A new exhibition celebrating the work of doctors, nurses, social workers and other health-care practitioners with vulnerable and hard-to-reach patient populations opens at the University of Ottawa tonight.
Beyond Barriers: Photographs from the Frontlines of Health celebrates health-care professionals who work with the isolated, the homeless and the street-involved in street clinics, community health centres, inner city hospitals, mobile outreach units, solo rural practices and remote outposts.
In addition to recognizing the dedication of people who do this work, the exhibit aims to inspire young people, said Wendy Muckle, executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health.
“A lot of people go into medicine for compassionate reasons,” said Muckle. Along the way, people may lose their idealism, she said.
“We want to inspire people to take care of people who may not be the easiest to care for,” she said.
“The stories the photographs tell are very beautiful and moving,” said Muckle. “The photographers did a great job of capturing the relationship between people who are providing and receiving care.”
In working with vulnerable populations, the doctor’s ability to have an impact on patients “is not predicated on how clinically confident you are,” she said. “It’s based on your ability to establish a relationship with them. If you can’t establish the relationship, it doesn’t really matter what you do — it doesn’t have impact.”