Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Over a dozen first-year medical students are learning the ropes in Chatham-Kent this week.

As part of the annual Discovery Week in partnership with the Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, 19 med students are getting hands-on training at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

“We are so pleased to welcome first-year medical students to CKHA for Discovery Week,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO, CKHA. “This unique learning opportunity provides positive exposure to rural hospitals like CKHA and immerses students in various healthcare settings in our community. We also hope these students will enjoy becoming temporary members of our community for a week while they experience all that Chatham-Kent has to offer.”

The program started as a strategy to attract doctors to practice in rural and regional locations. It is designed to expose students practicing medicine outside of large urban areas before they make firm plans for their careers.

“This initiative is a great opportunity to showcase our community to future physicians and has brought back many of the participating medical students to Chatham-Kent to complete electives during their third and fourth year of medical school,” said Dr. Pervez Faruqi, Chief of Staff, CKHA. “Many of our physicians have joined the preceptor ranks at Schulich School of Medicine. We can’t thank these physicians enough for dedicating their time to sharing their expertise with these students.”

Students participating in the program will shadow physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners and allied health care professionals to experience the responsibilities of a typical workday. Along with the clinical education, students will also be taking part in social events each evening to showcase the amenities Chatham-Kent has to offer.