Over 200 students from 23 high schools and CEGEPs across Montreal spent Friday, December 3, sampling healthcare career options at the TD Discovery Day in Health Sciences. Hosted by the McGill Faculty of Medicine, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), this innovative event was organized by The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame as part of their nation-wide program.
“We know that providing students with opportunities to interact with health professionals in their real-life setting helps them imagine themselves in these roles,” said Janet Tufts, Executive Director of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. “Life-altering decisions are made at Discovery Day and students leave feeling more excited, interested and knowledgeable about a possible future career in the health sciences.”
The day kicked off in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine with the dynamic keynote address about nerve cells in the brain, by Dr. Jean-Francois Cloutier, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology and Neurosurgery, at The Neuro. Following the introduction of 2011 Hall of Fame Inductee, Dr. Albert Aguayo, the students dispersed to hands-on workshops delivered by some of Canada’s brightest scientific minds in their labs, classrooms and hospital settings.
“Discovery Day is a unique opportunity for students to explore the dynamic world of health sciences,” said Dr. David Colman, Director of The Neuro. “The Neuro is involved in many projects that encourage students to be curious about the world around them. My own message to students is `Don’t be safe, be brilliant!’. The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame should be commended for this important national initiative that allows us to showcase the possibilities and prospects that exist for students to excel and advance science and medicine.”
“McGill prides itself on inspiring and engaging the potential medical heroes of the future,” said Vice Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine, Richard I. Levin. “When world-class experts give students just a glimpse of the research and health care delivery going on in our community, a life-long desire to know more is often born.”
The Discovery Day enabled students to discover what a career in
science would be like by choosing two workshops from a total of 14,
including the following:
● Operating in the 21st Century: The Right People, The Good Tools and The Best Techniques - A hands-on workshop provided the opportunity to discover the art and science of modern surgery, and included: exciting research by specialists developing novel techniques to cure cancer patients; a visit to an academic operating room in action; a meeting with professionals; and the chance to practice surgical techniques by working with instruments and sophisticated devices commonly used by surgeons.
● Learning Human Anatomy for the Health Sciences - Using a human heart, this workshop demonstrated how anatomy is taught to prepare students for the health sciences. Different aspects of studying the heart were demonstrated to encourage a detailed understanding and a long-term practical application of anatomical knowledge in the health sciences.
● The Anatomy of the Human Brain - Where students saw a real human brain and learned about its major subdivisions and their significance. Students also heard about several important neurological disorders and what they can tell us about the function of various brain regions.
The day wrapped up with a lively career panel discussion, where students asked a variety of health professionals about their daily activities, how they got to where they are today and what drives them to continue.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame offers Discovery Days at nine universities across the country, involving over 2,200 students every year.