Volunteers

Within Altitude there are many roles for volunteers.  Students may volunteers as Mentors and Outreach Officers. Physicians can volunteer as facilitators/mentors for our Training program.

The Altitude Advantage is what makes Altitude different than most volunteer opportunities available. With Altitude not only do you have the opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of a young people, you also gain valuable skills and experiences important to the practice of medicine. Our In-Service Training Program helps volunteers with an understanding how their role in the program is helping them become a better doctors. Physician leaders from across the province participate in the In-Service Training Program serving as mentors to the medical students, providing guidance and career advice. There are also opportunities for growth within Altitude. Volunteers can advance into greater leadership positions and gain valuable leadership experience. Opportunities to make a difference, develop your skills and build your professional network – that’s the Altitude Advantage.

Mentors

Medical students can serve as a mentor to first year undergraduate students at their university. This One-on-One Mentoring relationship lasts the duration of the academic school year (October to April). Before mentors and mentees meet, each mentor must participate in the Altitude Pre-Service Training session where they are taught how to be an effective mentor. Ongoing training is also essential for mentorship effectiveness. During the course of the mentorship relationship, mentors engage in In-Service Training meant to provide the mentors with support and help them develop skills important to healthcare professionals. These sessions are facilitated by physician leaders from across Ontario and are highly regarded by the mentors.

Outreach Officer

Every Altitude site has a team of volunteers dedicated to recruiting volunteers and mentees for the program and generating community awareness. Members of the Outreach Team are essentially mentors in the community, working with educators and high school students to promote careers in medicine and encourage students to apply to Altitude. Outreach Teams also give presentations to local high schools and other organizations about careers in healthcare and the Altitude program. Outreach Teams are also encouraged to attend the In-Service Trainingsession to benefit from the guest speakers and workshops.

Physician Facilitators

Our physician facilitators are best described as “mentors to the mentors.” During our In-Service Training sessions, a physician provides advice and mentorship for the medical students who volunteer in the program. The sessions are meant to provide the mentors with support and to discuss important topics, such as effective communication, conflict resolution, and mentoring strategies. As co- facilitators of these sessions our physicians serve as “color-commentators” providing important insight to the medical students to help them understand how their experiences within the mentorship program are contributing to their professional competencies. We also see these sessions as an opportunity provide the mentors the chance to develop a mentorship relationship with physicians in their community.

What do I have to do during the session as a physician facilitator?

Two medical students (the Site Coordinators) will be present to lead the discussion. You will be asked to speak about your path through medicine, your experiences with formal or informal mentorship and to provide advice to the medical students. You will be given the facilitators guide well in advance of the session which will help orient you to the flow of the session and the topics to be discussed. Three sessions are held at each site over the year. You are not obligated to facilitate all three sessions. Your level of commitment is up to you. Each session is approximately 1-2 hours.