Volume 92, Issue 43

Thursday November 19, 1998

billionaire boys' club


Med school focus turns to Western

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

Western's first-year medical students have been chosen to be the focus of a series of articles by The Medical Post spanning four years.

The Toronto-based newspaper has decided to follow the 2002 graduates over the course of their education at Western as a way to examine what is happening these days in medical schools.

"Basically, we're trying to follow medical students from day one through four years and perhaps beyond. We are focusing on student views and what they hope to get out of medical school," said Pat Rich, editor-in-chief of The Medical Post.

Rich said the series is an idea he came up with this summer. He decided to focus on Western's medical school because it was practical and he knew they would get a good experience with Western. "We have a new generation of medical students here. It is important to get their views and how they feel. We want to get a focus on up and coming doctors."

Rich added they will have probably published five articles by the end of the year and hope to do two or three dozen over the four years. "From what I understand we've had a good rapport with students already. We've received a good feedback on the articles we've run already both outside and in the Western community."

"This is a great way to get our story out. It's a nice opportunity," said Jim Silcox, associate dean of undergraduate education for the faculty of medicine and dentistry. Silcox said he likes to think the newspaper is doing this because of Western's fairly unique patient-centred program.

"I'm proud of the new curriculum. I'd be happy to see it out there and have people ask about it and offer comments."

Silcox added they consulted with medical students before agreeing to do this – it was not imposed. "We sent them letters explaining this and gave them the option to opt out. As far as I know, all were willing to participate," he said.

First-year students had the opportunity to sit down in groups with people from The Medical Post and talk about what they thought of things such as tuition deregulation as well as where they would like to be in four years, said Shiva Jayaraman, class president of the first-year medical students.

"We have a great program, a great faculty and excellent students. This is a great chance to show all Canadian doctors what we have here," he said.

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998