Volunteer patients needed for university med students

UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program recruiting volunteer patients

Interested in training the next generation of doctors? The UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program (SMP) is recruiting volunteer patients to help train its inaugural class of medical students.

“Volunteer patients play a vital role in the education of future doctors,” said Diane Oorebeek, SMP volunteer patient recruiter. “They get to experience firsthand how today’s medical students are trained, while at the same time fulfill a significant program need.”

A volunteer patient can be anyone from the general public that participates “as themself” in a supervised, clinical training session. Medical students learn to hone their basic communication and clinical skills through personal interaction with the patients.

There are no age restrictions or medical requirements to participate. Volunteer patients range from youth to elderly, from completely healthy, to having a heart murmur, to living with chronic disease or illness. The broad spectrum of patients is designed to provide medical students with an accurate representation of the general population.

The training sessions are meant strictly for learning purposes and should not be used to replace a regularly scheduled doctor’s visit. Volunteer patients are not provided with any medical advice or treatment recommendations. Sessions are supervised by a mentoring physician and held weekly throughout the first two years of the MD Undergraduate Program.

Each session is held at the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital and lasts approximately two hours. Volunteer patients receive a $20 reimbursement to help offset any travel or parking related costs. Volunteer patients can participate in as few as one session per year to as many as their schedule will permit.

In January 2012, the SMP will welcome its inaugural class of 32 students as part of the UBC’s MD Undergraduate Program. By 2014, the SMP will have 128 students across all years of program study.

To learn more, please contact Diane Oorebeek, SMP Volunteer Patient Recruiter at smp.volunteer@ubc.ca  or call 250-980-1329. To register online, visit www.smp.med.ubc.ca.