Community Partners’ Experiences Teaching Undergraduate Medical Students


  • Chelsea Jalloh University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Joseph Kaufert University of Manitoba
  • Margaret Ormond Sunshine House
  • Ceilidh Miller University of Manitoba


community-academic collaboration, community partners, guest speaker, food security, session feedback, educational session


This research explores community partners’ experiences of teaching undergraduate medical students. In collaboration with university faculty, community partners affiliated with a local non-profit organization drew from their own lived experience and expertise to teach students about determinants of health such as food security and low income. While feedback about educational sessions is often sought from students, this research addresses an important gap by seeking to better understand the experiences of community partners teaching health profession students. Semi-structured interviews with community partners took place to explore their perceived role in the educational session, their impressions of the overall session, and their reflections about sharing their personal experiences with medical students. Five community partners completed interviews. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts indicated community partners interpreted their roles in teaching about determinants of health to medical students were valuable in influencing future physician practice and rewarding on a personal level. The power dynamics of individuals with lived experience of food insecurity and/or low income engaging with medical students as “experts” rather than “patients,” and the importance of being viewed by students and health care professionals as multi-faceted and intersectional people, were also important emergent themes. With connections to the literature, broader implications regarding community partner involvement in teaching health professions students are discussed including logistical and ethical considerations (such as provision of honorarium, supports before/during/after the session), diversity of learners, and distribution of power between university faculty and community collaborators. This research concludes that with thoughtful and deliberate planning, supports, and dialogue, community partner involvement in teaching can be a meaningful pedagogical approach to amplify the voices and expertise of community partners and, in doing so, can work towards informing the practice of future health care providers to address the priority health needs identified by these communities.




How to Cite

Jalloh, C., Kaufert, J., Ormond, M., & Miller, C. (2021). Community Partners’ Experiences Teaching Undergraduate Medical Students. Social Innovations Journal, 9. Retrieved from