providers can now count on medical students at the University of Saskatchewan
for support in their everyday tasks.
Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan expressed their appreciation for the
frontline health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student volunteers
are offering their time to these workers by fulfilling tasks such as picking up
groceries and prescriptions, and helping with childcare.
workers to receive support, they simply need to fill out a form that was
circulated by the society and wait about two days before being matched with a
Molnar, a first-year medical student, says that the initiative came together
through the power of social media.
saw our peers from across the country start talking about initiatives like
this, where they were doing little things to bridge the gap before these
providers can find more stable childcare and more stable solutions during this
time,” Molnar said.
the fast developments in preventative measures across the country, which included
campuses delivering the remainder of the Winter Term remotely, medical students
across the country have been quick to volunteer their newfound free time to
frontline health-care practitioners.
local medical students are following the example set by Canadian universities
like the Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, the
University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, which have launched
similar initiatives in their respective home fronts. The focal point across the
board is to keep the health-care workers focused and alleviate some responsibilities
so that they can execute their tasks successfully.
The initiative has been a way
for students to educate themselves about how healthcare works in times of
crisis, according to Molnar, as well as lend a hand to their professional
“It is a really unique way to
stay connected with people when you’re not in the classroom,” Molnar said. “We
thought that since we’re out of class anyway, it would be good for us to step
in and be that support and offer services in a way that would be useful and be
able to make a difference in the healthcare community.”
Helping the community in this
way has helped Molnar deal with the current pandemic. He initially felt overwhelmed
due to the amount of online information about COVID-19, but the program helped
him shift his focus and channel his energy towards the initiative and continuing
“I am looking at this as an
addition to my studies … because learning from a pandemic like this —
learning what works and what doesn’t, how society is facing this — is important
as well,” Molnar said.
For second-year medical
student Tayyaba Bhatti, supporting health-care workers that are on the
frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of optimism in uncertain
“Just looking at how supportive everyone has been,
from my peers and my colleagues, people are stepping up and taking time out of
their lives right now to do this,” Bhatti said. “To see that as a physician, in
the future if anything like this happens ever again, the fact that the entire
community is so supportive … it’s a really nice feeling to have.”