Class is in session at Cornwall hospital

Class is in session at Cornwall hospital
Cornwall Community Hospital

CORNWALL, Ontario – Class is now in session.

Thanks to the Distributed Medical Education (DME) program, Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) has become a hub for future physicians to hone their skills and develop relationships in a unique health care environment.

“As a hard-working, growing community, Cornwallites deserve the best in medical care. And the best way to ensure that is by becoming an academic teaching institution. If we build it, they will come,” said Dr. Tim Heeley-Ray.

Andrea Cameron is the Coordinator of DME at CCH. Her phone rings persistently with requests for medical students to earn their credits or gain residency while she discusses why people are so eager to come to Cornwall.

Currently, registration is full, but that doesn’t stop the requests from coming.

“They [students] call asking if they can come here on their March breaks, during reading weeks, or over the holidays,” says Cameron. “It has gotten to be where we actually have to recommend other places for them to go, because I have already booked all the physicians’ time.”

She then points to her calendar which is covered in ink with the names of students and their matching physician or preceptor.

Since its introduction in 2008, the popularity of DME in Cornwall has been increasingly on the rise.

Currently, 45 students and residents are registered in the program, a sizable jump from the first year when only four 4 participants were enrolled. The attractiveness of CCH as a reputable teaching hospital continues to be strengthened with the introduction of new technology such as an MRI machine and digital urology table and the overall expansion of its facilities.

“From my experience, Cornwall Community Hospital is an ideal learning environment: state-of-the-art facilities, friendly staff and numerous opportunities for hands-on experience and one-on-one teaching.”

Rachel Oommen, fourth year medical student who did her Surgical, OB-GYN rotations and just returned for an elective in OB.

The facilities are not only reasons why the hospital is drawing a crowd. The annual “a week in the country” retreat is one of the highlights med students look most forward to when coming to Cornwall.

Reddoch greets them face-to-face with a hello and a handshake before embarking on a boat cruise around the Seaway.

“That’s the type of personal touch people appreciate but you don’t usually see in many of the bigger cities,” adds Cameron.

Along with morale boosting events like “a week in the country,” CCH also offers more opportunities for the future physicians to get involved and gain the hands-on learning they need to succeed as an MD.

“At some of the larger sites there are more staff members on-hand who would be called upon ahead of the students, but because we have a smaller fleet of staff it allows the student/resident to have more responsibility, thus giving them more of a real-world working experience while they are on the floor,” said Cameron.

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