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Vol. 17 No. 1 (2019)

Karate Chops and Kitchen Tools: My experience learning new skills alongside youth with special needs at Montreal’s Friendship Circle

December 14, 2018


As part of our second year in medical school, we are required to seek out a volunteer placement in order to get exposed to the social aspect of medicine, exploring the social determinants of health up-close and personally. This is accomplished through a course called the Community Health Alliance Project (CHAP). My experience at the Friendship Circle of Montreal has opened my eyes to the place that friendship has in caring for an individual. Being a "buddy" to someone with special needs works to undo the isolation and stigmatization that further complicate their unequal access to healthcare and services. Acknowledging that community and companionship are some of the tangible and addressible needs of youth with special needs brings us one step closer to bridging the gap when it comes to accessible health for all.


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