Southern Medical Program (SMP) students based at UBC Okanagan are assisting front-line physicians in the battle against COVID-19 in the B.C. Interior.
Many students felt sidelined with the temporary suspension of training at hospitals and clinics across the province. Looking for a way to support physicians and patients during the pandemic, more than 80 SMP students joined the BC COVID-19 medical student response team, a UBC student-led initiative.
“Volunteering is a tangible and effective way to make a difference,” says Alex Monaghan, SMP student and volunteer organizer. “We wanted to get involved out of appreciation and gratitude for those working to keep us protected and safe.”
From providing childcare and personal assistance to physicians, to supporting patients remotely, SMP students have rallied together to offer their support across the Interior Health region.
Students have also helped patients at Kelowna General Hospital stay connected with their families by configuring tablets with messaging applications. Recently they launched a meal preparation and delivery service to support physicians and their families.
“As we adjust, both personally and professionally to the new realities of life with COVID-19, I’m deeply encouraged by the generosity and solidarity of this newest generation of future physicians,” said Dr. Sarah Brears, interim regional associate dean for the Southern Medical Program and family physician.
“The extra support they’re offering to the community is helping many physicians stay focused on their work and their patients.”