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Friday, February 10, 2006

  • K-W welcomes medical students
  • Background from UW's media office
  • That'll be a frosty Friday
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

The Winter Olympics


[Suits and smiles]

Colleges and universities minister Chris Bentley gives the thumbs up as VIPs and guests -- including UW president David Johnston, in front of Bentley -- cheer yesterday's announcement. Photo from UW Graphics Photo/Imaging.

K-W welcomes medical students

Ontario will create four "new campuses" at which existing medical schools will train more doctors, government officials announced yesterday, and one of the four will be housed at UW's health sciences campus in downtown Kitchener.

"Ontario must train more doctors, and we're meeting that need by creating 104 additional first-year medical spaces," said Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "As part of this expansion, medical school education will be offered in four additional communities. This will increase opportunities for students to study closer to home."

Ontario government news release: 'We're working with our medical schools to ensure students are better prepared to meet the future health care needs of Ontarians, where and when they need them.'
The government says community-based undergraduate campuses "will allow medical students to undertake a significant portion of their education in smaller urban centres. International studies have shown that medical students who come from and train in smaller urban settings are more likely to practice in those communities."

The Kitchener outpost is one of three sites where McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine will add students: 15 first-year students in Waterloo Region, 15 in St. Catharines, and 8 on Mac's main campus in Hamilton. The K-W branch (Mac is calling it "Waterloo-Wellington") will open in the fall of 2007, and the Niagara branch is slated to begin operations a year later.

Medical spaces are also being added at Mississauga (a branch for the University of Toronto med school), Windsor (a branch for Western), Kingston (at the main campus of Queen's), and the University of Ottawa. Operating support for these new spaces will total $20.8 million by 2011-12, the government said. "These 104 new first-year spaces announced today, when combined with the 56 new medical spaces created in 2005 at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, will mean a 23 per cent increase in first-year enrolment at Ontario medical schools."

Says health minister George Smitherman: "We continue to make great progress in improving the access that Ontarians have to doctors. We're helping to make sure that every Ontario family has access to a doctor, when they need one, close to home."

Students attending the satellite campuses "will have full access to the complete learning and training resources provided by the McMaster medical school," according to a Mac news release. "Each campus will have a 'home base' building to enable complete access to services, and be designed for optimal learning through the use of enhanced information technology. . . . McMaster is also recruiting physicians in the Niagara and Waterloo regions to become part of the clinical teaching staff for the satellite campuses."

Bentley made yesterday's announcement at the Family Medicine Centre, one occupant of the former Victoria School in downtown Kitchener, where UW is leasing space as a staging point for the planned health sciences complex at King and Victoria Streets.

Background from UW's media office

Anchored by the new School of Pharmacy, the Health Sciences Campus is the catalyst behind the announcement of a satellite medical school.

The Health Sciences Campus will attract a wide range of health professionals, and will address the need for expertise in health technology, informatics, biosciences, population studies and biomedical engineering, while filling the urgent demand for more pharmacists and doctors in Ontario. It will include the Centre for Family Medicine, a residency program for students wishing to specialize in family medicine.

The innovative project builds on Kitchener's $30-million commitment and gift of land to the School of Pharmacy. This dynamic teaching, research and commercial collaboration will bring new and vibrant dimensions to meet the health-care needs of area residents and advance health care in Ontario.

Drawing on UW's long-standing focus on co-operative education, whereby students alternate academic terms with work terms, the Health Sciences Campus will provide students with experience-based training, placements and practicums. Among the benefits for the community in Waterloo Region:

  • Health Sciences Campus will establish critical mass, providing a forefront interdisciplinary training and research cluster, as well as a focal point for the community. It emphasizes a team approach to health services delivery and the concept of shared care.

  • Locating a medical school in Waterloo Region will improve attraction and retention of doctors to an under-serviced community. It is well known that a high percentage of physicians tend to practice where they are trained.

  • McMaster University has agreed to give admission preference to medical school applicants from Waterloo Region and the surrounding area, which increases the probability of physician attraction and retention. Also, McMaster will recruit physician-teachers to Waterloo Region, again increasing the number of physicians in the community.

  • The development of a primary care clinic and specialist clinics across the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will improve community access to an integrated spectrum of health care services.

  • UW is ready to collaborate with McMaster in several integrated teaching opportunities, including some joint learning with students in the School of Pharmacy, scheduled to open in September 2007. Others may include combined degrees in health informatics, public health, imaging and so forth. Integrated thinking and convergence of practices and technologies will maximize the productivity of financial resources. In other words, more value for dollars invested.

  • Waterloo Region has the largest Ontario cluster of hospitals that are not currently teaching hospitals, providing an ideal opportunity for practicums and experienced-based learning.

