About the Medical Careers Exploration Program
The Medical Careers Exploration Program was
developed by the Winnipeg Health Region and the
Winnipeg School Division. Students in the program attend
Children of the Earth High School and visit the Pan Am
Clinic and Health Sciences Centre. Other partners include
University of Manitoba's Access Program.
Students in the program receive $1,000 toward postsecondary
education from Bright Futures, for each year of
high school they complete.
As part of the program, students in Grade 9 embark
on a four-year journey designed to increase their core
academic competencies and comfort in health-care
The program begins with a "discovery" stage in Grade
9, with three full-day orientations at the Pan Am Clinic.
This year, 40 students from Hugh John McDonald, General
Wolfe, Sir Isaac Newton and Children of the Earth took
part in the discovery stage.
On their first day, they toured the Pan Am facility,
and watched a live operation via closed-circuit TV,
communicating directly with the surgeon, and asking
questions about the procedure they were viewing.
Their second visit involved attending all areas of the
clinic for hands-on activities such as being in an MRI,
casting classmates' arms and reading X-rays. Every student
went home with a cast on their arm, something that
caused a little consternation before the joke was cleared
Their third visit involved mock micro-surgery with
arthroscopic surgical equipment, learning about exercise
physiology, taking heart rates and blood pressure. They
were escorted through the exercises by Grade 10 students
already in the program, who helped the younger kids feel
at home in the clinic.
After completing the three visits, students can apply to
enter the full program. Only 12 students are accepted
each year, based on the amount of internship spaces
available. Students are assessed on their interest in healthcare
fields, academic potential and interviews. Once
accepted into the full program, the students transfer to
Children of the Earth.
In Grade 10, or "Exploration 1," the students start their
internship at Pan Am, mostly serving in the reception areas
where they interact with patients.
In Grade 11, or "Exploration 2," they continue their
internship at Pan Am, moving into more hands-on roles
in the operating rooms and diagnostic imaging labs
and research facilities. They also start working at Health
Sciences Centre, learning their way around this large and
complex medical campus.
In Grade 12, the fourth year of the program, students
select one or two specific areas of interest to focus their
practicum time on.
Back to "The Graduates"
Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.
Read the Summer 2011 issue of Wave