There are a variety of medical clubs at McGill that provide undergraduate students with resources and unique opportunities. In case you were overwhelmed at Activities Night, SciTech interviewed two of these organizations to find out what they’re all about.
Medical Direction is one of McGill’s Pre-Med clubs that reaches out to any undergraduates interested in a career in medicine. The club hopes to act as a reliable source for students considering the field by providing them with as much information and resources as possible.
“Ultimately, we want to help students make an informed decision and guide them in the right direction,” VP Academic Marian Chen explained. One of the most popular services offered by Medical Direction is their shadowing program, which provides students with the opportunity to interact with doctors and gain a better understanding of the profession.
Through Medical Direction, students can also get involved with Global Medical Training (GMT) —a program that provides students the opportunity to observe and assist in healthcare for medically deprived communities in Central American countries. With so much work in the classroom, GMT offers students the chance to apply their knowledge by participating in medical assessments and treatment of patients who have limited public healthcare systems. Chen encourages all students passionate about healthcare to look into the program.
Medical Direction’s next event is a medical school symposium on Thursday Sept. 19th from 6-7:30p.m. in Leacock 132. You can find more details about the event at md.sus.mcgill.ca
Student Association for Medical Aid
The Student Association for Medical Aid (SAMA) is a non-profit, student run organization at McGill. It provides students with the opportunity to actively participate in various healthcare initiatives with the goal of helping vulnerable individuals and communities around the world.
According to U2 quantitative biology student and three-year member Alex Hofkirchner, SAMA has two main focuses: promoting local initiatives and medical aid abroad. During the school year, the club devotes its time to fundraisers for its summer projects, such as club nights, samosa sales, and its annual Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. However, it also participates in various Montreal-based volunteering initiatives like Santropol Roulant, which provides a “meals-on-wheels” program to older citizens.
Over the summer, SAMA sends its members around the globe to carry out humanitarian aid projects. Hofkirchner explains that the focus of the projects is the organization of a temporary mobile clinic to screen and treat individuals in the most impoverished communities. Current projects are planned for Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.
Hofkirchner joined SAMA because it stood apart from other clubs with similar goals. “I noticed how close existing SAMA members were. Meetings felt more like class reunions than weekly gatherings,” he said.
He also liked that SAMA gave its new members a variety of responsibilities. “Even in my first year with SAMA, I was taking on responsibilities from scheduling fundraiser shifts to helping with coat checks and designing promotional posters. The inclusivity of the group really drew me in.”
Like many members, Hofkirchner’s favourite part of his involvement was the trip abroad. “Along with three other members, I travelled to Namatala, Uganda where we organized a three-day medical clinic that treated 1633 individuals,” he explained. “The experience was truly incredible.”
SAMA will be having its recruitment meeting this Thursday at 7p.m. in Macintyre Medical Building Room 522