Patient Partners Toronto and Friends
Patient Partners ® in Arthritis is a group of people who have arthritis and volunteer their time to help the next generation of healthcare professionals to learn about our disease.
We have groups in the major cities across Canada and the organization is also active in other countries around the world.
Our initial training took 4-6 weekends. We learned about anatomy and the various tests and exams that healthcare professionals use to diagnose and monitor our disease.
Now we visit the teaching hospitals to help the students learn these exams in small groups. Among the members of our team, we cover 5-10 events each month that are each 2-3 hours long, but each volunteer can choose the events that he/she is available for. Most of our work is with 2nd and 3rd year medical students and sometimes residents.
In the winter, we meet with the occupational therapy students, and discuss the activities that are difficult for us and the assistive devices that have been helpful. In April, we meet with the Physician’s Assistants and in November we meet with the internationally trained physiotherapists. In 2017 we began helping in the U of T interprofessional education sessions that include students from all the various health disciplines taught at the university.
When the Arthritis Society runs the “Getting a Grip” program for family doctors, we do a 2-hour session as part of the seminar. We also sometimes participate in other Continuing Medical Education events as well.
It is incredibly rewarding to meet the students and doctors and help them in their learning. The knowledge we have gained has also been very helpful in managing our own disease. The social events that we do as a group are fun too!
Participating in the Walk to Fight Arthritis as a Team from 2011 till the present has been GREAT: to date our families and friends have donated $42,000 to this worthwhile cause. We look forward to continuing the tradition on Sunday June 4, 2017. You can make a difference by donating to any of our team members. Thank you for your support.
PS - if you would like to come volunteer with us in Patient Partners, please contact Anne Lyddiatt, the National Trainer for Patient Partners, at firstname.lastname@example.org
PPS - If you would like to volunteer in medical education as a "passive patient" rather than doing the Patient Partner training, then please contact Nancy Roper at email@example.com Nancy can connect you with the volunteer coordinator at your local teaching hospital.