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REPORTING · 14th June 2014
Walter McFarlane
Medical students were touring the Northwest as a part of the Healthcare Traveling Roadshow, and on Thursday, June 12th, they were in Kitimat. Their trip started in the Nass Valley and went to Terrace before coming to Kitimat. Friday, they were in Hazelton.

“This is supposed to be a simple grass roots initiative to help with healthcare work force and challenges in Northern and Rural BC. We have an interdisciplinary group of students from different health care programs based out of Prince George and out of Vancouver and Victoria. Students from UBC, UNBC and CNC who are studying physiotherapy, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, medical lab technology and Radiography, or X-Ray Technology,” said Doctor Sean Maurice.

Maurice explained the roadshow has three goals. The first is to visit schools and encourage young people to consider careers in health care. The second is to give the rural communities an opportunity to show what lifestyles they offer young people who may wish to practice in those communities. The final goal is for the young people to learn more about their traveling companion’s areas of study prior to entering the workplace.

Along the road, they stop at schools and hospitals in addition to various recreation facilities. In Kitimat, they visited Saint Anthony’s Elementary School due to the teacher strike. High School students were welcome but only one came. They met with Council for lunch before visiting the hospital.

“I think all of the students were impressed with the hospital here. It’s a gorgeous facility and it’s obvious that it was well designed, functionally and architecturally,” said Quinn Gentles, a student from Fort Saint John, who finished his first year as a medical student. “I know the Lab Techs also enjoyed a tour of the lab and speaking with the staff there about opportunities about how things were working. Overall, we’re extremely impressed.”

The students received a tour of the community from the planning department, the residential areas, the golf course, the RTA Site, the waterfront and the marina.

At the end of the day, the Students gathered at Minette Bay Lodge with Mayor, Council, Local Medical Professionals, Northern Health Representatives and members of the community who have interest in the Hospital.