Multiple avenues to service-learning for UG students

As part of its commitment to promote social responsibility and accountability as core values of its graduates, the Queen’s UGME program works to facilitate, encourage, support and acknowledge students’ service-learning.

While there are multiple definitions of service-learning, the UGME program has defined service learning as a learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection.

The UG Curriculum Committee first made this commitment formally in 2014 and continues to uphold it.

Service-learning is a unique type of volunteer service in its approach, specifically with the structured preparation and reflection requirements. Ideally, preparation involves consultations with community-member stakeholders. Additionally, the UG encourages students to focus on longer-term community engagement such as a term- or year-long commitment to build community relationships.

The UG, under the auspices of the Teaching, Learning, and Integration Committee (TLIC) has developed several avenues to service-learning: group service-learning projects, individual projects and individual activities.

Each SL endeavor must include preparation (including consultations with stakeholders where appropriate), service, and reflection on the service and learning that occurred. The TLIC assigned a minimum range of hours required for service (set at 15-20 hours). The hours threshold was established to ensure sufficiently meaningful engagement while recognizing students’ key responsibilities remain their academic studies.

Upon application and review, the TLIC designates student group activities as service-learning options. Sometimes these are activities designed specifically with recognized service-learning in mind. In other cases, existing student interest groups have designed service-learning options that participants can use to extend a volunteer activity into full service-learning. Some examples of our current approved group service learning projects are SWAM (which provides swimming lessons to children with disabilities), Jr. Medics (first aid workshops for elementary and middle-school students), and Altitude (mentoring for university students interested in a career in healthcare).

Students may also bring forward proposals for individual service-learning projects, typically in cooperation with a community-based agency. These are considered on a case-by-case basis applying the same criteria as for established group projects.

Individuals also have the option to pursue what the TLIC has designated as volunteer-based service learning. This option recognizes that not all community agencies’ needs fit our predominantly-project-based service-learning model.

Such organizations have a streamlined volunteer service system and any project that could be proposed by our medical students could be redundant to the agency’s mandate. The TLIC recognizes that medical students can meet the intended service and learning outcomes from working within these existing, established structures. For agencies that are pre-approved by the UGME, students may complete recognized service learning by following a non-project path.

For this non-project (activity) path, the TLIC has students complete different required preparation (typically research on the cooperating agency and/or the community need that is being met). Examples of approved settings for this type of SL include working at Martha’s Table and Pathways to Education’s tutoring programs. Students can bring forward suggested agency programs for approval for this path.

For any of these SL avenues, students are expected to initiate contact with the organizations themselves, although from time-to-time, the TLIC may work directly with an agency to set up pilot service-learning projects (such as the previous Loving Spoonful project). When these opportunities are available, students are informed through the AS and Class Presidents’ emails.

For more information on recognized service-learning options, feel free to email me at theresa.suart@queensu.ca

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Our Aesculapian Society – Contributing to a Long Tradition of Collaboration and Service

The medical student society at Queen’s dates back to 1872 and is named in honor of Aesculepius, the mythological Greek figure considered the god of medicine. In fact, Aesculepius had five daughters each of whom represented some aspect of medicine considered essential to health. Hygieia was the goddess of cleanliness, Iaso the goddess of recuperation from illness, Aceso the goddess of the healing process, Aegle the goddess of good health and Panacea the goddess of remedies. The Greeks, it seems, knew something about social determinants of health and the value of personal wellness.

I’m very pleased to see that our current students are keeping the long tradition alive and contributing to the health of their fellow students and the learning community. The article that follows from our current and immediate past Aesculapian Society presidents (Danny Jomaa and Rae Woodhouse) describes their recent successful efforts to establish a fitness facility within the hospital. In doing do, they got great support from Mr. Chris Gillies and Mr. Adam Bondy of KGH.

Congratulations to Danny, Rae and all their AS colleagues. Aesculepius would be proud. I know we are.

Anthony Sanfilippo

Associate Dean

Undergraduate Medical Education

The Aesculapian Society is thrilled to announce the opening of a dedicated gym for medical students and residents in Kingston General Hospital (KGH). This project has been a year in the making and has been a collaborative effort between the Aesculapian Society, the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO), and the KGH administration. In early 2018, the Aesculapian Society set out to utilize a pool of funding to benefit current and future medical students. From student consultation, two projects were selected to be pursued further. The first was a revitalization of the kitchenette in the School of Medicine Building and the second was the creation of a gym in KGH. The latter was selected due to its focus on student wellbeing – a widely recognized priority at the School of Medicine. This idea stemmed from an Aesculapian Society Initiatives Grant proposal that was originally submitted in 2017 by Dr. Matthew McIntosh (MEDS 2018). The first step was finding a suitable space for the creation of this gym. In collaboration with Chris Gilles (KGH Director of Medical Affairs) and the Queen’s PARO Executive team, an under-utilized lounge in KGH was selected to be the new space for the medical student and resident gym. The timing could not be more serendipitous; the hospital’s insurance policy had recently approved the creation of a gym, which had been a long-time priority for physicians and residents alike. The newly completed gym, located on Connell 6, includes a range of cardio equipment, strength equipment, and fitness accessories.

