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UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 10 | Aug. 1 , 2002

Student Medical Clinic Calls for Volunteers

New location has room to grow.

By Diane Haynes

The acronym should probably be CHIAUS -- Community Health Initiative by Awe-inspiring University Students.

What began as two students' class project is now a student-run, evenings-and-weekends medical clinic in the Downtown eastside.

Last featured in UBC Reports in January of 2001, CHIUS has since grown from 200 to 500 student volunteers representing eight disciplines, and has moved into a new facility at 569 Powell Street that offers more space, better resources and room to grow. With the call out for more volunteers, that growing room is going to be needed.

David Hui is a third-year medical student and the co-chair of CHIUS. "What got me interested was the interprofessional aspect," he recalls of his three-year involvement.

Although he says the study of medicine now promotes the theory of an interdisciplinary approach to health care, at CHIUS that approach is put into practice every day. Medical students work with nursing, social work, dietetics and pharmacy students, and each learns what the others do.

There are five ways student volunteers can get involved with CHIUS: discipline-specific treatment activities (under professional supervision); interprofessional work; educational programming; administration; and the clinic's social aspect.

This latter is a hallmark of CHIUS. Hui describes the clinic's waiting room, where coffee and snacks are provided and student volunteers are there specifically to listen when area residents drop by. "It's not just what patients tell you in the five minutes in the interviewing room," Hui explains. "It's really what's going on in the rest of their lives."

Health Sciences students who are interested in volunteering may contact one of the faculty representatives listed on the web site (www.chius.ubc.ca) or e-mail Hui at science@interchange.ubc.ca.

CHIUS is funded by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the Hamber Foundation and the Teaching-Learning Enhancement Fund, and depends upon the support of Dr. Peter Granger and the Downtown Community Health Clinic.

- Special to UBC Reports


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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