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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who is responsible for this project?
A:  The development and growth of our interprofessional, community-led workshops was guided by a Founding Advisory Board comprised of community, faculty and student members (2008 – 2011). These workshops continue to be coordinated by the UBC Division of Health Care Communication in partnership with community members and Faculty. Read more about our team.

Q: Why should I get involved?

A: The Patient and Community Voices project is an opportunity for UBC health and human services students to engage in one-on-one interactions with patients, individuals living with chronic conditions and community health-based organizations. Our workshops combine a shared educational model with interprofessional learning to address the gap between classroom and clinical learning and the lived experience of community members.

As a student, our workshops present a fantastic opportunity to learn directly from patients and community members without the added pressure of the classroom setting and to meet students from other disciplines.

As a community member, this project is a chance to share your story and affect the learning of future health and human service professionals—to affect the future care of someone else with a similar chronic illness.

As a member of faculty, our workshops are a great addition to your carefully planned curriculum. Community members and patients have a wealth of knowledge about living with chronic illness. In our workshops students learn more about the human aspects of health care, individual patient differences, patient experiences in the health care system and other topics that you might not have ample time to address within the classroom.

Q: What are the goals of a workshop?

A: Each workshop will have a different set of specific learning objectives set by the development team. Click here for more information and the learning objectives for our upcoming workshops.

Q: What happens at a workshop?

A: Each workshop is slightly different, but they are designed to be approximately 2‑3 hours. Community educators share stories, experiences and any information they feel health professional students should know about a specific health condition or health care issue. Students interact with the community educators and with each other, and often work in small teams to discuss workshop materials or themes.

Q: Why are these workshops important?

A: Our community-driven workshops provide students with a unique opportunity to put a face to a condition and learn about the lived experience. Currently, UBC health professional programs and a number of community organizations facilitate clinical training in diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions and illnesses. Our workshops help to create a new complementary program, where the focus is on patients’ lived experience and daily realities of self-care, including family and social relationships, working, completing household tasks, communicating with health care professionals, navigating the health system, and the challenges faced in these and other activities.

Q: How many students will attend a workshop?

A: Approximately 15-20 students attend each workshop. Group sizes are small, providing greater opportunities for students and community educators to interact and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Q: Who are the students that will be attending these workshops?

A: Workshops are tailored to the 15 health and human service programs offered at UBC:

Medicine Nursing Physical Therapy
Social Work Midwifery Pharmacy
Dietetics Occupational Therapy Dentistry / Dental Hygiene
Human Kinetics Speech Language Pathology Counselling Psychology
Audiology Clinical Psychology

These programs offer a mix of Undergraduate, Masters and PhD degrees. The majority of students who have attended workshops in the past were from Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Students will usually have completed at least 2-3 years of post secondary education or an undergraduate degree, but are often at different stages within their professional development: years 1 through 4 in their health professional programs.

Q: How is a workshop developed?

A: During the original funding period (2008-2011) A workshop was developed by a development team, which is made up of 3-5 “patients” (individuals living with a chronic illness or disability and/or members of their family), 1-2 UBC Faculty members, 1-2 UBC students and a representative from a community organization. This group works together to develop the workshop format, learning activities, learning objectives and evaluation tools. The group meets 2-4 times at a convenient location to complete the development process.

Currently, we are focusing on workshops that have already been partially or fully developed by the community members who wish to put one on. One planning meeting will take place to develop the workshop within the paradigms of the Patient and Community Voices Workshop Series. In addition to the group putting on the workshop, 1 student, and the Workshop Coordinator (from the DHCC) would attend the planning meeting.

Q: What is the time commitment required in planning a workshop?

A: It takes approximately 1-2 (2-4 hours) to develop a workshop and prepare community and patient partners for their roles as a community educators.

Q: When do workshops take place?

A: Workshops are held during the evenings, so that students are able to attend outside of class. Due to student schedules most workshops will happen between September and May.

Q: How are community educators (patients) supported?

A: A UBC project coordinator will provide support and answer any questions or concerns throughout the development process. The workshop development team will develop the format and learning objectives together, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard.

Q: How are workshops evaluated?

A: Students receive an evaluation survey by e-mail to be completed and returned to the Workshop Coordinator who will provide community members with an Evaluation report.

Q: Why is it important for community members to get involved?

A: Without you our workshops would not be possible! Health professional students undergo years of specialized training in order to serve the communities that they live and work in. It is important to ensure that these same communities have a voice in how and what this education looks like. In order for health professionals to serve a community they must first understand the challenges, successes and realities the community faces, and who better to inform them than the community members themselves.

Q: As a community member, how can I get involved?

A: If you are interested in sharing your story with health professional students please contact us.

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A partnership between the Patient & Community Partnership for Education in the Office of the Vice-Provost Health
at the University of British Columbia and the community.

Copyright © Patient and Community Voices