Doctor for a Day
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Doctor for a Day
On 22 March 2019, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick welcomed a group of 12 students and 3 staff members from the Under One Sky Friendship Centre in Fredericton, NB to their building in Saint John, NB for the first ever Doctor for a Day at DMNB event.
In operation since 2004, the Under One Sky Friendship Centre is New Brunswick’s only off-reserve Aboriginal head start program, which aims to enrich the lives of Aboriginal people in the Fredericton area through various programs and workshops.
Nearly a year in the making, the Doctor for a Day at DMNB event marked the culmination of many discussions between DMNB and the Under One Sky Friendship Centre. Together, they developed this one-day opportunity for interested students to explore the study of medicine through observation, hands-on skills development, educational activities, and discussion with medical students and local health professionals.
The day started with a land acknowledgement and smudge ceremony led by Ramona Nicholas, Indigenous Archeologist at the University of New Brunswick. Then, it was on to four twenty-minute rounds of medical skills sessions run by our DMNB students. Through these skills sessions, the Under One Sky Friendship Centre students from Grades 8 through 12 got to try their hands at suturing, taking vitals, testing reflexes, and performing an ultrasound.
After lunch, the students participated in a Health Sciences Sharing Circle led by Tiffany Brooks, a first-year DMNB student, and Amanda Reid Rogers, Resident Nurse and Piluwitahasuwin at the University of New Brunswick. Both Tiffany and Amanda shared their respective experiences in the health care system and answered the wide range of questions they received from their captivated audience with aplomb.
“I just wanted to let you know again how much we appreciated the outstanding efforts of the DMNB team for making the Doctor for a Day event as successful and fun as it was. The staff and students were so helpful and knowledgeable, and the skills sessions were awesome,” writes Alyse Duffney, Communications Coordinator for the Under One Sky Friendship Centre, of the event. “I think I can speak for us all when I say the day went incredibly well and we all took something valuable from the experience.”
“I had a great time today!” a visiting student from the Under One Sky Friendship Centre wrote on their feedback form, “The atmosphere was very welcoming and inclusive. The day flew by!”
When asked if they would recommend this event to a friend if it were offered again in the future, another student simply replied: “YES! Absolutely!”
“The success of the first Doctor for a Day at DMNB event illustrates the collaborative spirit between Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick and the Under One Sky Friendship Centre,” says Pamela Bourque, Chief Operating Officer for DMNB. “We hope that this is the first of many joint events and look forward to strengthening our partnership as we continue to work together in developing activities aimed at engaging Indigenous youth in an urban setting.”