On the road again! Inspiring high school students to consider careers in health 

May 31, 2022
Una showcasing dietetics to students in Houston, B.C.
Una, a student in the University of British Columbia’s Dietetics* program, connects with students at Houston Secondary School.

The Healthcare Travelling Roadshow, an annual tradition each spring at northern B.C. high schools, resumed its ‘travels’ again in May after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus.

Physical Therapy demo in Fraser LakePhoto: Physiotherapy student Zach, a first-year student in the UBC Master of Physical Therapy - North program at UNBC, demonstrates an assessment tool with a group of Fraser Lake Elementary Secondary School students. 

Led by Northern Medical Program students as part of their chosen FLEX project, the Roadshow visits schools in different regions across the north every year to help highlight a wide range of health careers to local students, through hands-on demonstrations presented by a team of post-secondary students training in areas such as dental hygiene, dietetics, kinesiology, medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy.

In 2022, the Roadshow travelled to Bulkley Nechako schools (Hazelton, Houston, Francois Lake, Grassy Plains, Burns Lake, Fraser Lake), and to schools in the North and South Peace (Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge).

“It was a great opportunity to discuss the nursing knowledge and skills that I have learned with high school students in rural communities,” said Kai Kim, a UNBC nursing student starting his final year this September, who participated in the northeast trip. “During the Roadshow, I learned that many students did not know how nurses could specialize in specific fields and work in diverse areas. “The Roadshow was also a valuable experience to reinforce my nursing knowledge and broaden my views on rural nursing.”

Dentistry demo in Dawson CreekPhoto: Caitlin, a University of British Columbia (UBC) dental hygiene student, gives students at Dawson Creek Secondary School a demo on how to clean teeth. 

In addition to promoting careers in healthcare, the Roadshow also showcases rural community practice as a career option for the travelling student team as well as providing an interdisciplinary experience for the group.

“The reason I joined pharmacy was because I had a great mentor and being from the north myself, I wanted to return so I felt this was a perfect fit for me,” said Bella Woroshelo, a second-year UBC pharmacy student. “I most enjoyed getting to know the other healthcare students on the Roadshow. Being in such a welcoming interprofessional setting, I was learning just as much as I was teaching during our travels.

“To healthcare students who may be reading this, if you haven't done the Roadshow yet I highly recommend it. The experience was awesome, and if you aren't from the area, you'll get a chance to see some great views and even better communities.”

Founded in 2010 by Dr. Sean Maurice with the UBC Northern Medical Program, the Healthcare Travelling Roadshow is delivered in partnership with the Northern Medical Programs Trust, UNBC, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and the Rural Education Action Plan. It has grown to include regional trips each year in both northern and interior B.C (the latter through the Southern Medical Program).

*UBC Dietetics program