    That'll be a frosty Friday

    Nine hours of music and winter activity make up "Polar Jam", to be held today at University Stadium on Seagram Drive. It's a joint event of UW's Federation of Students and the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Union -- thought to be the first time the two groups have co-sponsored a party. The event, starting at noon, features 11 bands, with Bedouin Soundclash as the headliner. "They've played sold out concerts at UW in the past," says Dave McDougall of the Feds, "and are used to playing outside, being last year's headliner at Toronto's New Year's Eve Celebration at Nathan Phillips Square. Along with the great lineup of bands there will be a fashion show organized by the CREW and featuring four local clothing companies. As well, they have brought in 20 feet of snow to create a huge snowboard park where UW and WLU snowboard teams will demonstrate and compete for bragging rights." There's more information online.

    In a lecture tonight at St. Jerome's University, Dana Sawchuk of Wilfrid Laurier University "discusses the myth of Costa Rica as the 'Central American Switzerland' and explores the reality of a nation struggling for social justice in the face of neo-liberal economic policies. . . . Sawchuk will focus on the difficult working conditions on banana plantations and examine some ways Catholics use the Church's social teaching to support workers." Sawchuk, of WLU's sociology department, is the author of The Costa Rican Catholic Church, Social Justice, and the Rights of Workers. She also created the 2001 Directory of World Faiths, a guide to dealing with people of the world's religions in the workplace. Sawchuk is giving the 2005-06 School Boards Lecture, sponsored by several Catholic school boards in western Ontario, and will speak at 7:30 tonight in Siegfried Hall.

    WHEN AND WHERE
    Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Robert Wolfe, Queen's University, "The WTO After Hong Kong", 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, free tickets 885-2444 ext. 246.

    Federation of Students candidates forum, today and Monday 12:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

    'Working for Human Rights' conference sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, including "Activist Café" tonight 7:30 to 10:00, Environmental Studies I courtyard; conference sessions tomorrow 10:00 to 5:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

    New Directions festival of short plays: performances tonight 7:00, Saturday 2:00 and 7:00 (Saturday night sold out), Studio 180, Humanities building, tickets 888-4908.

    Novelist Michael Winter reads from his work Monday 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University room 2009.

    UW Students for Life presents family physician Deborah Zeni speaking on abortion and women's health, Monday 4:30, great hall, Student Life Centre.

    'Murderball' free showing sponsored by Diversity project and office for persons with disabilities, Monday 8:00, Humanities Theatre.

    Coming Monday in UW's program of continuing education courses is a day-long session under the title "The Power of One: "Your Attitude Is Showing". Says the course description: "One of the most powerful workplace tools is a positive attitude. . . . This course will help you learn how to relinquish negative self-talk that keeps you from realizing your potential . . . encourage a positive attitude in the workplace . . . curtail the efforts of others who may exert a negative impact." Details: 888-4002.

    Co-op students seeking spring term jobs should note that rankings open today on JobMine for the "second optional early match" in advance of the main job match process. . . . Peter Young-Jin Park, doctoral student in the department of civil engineering, is the winner of the 2005 Young Researcher Award from the US Transportation Research Board's committee on Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation. . . . Next fall's meeting of the UW board of governors was scheduled to be held on Hallowe'en, but has been moved to Monday, October 30. . . .

    At the winter meeting of the board, held this Tuesday, vice-president (external relations) Laura Talbot-Allan reported briefly on the progress of Campaign Waterloo. She said gifts and pledges are now "just over $300 million", on the way to the revised $350 million goal. "It's taken a huge amount of work," she said, crediting volunteers (including many of the board members) as well as development staff, faculty members and others within UW. So far, she said, there have been 39 donors of $1 million or more apiece, something UW could hardly have imagined five years ago.

    Today's the deadline for nominations for this year's Distinguished Teaching by a Registered Student Award. . . . The turnkey desk is making appointments now for a one-day blood donor clinic to be held Monday in the Student Life Centre. . . . The "Daily Planet" piece about UW's concrete toboggan team, which had been scheduled for last night on the Discovery Channel, has been rescheduled for Monday night. . . .

    Sports this weekend: Men's volleyball tonight vs. Ryerson, 7:00; vs. Toronto Saturday 8 p.m., PAC main gym. Women's volleyball vs. Laurier, Saturday 6 p.m., PAC. Men's hockey at Windsor tonight; vs. Windsor Saturday 7:30, Columbia Icefield; Women's hockey vs. Queen's Sunday 2 p.m., Icefield. Basketball (men and women) at Guelph tomorrow. Swimming, OUA championships at Laurentian all weekend.

    CAR


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