Project Overview

 Mission

The mission of Altitude is to empower students from underrepresented populations to pursue a career in healthcare by nurturing high quality mentoring relationships, and to help these students realize their potential as the next generation of bright, confident and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Vision

We will foster the development of healthcare professionals who reflect the diversity of Canada and who strive to meet the needs of society’s most vulnerable populations.

Overview

On university campuses across Ontario, there exists a population of students with the potential to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing healthcare today. However, despite possessing the intellectual capacity, they lack the financial and cultural capital necessary to pursue a career in healthcare. Members of this group are often from rural communities, low-socioeconomic regions or the first in their families to attend a post-secondary institution. As these students embark on the difficult climb towards their dreams, they are often hindered by obstacles both real and imagined. As a result, students from these populations are under-represented in the milieu of Canadian healthcare professions. The situation is worsening as tuition costs continue to rise and talented but overburdened undergraduate students see healthcare professions as less and less attainable.

Altitude is our solution. Altitude: Healthcare Mentoring is a unique year-long experience which matches medical students with first year undergraduate students from these under-represented populations. Each mentor works one-on-one with a student to help develop the skills and competencies necessary to excel as an undergraduate student and in a future career in healthcare. In exchange, each undergraduate participant must return the favor by giving back to the community as a mentor to youth – a process we call Cascading Mentorship.

Our goal is simple, help students, brimming with potential, reach a summit once thought to be insurmountable – a career in healthcare. It is from this simple analogy that Altitude derives its name. The program encourages the next generation of healthcare professionals to reach higher in search of their dreams.