Healthcare and med students from Prince George enjoyed a sunny lunch at Heritage Park yesterday as they toured the area. That's Sean Maurice from the UNBC Northern Medical Program speaking to the group.

Terrace, BC rolls out red carpet for med students and others

The goal is to convince the students to eventually live and work in the area

The city opened its doors wide yesterday to a group of med students and others in the healthcare field in hopes they’ll consider the area a place in which to study and eventually work.

Called the Travelling Health Care Road Show and organized through UNBC’s Northern Medical Program, the group also gave presentations to students at Skeena Middle School.

Led by Sean Maurice on behalf of the program, the 14 students were introduced to staff at Mills Memorial Hospital and toured Terraceview Lodge.

“It was conceived in 2009 during a healthcare symposium in Prince George meant to be a grass roots initiative,” said Maurice. “[The goal is] to get healthcare students in Prince George out into smaller towns to help inspire kids to consider going into these health care careers. It was also designed to allow communities to showcase the benefits of rural life and practice and to have an interdisciplinary group of healthcare students work together.”

“The research tells us there are more barriers to going into healthcare professions in a small town because the system might not value the type of life experiences that people have coming from small towns and being further away is also a barrier to attending training, but research tells us that those people are more likely to come back,” said Maurice.

“We would rather have wilderness at our doorstep then good shopping,” Maurice said of his own choice to relocate from Vancouver to Prince George.

Grades 8 and 9 students at Skeena Middle School were exposed to various stations helmed by the visiting students including an X-ray collection and X-ray box, skeleton, and blood pressure gauge so that allow students to take each other’s blood pressure.

They also heard the med students, some who were visiting from schools in southern B.C., explain why they had chosen their profession.

The visiting students were then taken on various outings around Terrace including a hike up Terrace mountain and a dragon boat experience.

Earlier in the week the group toured the Nass Valley stopping at a number of places including the Nisga’a Museum in Greenville.

Today the students are off to Kitimat, where they hope to still engage with students despite the teachers’ one-day strike, followed by a visit to Hazelton.