QHS launches Queen’s Health Sciences Outreach and Summer Program
In response to the need to increase the diversity of Canadian healthcare providers, Queen’s Health Sciences is launching the Queen’s Health Sciences Outreach and Summer Program.
A 2018 survey delivered to students at 14 Canadian health science schools revealed a significant underrepresentation of certain communities at these institutions when compared to the Canadian population. This is especially pronounced amongst Black and Indigenous students. Not only does this place under-represented students at a significant disadvantage, but this disparity also greatly hinders the care equity-deserving communities receive from health care professionals. Research has proven that a lack of equity-deserving health care professionals consistently results in poorer quality of care and health outcomes for communities seeking culturally appropriate and equitable care.
The Health Sciences Outreach and Summer Program provides high school students, who self-identify as low socio-economic status, racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, immigrant, refugee, persons living with disabilities, or first generation Canadians, with mentorship and educational opportunities.
These students will have an opportunity to be matched with faculty, staff, and alumni mentors with the aim of providing a comprehensive introduction to health sciences professions. With career aspirations in mind, the mentorship relationship can facilitate conversations about what postsecondary options exist across Canada while ensuring mentees receive the guidance and support they need as they navigate the application process. The mentorship relationships will be complemented by monthly educational workshops during the academic term and a week-long immersive summer camp on Queen’s campus. The workshops and camp will give mentees a taste of life as a student in health sciences through workshops, lab visits, and a chance to take part in simulation activities. The program strives to promote healthcare education, create opportunities, and foster diversity within health sciences programs.
In its inaugural year, the program will welcome up to 20 mentees and will be overseen by an advisory committee composed of students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
To support the program or nominate a high school student, email firstname.lastname@example.org