|Collaboration in First Nations’ Health through Interprofessional Training and Community Engagement
Project Objectives: This project proposes to develop a unique, practice-based Aboriginal health elective, dedicated to engaging both UBC students and Aboriginal communities in the training of future health professionals. Through this elective, students will gain valuable experience working with Aboriginal patients and communities while, at the same time, learning how to work collaboratively as an interprofessional team. In return, Aboriginal community partners will gain improved access to quality health care services as well as increased health-related human resource capacity. The specific project objectives are:
Rationale: Aboriginal communities constitute an essential part of the fabric and heritage of British Columbia. It is vital that during the training of future health professionals (e.g. students from the disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, rehabilitation sciences, social work etc.), students are provided with hands-on opportunities to learn about Aboriginal culture and values. This project aims to address the lack of education in Aboriginal health across health professions by recognizing Aboriginal communities as partners in health education and professional training. Through this elective, students will gain valuable knowledge and skills to prepare them for a career in health service delivery and managing Aboriginal health care needs.
Methods: This project situates students' academic learning within an intensive four-week immersion ' program, fully guided and informed by Aboriginal community members. Thus far, we have engaged two Aboriginal communities, Mount Currie and Cowichan, as consultants for the course as well as host communities for two teams of five students. Significant student input has already been initiated, particularly in tenns of course design. This project has benefited greatly from the involvement of several health professional students on the project planning committee and the support of the Health Sciences Student Association (HSSA).
In early 2006, we will seek pilot course approval through the College of Health Disciplines so that students may receive credit for the elective, to be delivered in June 2006. Student recruitment/registration is in process will be finalized by February 2006. Faculty recruitment and course structure is also in process and being developed in collaboration with Aboriginal community partners.
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Robert Woollward, Continuing Professional Development and Knowledge Translation, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine