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General Doctor Joins Dawson College

by Jessica Hookimaw


November 14, 2016 | Sciences


General doctor Dr. Finkelberg is the latest to join Dawson College’s medical service in the past weeks, and has received praise from students who were in need of this medical service.

“A lot of the times unless it’s urgent, I’ll skip going to CLSC’s or hospitals because the wait is too long,” says Adam Manikis, a 5th semester Social Science student. “I really hope the service encourages more students to go see professionals when they do have medical problems.”

Dan Boyer, head of student services at Dawson, explains that the general practitioner and other services are by appointment only; “To see a doctor, a student must simply go over to the health services office and request an appointment.” He says, “We have two doctors coming in two days a week: one day is Dr. Finkelberg, the general doctor, and the other day is the gynaecologist, Dr. Gyros.”

The general doctor offers many services to students, such as blood work, information on health conditions, prescriptions, and can help a number of other health related problems. Non-urgent issues typically take about two weeks on appointment.

Boyer also explains that the nurse is available also, but has limited capabilities. “The nurse meets with students for information about general health and sexual health, but only has the power to prescribe birth control, hence where the doctor comes in.”

He also explains how Dawson’s school nurse Julie Drolet played a large part in the process of getting a general doctor. “Julie came from working with the Montreal’s Child Hospital in the adolescent clinic, so she had very good connections with doctors.” He says, “One of the things we spoke about when we hired her was that I wanted to set up the opportunity for students to be able to see a doctor.” John Abbott’s general doctor service was where Boyer drew inspiration to bring this service to Dawson. “I worked for 12 years at John Abbott; one of the things I was aware of is that they had a general practitioner coming in.”

Boyer clarifies that this service or other health services are free to Dawson students as long as they have a valid Medicare card, “There are no charges to you, the government pays the doctor.” He explains that the service is not only paid by the Canadian healthcare plan, “The college assumes all other charges, we use the money out of our student activity fee, so students pay through fees for general supplies like cotton swabs, etc.”

However, non-Canadian students are welcome to use the service even without a Medicare card. More paperwork is involved, but with the use of student’s international insurances, the service is available to them as well.

The new service was promoted on the college’s screens, and on the portal. Information was given out at Dawson’s College Tour to Dawson’s new 3000 students. Regardless of the school’s promotion, some Dawson students are still unaware of the service.

“I actually had no idea Dawson had a general doctor, or even any kind of health services other than the nurse and The Hive,” says Marcelo Martinez, a 6th semester Social Science student. Martinez adds, “I’m still happy to know that Dawson is giving this service now.”

Martinez is not the only one showing appreciation for Dawson’s new service. Boyer states the ‘Centre Local de Services Communautaires’ better known as the CLSC, is among those encouraging it: “The CLSC really likes this initiative we have taken, due to the flooding of patients and waiting times in the CLSC. They have been very cooperative with us.”

Anthony Williams, chairman of the Dawson Student Union, explains that though the general doctor and the nurse are not associated, with the union’s funding, Dawson’s gender advocacy service The Hive offers sexually transmitted infection testing and peer counselling to help students as well.

The general doctor is available every Thursday afternoon, and drop-ins with the nurse are every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, and Tuesday mornings. Appointments can be taken up with the health services secretary in 2D.2

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