McGill University Medical Students Visit the Department of Health

Press Release

February 26, 2024

On Wednesday, February 21, 15 fourth-year medical students from McGill University visited the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health (DOH) where they met the DOH Administration Team, the Associate Directors, and members of the medical team. They explored the intersection of contemporary healthcare and traditional methods, such as land-based healing, the importance of cultural competency when working and providing primary healthcare services in Indigenous communities, and the unique relationships amongst Indigenous community members and their healthcare providers.

In the fourth year of undergraduate medical education (UMGE) at McGill University, medical students are offered dedicated selectives in the Putting It All Together (PIAT) course from the Faculty of Social Studies of Medicine. The PIAT in Indigenous Health was created to give students the experiences needed to work with patients within communities, giving them real-life experiences. The goal of this program is to provide the students with tools to become culturally safe healthcare providers, and to increase medical providers interested in working in Indigenous communities.

Throughout the visit, the students engaged in comprehensive discussions covering mental health, community health, clinical care, continuous care, and the significance of integrating land-based healing into medical practice. The Associate Directors led discussion and information sessions on their respective sectors, highlighting the Department of Health’s wholistic approach to health and wellness, which is deeply rooted in community and cultural traditions.

The visit concluded with a networking lunch, where students and healthcare professionals exchanged dialogues on innovative health strategies and the role of land-based healing in fostering well-being, and an open question and answer session for the students. This interaction further emphasized the Department’s mission to build a culturally respectful healthcare system.

The Department of Health and McGill University are committed to nurturing this educational exchange as a step toward a culturally inclusive healthcare future.

For more information, please contact Health Communications Officer Ryan King at


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