Wayne State University

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Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development
Health care issues

Many MMI stations will call upon the applicant to propose a health policy that would improve the country. Knowing more about government initiatives to reduce health inequities will always be beneficial, especially with regards to high-yield topics like Indigenous health, rural health, and homelessness. I would recommend checking out all of the links under the "Social development" heading. My personal favourite is the "Housing First" approach under the Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy link; it's a radical but convincing way to end homelessness in Canada while improving social capital and resources for people experiencing homelessness.

Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development encompass a wide range of initiatives aimed at addressing health inequities and promoting social development. These policies and programs can help premed students prepare as future physicians by increasing their awareness of the challenges faced by various communities, including Indigenous populations, rural residents, and homeless individuals.

By exploring the links under the "Social development" heading, premed students can gain a deeper understanding of government initiatives that seek to reduce health disparities and improve social conditions for vulnerable populations. For instance, the "Housing First" approach under the Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy is a compelling solution to address homelessness while enhancing social capital and resources for people experiencing homelessness.

In addition to homelessness strategies, other programs focus on skills and employment, learning, labor, income security, and service networks supporting government departments. By familiarizing themselves with these programs and policies, premed students can better appreciate the broader context of healthcare and social determinants of health, which will allow them to become more informed and compassionate physicians.

Furthermore, premed students can use their knowledge of these policies and programs during MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) stations, where they may be asked to propose health policies to improve the country. By understanding existing initiatives, students can develop well-informed and relevant policy suggestions, demonstrating their engagement with pressing healthcare issues and their commitment to social justice and health equity. Overall, Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development provide essential context for premed students as they prepare for their future roles as healthcare professionals.

Healthy Debate
Health care issues

Healthy Debate publishes journalism about health care in Canada by the people whose lives it touches the most, from physicians, patients and caregivers to health journalists, academics, and advocates.

Healthy Debate is a platform that publishes journalism about healthcare in Canada, with a focus on providing a voice to those most affected by the healthcare system, including physicians, patients, caregivers, health journalists, academics, and advocates. By offering in-depth coverage of the inner workings and dysfunctions of the Canadian healthcare system, Healthy Debate facilitates learning, discussions, and debates about healthcare in Canada and encourages imagining what the system could potentially become.

For premed students preparing as future physicians, Healthy Debate can serve as an invaluable resource. By reading articles and opinions from a diverse range of healthcare insiders, students can gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the Canadian healthcare landscape. This exposure can help premed students develop empathy and awareness of various perspectives, which are essential qualities for future physicians.

By engaging with Healthy Debate, premed students can stay informed about current healthcare issues, policies, and innovations. This knowledge can help them prepare for medical school interviews and make informed decisions about their future careers. Moreover, it encourages critical thinking and promotes an understanding of the complexities of the healthcare system, which can contribute to shaping well-rounded, thoughtful, and compassionate physicians.

In summary, Healthy Debate is a valuable resource for premed students as it offers insights into the Canadian healthcare system through the perspectives of those directly involved. By engaging with the platform, students can develop a deeper understanding of healthcare challenges, foster empathy, and acquire essential knowledge to succeed as future physicians.

Indigenous Health Calls to Action
Health care issues

Recent developments in the search for the children of residential schools have shown that there is much work to be done in terms of truth and reconciliation. Medical schools are similarly placing a higher emphasis on justice for indigenous communities. It's crucial that all applicants understand the Calls to Action, the disparities that indigenous communities face, and how to improve the healthcare system for indigenous peoples.

The Indigenous Health Calls to Action is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations for redressing the historical injustices faced by Indigenous communities in Canada. This initiative aims to improve the healthcare system for Indigenous peoples and address the disparities they face. As future physicians, pre-med students must understand the Calls to Action to better serve Indigenous communities.

The Calls to Action cover various aspects, including child welfare, education, language and culture, health, and justice. It seeks to address the historical context of residential schools and their legacy on Indigenous peoples. Some health-related recommendations include acknowledging the current state of Indigenous health, establishing measurable goals for closing gaps in health outcomes, and providing sustainable funding for healing centers.

For pre-med students, understanding the Calls to Action can help them prepare for a more inclusive and culturally-sensitive healthcare practice. Medical and nursing schools are encouraged to require courses that deal with Indigenous health issues, history, and the legacy of residential schools. Such training should include intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

By being aware of these Calls to Action, pre-med students can contribute to a more equitable healthcare system, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities. This knowledge will allow future physicians to provide better care to Indigenous patients, understand the historical context of their health disparities, and work collaboratively with Indigenous healers and Elders when appropriate. Overall, understanding the Indigenous Health Calls to Action is crucial for pre-med students to become well-rounded and compassionate physicians capable of serving diverse populations.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Health care issues

When Breath Becomes Air is a poignant, autobiographical account of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, an accomplished neurosurgeon who found himself facing stage IV metastatic lung cancer at the age of 36. This inspiring memoir details his journey from a promising medical career to grappling with terminal illness, ultimately exploring the meaning of life, death, and the role of medicine in the face of mortality.

For premed students preparing for a career as physicians, When Breath Becomes Air offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on the medical profession, challenging them to confront the fragile nature of life and the impact they can have on patients' lives. As they follow Dr. Kalanithi's reflections on his career and his transition from a doctor to a patient, students can gain invaluable insights into the human side of medicine, which often goes beyond the technical skills and knowledge they acquire in their education.

The book serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and effective communication in the practice of medicine. It encourages students to consider the broader implications of their work and the profound responsibility they hold as future physicians. By bearing witness to Dr. Kalanithi's vulnerability and resilience, students can learn to approach their profession with humility, self-awareness, and a deep sense of purpose.

In summary, When Breath Becomes Air is a transformative read for premed students, providing them with a profound understanding of the human experience in healthcare. By exploring the intricacies of life, death, and the practice of medicine through Dr. Kalanithi's journey, students can develop the compassion, empathy, and wisdom that will be essential to their success as future physicians.

"Amazing account of the patient perspective and what Doctors may not consider about the patient perspective." - Ben

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