Dalhousie Health Mentors Program

An innovative, interprofessional program

The Health Mentors Program offers learning opportunities about chronic conditions and disabilities, and about team collaboration in an array of health professional programs. You'll be placed in an interprofessional team with your fellow students in medicine, pharmacy, and other health-care professions.

Your learning experiences happen through interactions with a Health Mentor—an individual with a chronic condition and/or disability—who is considered to be an expert about her/his health and its management. With your interprofessional team, you'll meet with the Health Mentor and learn about the mentor’s life story and his/her health condition, and how these interact. You'll have three assignments to post to your supervisors on OWL (Dal's online learning system).

Objectives of the Health Mentors Unit

Upon completing this unit, students should be able to do the following:

  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of the impact of the condition/disability on the Health Mentor’s life and the lives of family members, as well as the experiences of Health Mentors in navigating the health-care system.
  • Reflect on and relate the learning from interactions with Health Mentors to curriculum in the student’s home program.

Patient/client-centered focus

  • Interact respectfully with the Health Mentor by developing effective interviewing skills and using active listening skills that acknowledge the Health Mentor as an expert about her/his health and condition;
  • Demonstrate professional behaviours that recognize and safeguard the Health Mentor’s rights to privacy and confidentiality.

Team functioning

  • Learn about, from and with each other in a team climate of mutual respect and sharing of awareness from each student's perspective as an individual and as a  student in a particular profession.
  • To develop effective communication and collaboration skills with others as part of a team.
  • To reflect on the learning from interactions with team members whose backgrounds and health 
career paths are different from yours.