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My Experience with the ACFP and Reflections on the Pre-Clerkship Years

By Sabrine Garrison, Second Year Medical Student at the University of Alberta, Medical Student Liaison to the ACFP Board of Directors

I am halfway through my second year of medical school at the University of Alberta and I can truly say it goes by as fast as everyone says. As a pre-clerk the transition from life before starting medical school to the realities of practicing medicine one day can be disorienting. There is a great deal of uncertainty as time on the wards with real patients and responsibilities draws closer. With clerkship on the horizon, I have been reflecting more on the opportunities I’ve had since starting medical school and just how valuable this time has been. Participation in leadership, advocacy work, research and community engagement are just some of the experiences students pursue. These first two years are a unique time for students to explore the breadth of medicine, while giving us a sense of purpose and passion outside of our classroom studies.

Medical Student Liaison to the ACFP Board of Directors

My role as student liaison has been one of the most valuable activities I have taken on. When I started this role last May I was welcomed warmly by the ACFP Board and Staff. Since then I’ve had the chance to participate in important discussions regarding the future of primary care in this province which has been inspiring and eye opening. I am motivated by both the challenges and opportunities that await as I enter this profession.  

With the support of the ACFP, I have also organized several events for students. This past fall we hosted, Dinner with Docs, an evening dedicated to students connecting with family doctors and residents. Medical students had the chance to ask questions, get to know a diverse group of physicians, and hear what it might be like to practice and train in family medicine.

Upcoming Event – Clinical Skills Night

In the spring, we will be putting on a Clinical Skills Night. This year students will have the chance to practice IUD insertions, IM injections, x-ray reading, and breaking bad news. For pre-clerkship students these events are opportunities to explore their interests, and practice skills in a fun and low stakes environment.

Moving forward into clerkship it will be difficult to leave behind some of the roles I have taken on, especially this one. The ACFP has helped grow my passion for family medicine, while allowing me to share it with my colleagues. I look forward to expanding my connection to the ACFP as I continue this journey in medicine.

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