Second-year medical student Maksim Parfyonov has always had a keen interest in neuroscience. And art. When he was offered the chance to work with CONNECT as part of his Southern Medical Program studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Parfyonov began his work with CONNECT, a residential rehabilitation program for people with acquired brain injury, in September as part of the MD curriculum’s Doctor, Patient, and Society course.
The invaluable learning opportunity has turned into weekly art lessons for CONNECT residents that will culminate in a public art show in Lake Country next month.
“I visited a weekly support group run by a psychologist, where I discovered that many of the residents struggle with depression,” says Parfyonov. “Social isolation is one of the contributing factors, as residents rarely interact with each other outside of meal times.”
For the first few weeks, the young student focused primarily on getting to know the residents and staff at CONNECT. Through his weekly visits, he enjoyed spending time with the residents and was able to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges often faced during their recovery.