Inner City Health

Inner City Health includes all marginalized and under-served communities within the city. It is hoped that by providing medical students with engagement and learning opportunities within these communities, medical students will be left with a better understanding of the importance of the social determinants of health and how they impact the practice of medicine. Through learning more about Inner City Health, students will develop a deeper understanding of the Royal College’s CanMEDS role of health advocate.

The Local Officers of Inner City Health (LOICHs) coordinate a 12-hour elective that can be used to fulfill the pre-clerkship elective requirements. This elective is composed of a variety of events and activities throughout the school year. Click here to learn more about the Community Engagement electives. 

Listed below are some of the Inner City Health related events and activities that have been held in the past. As each year brings new projects, keep up-to-date with the current year’s events by following the MSA Calendar. Events are added throughout the year as they are confirmed.

Events & Activities

LGBTQ* Youth Homelessness Forum

Youth homelessness is a very challenging reality in Edmonton’s Inner City, and LGBTQ* youth are at particularly high risk. During this forum, which was held in collaboration with the Local Officers of Sexual & Reproductive Health, students viewed the film “For Want of a Home” which is produced by SAFQEY and explores LGBTQ* homelessness right here in Edmonton. After the film, experts in the topic held a panel discussion to further expand the students’ knowledge-base about this crucial topic.

ACE-HIV Presentation: Increasing HIV Medication Adherence in Marginalized Populations

Students received a presentation from the ACE Team, a pharmacist led, multidisciplinary community outreach program that aims to improve HIV medication adherence and overall health in individuals facing multiple barriers. The presentation discussed health and social impacts made by the ACE Team to date, as well as addressed innovative ways of bringing healthcare to highly marginalized patients.

E4C Crossroads Outreach Presentation: Harm Reduction in Street-Based Sex Workers

E4C Crossroads Outreach is an organization providing support and harm reduction supplies (needle exchange, condoms, etc.) to survival sex workers in Edmonton’s Inner City. (Survival sex is a term referring to the exchange of sex to meet basic needs on the street.) In this presentation, students learned about harm reduction methods and received practical advice for developing effective communication with survival sex workers, drug users, and the Inner City community in general.

E4C Crossroads Ride-Along Shadowing Experience: Harm Reduction in Action


First and second year medical students were given the opportunity to sign up for shadow shifts on the Crossroads Outreach van, hit the streets, chat with some street-based sex workers, and learn first-hand what harm reduction and needle exchange entails.

Inner City Health: A Medical Clerk’s Perspective


Upper year medical students discussed their Inner City & Addictions Medicine elective at Boyle McCauley Health Centre. During this presentation, clerkship students shared what they learned about Inner City communities and what surprised them the most about working with patients suffering from addictions.

Other Initiatives

Homeless Count

University of Alberta medical students assist with the Homeless Count in Edmonton, which typically occurs in the fall of every alternate year.

“The Homeless Count is a point-in-time count of Edmonton’s homeless population. The count serves two important functions. It provides a current snapshot of our overall homeless population and enables us to examine how this population changes over time. The results of the count are used by community agencies, researchers and government to estimate the size and demographic characteristics across time of our homeless population in order to inform our ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness.”
Homeless Count Edmonton

SHINE Clinic

The SHINE (Student Health Initiative for the Needs of Edmonton) Youth Clinic is a student-run health clinic that provides a variety of free services to Edmonton’s underserved youth. The clinic is managed and staffed by University of Alberta Healthcare students representing 8 disciplines: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Nutrition, Counseling Psychology, and Physiotherapy. SHINE is an external student organization with a representative from the MSA. The clinic’s dedicated volunteers and interdisciplinary approach ensure each patient receives comprehensive care spanning their physical, emotional, social, and economic needs. Volunteers and health practitioners are proud to operate under the principles of harm reduction and preventative medicine.

Current programming offered by the SHINE clinic involves students from various health disciplines working with the youth to cook and prepare healthy meals, facilitating opportunities for mentorship.

In order to volunteer with SHINE, students are required to attend an orientation session offered at the beginning of the academic year. Please contact the Community Engagement SHINE representatives to learn more.

Click here to learn more about the SHINE clinic.