOSM, as the Island has been host to learners, among 90 other communities across Northern Ontario, where students undertake part of their clinical learning in an “integrated immersive experience.” He also noted the annual WildER Med conference held on the Island, in which NOSM students take part.

Dr. Jeffery explained that Manitoulin just bid farewell to its first clerkships—one student from New Liskeard, the other from Sturgeon Falls.

He said that Manitoulin provides an important perspective to the clerks, with its heavy rural and First Nations component—important for those thinking of taking up a family practice in the North.

[pullquote]“It’s a unique spot and a great place to learn medicine,” Dr. Jeffrey continued. “The kind of medicine they’ll need to know—quality medical care.”[/pullquote]

“It’s a unique spot and a great place to learn medicine,” Dr. Jeffrey continued. “The kind of medicine they’ll need to know—quality medical care.”

“We’re all committed to the program and looking forward to it,” he added, thanking Sarah Warburton, site coordinator, for her hard work in ensuring the students are well looked after.

Following the announcement, a panel discussion, led by MHC CEO Derek Graham and nurse manager Paula Fields, took place on the Manitoulin Island Health Care Collaborative “to give a flavour and appreciation” of the voluntary collaborative effort of the health care agencies on Manitoulin.

There was much praise for the collaboration from the audience with one doctor calling on the students to pay close attention as, “this is great information into what our health care system is. You can either force or collaborate and I applaud you for doing this.”

Kristen Taus, outreach officer for the Northeast Local Health Integration Network, told the group that whether Manitoulin is faced with increased, limited or a gap in resources, “the partners just get together and get it done. It’s wonderful to work with everyone here.”

Dr. Strasser called the collaborative effort “outstanding” and said this is often seen in rural areas and that there is much potential for urban medical centres to learn from efforts such as this.