A Canadian Medical School in Partnership with an Inner City School Division and Community Organization to Promote Interest in Science to Aboriginal and is advantaged Youth: Plugging the First Leakage in the Medical Pipeline
Francis M Amara*
Biomedical Youth Program and Inner City Science Centre, University of Manitoba, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Francis M. Amara, Ph.D., M.Ed
Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Room 336-Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg
Manitoba R3E 0W3, Canada
Tel: (204) 789- 3580
Fax: (204) 789-3900
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date:October 31, 2012; Accepted date:November 19, 2012; Published date:November 21, 2012
Citation: Amara FM (2012) A Canadian Medical School in Partnership with an Inner City School Division and Community Organization to Promote Interest in Science to Aboriginal and Disadvantaged Youth: Plugging the First Leakage in the Medical Pipeline. J Community Med Health Educ 2:185. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000185
Copyright:© 2012 Amara FM. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The Biomedical Youth Program and the Inner City Science Centre are the main components of a partnership between the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg School Division, and the Winnipeg Foundation. This partnership serves the inner city elementary schools that have a predominant population of aboriginal youth. It aims to promote diversity in health professions education, which have underrepresentation of aboriginal and inner city youth. Although aboriginal people represent 4% of the Canadian population, they make up less than 0.25% of the physician workforce. The partnership has three main goals: to provide professional development for teachers; mentor students to build their knowledge, motivation, and confidence in science; and to promote teachers’, students’, and parents’ interests and excitement in the sciences and health professions careers. The partnership’s activities include workshops for teachers to teach science from a lecture-based format into a problem-based curriculum and to develop their leadership skills in order to positively influence science education. Since 2006 approximately 4035 elementary pupils, of whom 43% are aboriginal, have participated in the activities. Evaluations provide evidence of the activities’ effectiveness in promoting teachers’ and students’ interest in science and the health professions, and significant gain in students’ achievements. 75% of the aboriginal participants are now in high schools, and 46% of them have gone on to participate in science fairs, with a success rate of 37% medal awards. 27% of the teachers have been recognized as science consultants, and appointed as site facilitators. These facilitators are now providing workshops for other teachers. Thus, enhancing science education early on in elementary school rather than in high school is likely to stop the leakage in the medical pipeline.