Beyond Books: Building Lasting Relationships in the Queen’s School of Medicine

Graduates of Queen’s medical school often describe their fellow alumni as a family. The friendships they establish over the course of four years of study remain intact, long after graduation and well into their careers. Our smaller class sizes and focus on experiential and collaborative learning are in part responsible for these strong bonds, but there is something special – an intangible dynamic at play - that fosters the tight-knit community that Queen’s School of Medicine is known for across Canada.

In this post, we’ll look at how:

·   Aesculapian Society membership gives students opportunities to contribute to their school

·   Mentorship programs foster a sense of shared discovery and community

·   Medical interest programs help students practice leadership skills

·   The Learner Wellness Centre provides support throughout your education

Getting involved with the AS

It starts the moment you step onto campus where you become an active member of the Aesculapian Society. Since 1872, the Aesculapian Society has been a strong voice to promote the interests of students at the Queen’s School of Medicine. Here, you have an opportunity to seek a position on the Aesculapian Society Council, which is made up of student representatives elected by their peers. The Aesculapian Society Council meets regularly to discuss student business, and its members serve on a network of executives and committees that support the diverse Queen’s medical student community.

Through a variety of academic, extracurricular, and social events, the Aesculapian Society Council strives to engage every Queen’s medical student. Regardless of your student politics background, there are numerous ways you can get involved. Think of membership in the society as an opportunity to try your hand at a leadership role, to learn how to work collaboratively and to organize; these are the valuable skills you carry into your career as a physician.

Emphasis on mentorship

It continues as you welcome mentorship opportunities, and you realize that you will grow personally and professionally from these encounters. In your first year, you join a mentorship group, which is made up of faculty, residents, and upper-year medical students. This group is a source for academic, extracurricular, and career advice in an informal, social environment. Together you take part in planned group activities and get a chance to learn from and share with those further along in their careers. These groups stay consistent year over year, and by the end of your time at Queen’s you will have built a network of supporters around you. 

Student groups

It develops as you engage with others in the one or more of the over 30 medical interest groups. These groups cover everything from emergency medicine and wilderness medicine to community involvement and medical advocacy. The groups are designed to enhance your curricular and extracurricular experience by providing opportunities to organize and lead social events, panel discussions, leadership presentations, or technical skills workshops.

Access to the support you need

The Learner Wellness Centre is always there to offer general counseling, career counseling, and academic counseling. The staff and faculty of the Learner Wellness Centre assist students seeking advice on emotional, physical, career, academic, financial or spiritual wellness.

Throughout your time at Queen’s, you will feel encouraged and supported by your peers, mentors, and advisors, who - inevitably -become your medical school family.

Get In Touch

If you’re an international student interested in joining Queen’s University School of Medicine, reach out, and we’ll help you determine if Queen’s University School of Medicine is right for you. 


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