The success of this project was possible because of the many individuals that contributed to each step of the gym’s creation. We would like to especially thank Chris Gillies and Adam Bondy (Project Coordinator) from KGH for championing the implementation and set-up of this project. We would also like to thank PARO for their generous provision of space and collaboration. Finally, this project would not have been realized without the dedication and enthusiasm of the Aesculapian Society Councils of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. We would like to extend our gratitude to the students that supported this initiative by providing their input, ideas, and encouragement.

The Aesculapian Society recognizes that students have a variety of wellness needs and this gym primarily supports students’ physical wellness. We look forward to collaborating with student body and the UGME to expand upon, and create initiatives that support other aspects of student wellbeing. We look forward to seeing the lasting impact that this project will have on Queen’s medical students and residents for years to come. The Aesculapian Society encourages students and residents to provide feedback on how the gym can be improved to better serve our community’s needs.

Danny Jomaa, President

Rae Woodhouse, Past-President

Aesculapian Society 2019-2020

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Exceptional Healer Awards nominations now open

New award this year for allied health professionals

Nominations are now open for the fourth iteration of the Exceptional Healer Awards at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

The award provides patients, families, staff and health care learners an excellent chance to celebrate health care professionals at KHSC who excel in providing patient- and family-centred care. Launched in 2017 recognizing outstanding physicians, the award was extended in 2019 to include a separate award to recognize nurses at KHSC. For this fourth iteration, a third category has been added for other allied health care professionals.

The award now honours doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals from KHSC’s two hostpial sites who are innovative in their approaches to patient care and who demonstrate exceptional bedside manner, which includes being approachable, empathetic, collaborative and respectful.

Patients, families, staff and health care learners can nominate a health care professional as long as he or she has provided care at the KHSC in the last two years. 

Here are the nomination details, as posted on the KHSC site:

If a health care professional at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has provided you with excellent patient- and family-centred care, now is your chance to nominate that person for an Exceptional Healer Award.

KHSC is encouraging patients to nominate doctors, nurses and allied health professionals (e.g., physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, dietitians) across our Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital sites who are innovative in their approaches to patient care and who demonstrate an exceptional bedside manner, which includes being approachable, empathetic, collaborative and respectful.

Who can nominate? 
Patients and family members can nominate a KHSC health care professional who has provided care to them in the last two years.  KHSC staff can nominate colleagues on a patient care team.

Who is eligible?  
Physician nominees will have a current appointment at KHSC and will have been credentialed at KHSC for at least the past two years.  Other health care professional nominees must be KHSC staff members.

What are the criteria?  
The nominee creates an excellent patient care experience over and above the norm by exhibiting some or all of the following behaviours:

• Demonstrates compassion as a skillful clinician by displaying personal qualities such as approachability, flexibility and empathy.

• Uses novel or innovative methods in attempting to deliver compassionate care.

• Demonstrates a pattern of listening to and respecting patient and family perspectives and choices. 

• Exhibits a value of integrating patients and families into the clinical care model to ensure they are equal, informed participants in their health care.

• Honours the uniqueness of patients and families by incorporating their knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the planning and delivery of care. 

What is required for the nomination?  
The nominator must complete a brief nomination form that includes yes-no questions and a short explanation of the candidate’s special qualifications for the award based on the criteria listed above.

Nomination forms are now available online. The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

If you have questions about the award or nomination form, please contact the KHSC Leadership & Talent Development Department at 613-544-6666, ext. 8108.

Further details and nomination forms are available by clicking here. 

Exceptional Healer Award Past Winners

2017  

Dr. Richard Henry – Anesthesiology & Chronic Pain Clinic

            Dr. Tom Gonder – Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist

2018  

Dr. Shawna Johnston – Obstetrics & Gynaecology

2019  

Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology

            Nurse Tracey Froess – Cancer Centre


This post was created with information supplied by Susan Bedell, including a KHSC blog post by Anne Rutherford

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