It isn’t every day that high school students get a chance to slice a mouse brain to learn more about Parkinson’s disease. And that’s what makes Discovery Days in Health Sciences more than an ordinary enrichment day.
“It was fun for me because I’m interested in studying science and neurology,” explained Nelly Lienou Kamayou, a Grade 11 student who recently attended the Ottawa Discovery Day.
Physicians and researchers welcome students into their labs for hands-on sessions, doing everything from performing biopsies (albeit on a chicken breast) to examining cancer cells under a microscope.
“I wish I had this opportunity when I was in high school,” said Dr. Zach Ferraro, a resident at the University of Toronto, and one of the clinicians who shared insights from his own medical education during the Ottawa session.
“It’s open and honest communication about the pathway, what you need to do, the ups and downs and some of the hurdles you’ll face.”
Discovery Days is presented through the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, at medical schools across Canada, to introduce high school students to medicine and the health sciences. New funding from the Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial Management and Scotiabank − through an Affinity contribution − will help ensure the program continues to support the next generation of physicians.
Luiz Azevedo is part of that next generation. Although the high schooler wants to be a surgeon, he admits he wasn’t sure of the next steps.
“After this, I actually know the pathway and what I need to do to get there,” says Azevedo, “and because of the hands-on experience, I realized that’s actually what I want to do.”
About Affinity contributions
Scotiabank, MD Financial Management (MD) and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) together are firmly committed to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. As proof of this commitment, and in collaboration with the CMA and MD, Scotiabank will invest $115 million over the next 10 years to support physicians and the communities they serve across Canada.