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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Hosts A Unique Learning Experience for Medical and High School Students

CHATHAM-KENT: July 9, 2014 – MedLINCS is a six-week summer elective that allows medical students from 

Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry to both “catch babies” alongside physicians, and to share 

the experience with high school students using a life-like birthing simulator. Two first-year medical students 

have spent the last month working alongside doctors in the hospital, gaining valuable hands-on experience. 

This week, they have become leaders for the award-winning MedLINCS Health Career Exploration Program 

which is designed to provide secondary school students, in rural and regional Southwestern Ontario, with 

realistic, hands-on experiences in various disciplines of healthcare, including medicine.

The program is run by the Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network (SWOMEN), in collaboration with 

community partners. There are 10 high school students registered for the MedLINCS Health Career 

Exploration Program which runs this week (July 7-11). Early exposure to the practice of medicine helps to 

influence students’ career plans, ultimately increasing their chance of successfully entering medical school or 

other allied health professions. As well, MedLINCS is held in their home communities. Studies have shown 

that students from a rural/regional background are more likely to return to practice healthcare in their 

hometowns. In fact, several of the medical students in MedLINCS are taking the elective in their hometown.

“Being from Wallaceburg, I've always enjoyed my time spent in Chatham-Kent and the MedLINCS program has 

been no different as I've found the program here in Chatham to be a truly enriching experience as a part of my 

medical education,” said Alex Leonard, Medical Class of 2017. “Above all else, I've enjoyed how the program 

has provided me with not only a variety of clinical learning opportunities, but also the chance to work with 

local high school students and help them in their journey to possibly becoming the healthcare professionals of 

tomorrow.”

Kaitlyn Boese, Medical Class of 2017, has found the experience to be something she will never forget. 

“Through MedLINCS, I have had the opportunity to learn new skills and gain additional knowledge while work 

with passionate, collaborative health professionals. I also enjoyed becoming more familiar with the Chatham 

community as a whole. I appreciate the experience of mentoring local high school students and hope to have 

made a positive impact on their perspectives of healthcare and the role of healthcare professionals.”

Along with learning how babies are delivered, the high school students get to read x-rays, splint and cast 

fractures, participate in a community mock disaster, and gain an understanding of the training requirements 

needed to work in the field of healthcare. 

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For more information, please contact:

Fannie Vavoulis

Medical Recruiter & Education Coordinator, CKHA

519.437.6143 or fvavoulis [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca

 

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