Two days to discover careers in health care

Faculty of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
Future students

By University of Ottawa

Faculty of Health Sciences, Camille Cottais

Photo of a big classroom with many students
Discovery Days took place Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 in the new Faculty of Health Sciences building. More than 350 students from many high schools in the Ottawa-Gatineau area learned what it really means to work in medicine or health.

Co-organized by the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fameand Kiwanis, this interactive and educational event masterfully pulled in its audience, proving the strength of unity and cooperation.

“Together, we put on an incredibly appealing and effective event,” said Matthieu Boisgontier, co-leader of Discovery Days and representative of the Faculty of Health Sciences. He adds: “This synergy allowed us to create a platform to exchange and learn, where our experts could pass on their knowledge and passion for medicine and health sciences. Working together with our two faculties and external partners not only reinforced our interdisciplinary ties, but also paved the way for promising future collaborations.”

It was the first time that the event took place in the new Faculty of Health Sciences building, opened in September of 2023. The students experienced the advantages of the modern classrooms, as well as the lovely BMO Social Heart to enjoy snacks and take wellness breaks.

Photo of a speaker talking to students in a classroom

Innovative and interactive workshops  

To learn more about health-care jobs in a fun way, students in grades 10, 11 and 12 participated in two of the 13 workshops offered the first day, and 16 offered the second.

These interactive workshops included various fields: occupational therapy, nutrition, neurosciences, pharmacology, genetics and cardiology. “Tumour Games,” for example, had students learning about different cancers and options to treat them through a board game. Another workshop, called “L’informatique à la rescousse de la médecine” had them participating in a video game to help them better understand cells and human biology.

“The two days were full of interactive and educative activities that provided a view of different sides of health-care and medicine jobs,” said professor Boisgontier. “These young and inquisitive minds were guided through a host of knowledge and practices that allowed them to grasp the importance of each and every job.”

Photo of Mathieu Boisgontier, he is smiling at the camera and sitting on a chair

“The two days were full of interactive and educative activities that provided a view of different sides of health-care and medicine jobs”

Mathieu Boisgontier

— Associate Professor, co-leader of Discovery Days and representative of the Faculty

The next generation of health-care workers

Discovery Days were an opportunity for students to interact with members of the research community, professors and health-care professionals.

On top of the workshops, both days included a keynote lecture and a panel discussion. On the Thursday, Melissa Fernandez, professor from the School of Nutrition Sciences, gave a lecture about the future of nutrition called “Du téléphone intelligent à la fourchette: l’avenir de la nutrition.” On the Friday, neuroscience professor Baptiste Lacoste presented “Thinking Out of the (Neuronal) Box: Challenges and Rewards.”

More than a simple introduction to the field, these days sparked vocations, inspiring some students to seriously consider a career that could one day bring them to contribute to community health and well-being.