McGill medical students get closer look at Indigenous approach to healthcare

“We’re in clinic with the doctors here… We’re also out and about in the community.”

Some medical students at McGill University in Montreal are getting a firsthand look at what working in an Indigenous community is like.

It’s through a new program that includes a grassroots approach to healthcare.

“It consists of medical students in their third or fourth year coming here for a month at a time,” said Dr. Ojistoh Horn, the only fulltime family physician in Akwesasne, a catchment area of 14,000 people.

Ev Mailhot-Daye said it’s a lot different than any other training she’s received during her three years at McGill.

“We’re in clinic with the doctors here… We’re also out and about in the community, so I’ve been to luncheons with the elders,” said Mailhot-Daye.

The program began last August and seven students have participated. Horn said it’s a got a holistic approach.

“It’s a little bit more grassroots, rather than just learning from the doctor,” said Horn.

Fourth-year medical student, Wesley Cote, who is Algonquin, said he always wanted to find a way to bridge western medicine with traditional medicine but didn’t know how.

“Coming to a place like here, I’ve just been so blown away … it’s possible for it to become reality,” said Cote.

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