Experts By Experience
A critical way for future health care professionals to learn is through the patients themselves. So why not make the patients the professors? That is exactly what the Patient and Community Voices project is.
The project was developed by a group of UBC faculty, students and community members who believe that it is essential to bring patient and community voices into the education of future health service providers. The idea is to enrich current formal training by having people with chronic health concerns and other ‘expert patients’ share important life experiences and expertise directly with UBC students.
“It’s important to recall that we’re trying to create a client centered model of practice”, explains UBC Occupational Therapy student Sasha Bossley. “Although we learn this by the textbook and through dialogue our education isn’t truly client centered until we involve clients as not just partners in care but partners in learning”.
The Patient and Community Voices project is the only one of its kind in Canada and is giving UBC students an edge as they prepare to enter their chosen field. It also benefits the community at large because new health service providers are better prepared to understand their patients needs. “Because that wealth of knowledge we come away with is presented in such a meaningful way it stays with us”, says Sasha.