Volunteer Mentorship Program

Volunteering at the Canada East Spine Centre

CESC is a highly productive research group and is one of the largest spine research centres in Canada. CESC focuses on improving patient outcomes (reducing pain, improving mobility, and improving patient’s quality of life). Patient populations of interest include those who have undergone spinal trauma (Cervical or Thoraco-Lumbar) and patients who suffer non-trauma diagnoses (Myelopathy, Deformity, Arthroplasty, Degenerative, Infections, Spine Bifida, Klippel Feil Syndrome and malformations). At any given time, we have numerous studies going on including clinical trials, prospective outcome studies, retrospective studies and case series type studies.

Our volunteer program was designed to give students an opportunity to learn about how medical research is practically conducted. This means you will learn the ins-and-outs of how medical research is conducted on a day to day basis.

Even though this is a volunteer position, we do have high standards for the work conducted by volunteer research assistants. This is because your work will affect the outcome of our studies, and these outcomes can affect treatment decisions made by spine surgeons and other clinicians. While you are volunteering with us, the following will be expected of you:

• To go through an interview process including a reference check prior to your hire
• To have a criminal record check performed prior to your hire
• To complete Horizon Health Network Orientation Training upon your hire (online)
• To sign a confidentiality agreement stating that you understand the importance of patient confidentiality
• To complete on site study specific training
• To complete Good Clinical Practices (GCP), Gender Based-Analysis (GBA) and Ethics (TCPS2) certifications within a month of your practical start date
• To always comply with Canada East Spine Centre and Horizon Health Network standards

The mentorship offered for Canada East Spine Centre Volunteers is designed to find you employment in your field, to aid in getting into the program of your choice, or to improve your knowledge of medical research.

Mentorship services include:
• Basic spine education
• Practical medical research experience for your CV
• Free certifications for your CV (that are required in almost all medical research)
• Publishing opportunities for some candidates
• CV construction help
• Academic or Job references
• Proposal/Manuscript writing help
• Opportunity of presentation at scientific conferences
• Clinic exposure
• Connections with health professionals and career development
• Acting as a liaison with other health professionals

If all this seems like something you would be interested in, you may be wondering, am I a candidate? Although Canada East Spine Centre does not have requirements to apply, the candidate who is typically hired is:
• Either an undergraduate or graduate student
• Has interest in fields of medicine or research
• Has basic methodological and statistical knowledge (Introduction to Statistics is acceptable)
• Has interpersonal skills, confident and is comfortable to speaking with study participants (i.e. patients)
• Has interest in exploring medical career options

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer research assistant with Canada East Spine Centre, you may forward your CV to Dana El-Mughayyar at cescvolunteers1@gmail.com.