New doctors will have the opportunity to complete their entire postgraduate training in Kamloops with the launch of a new family practice residency site based at Royal Inland Hospital and community clinics, Health Minister Terry Lake announced this week.
“Training family practitioners here in Kamloops gives them an opportunity to discover this great region and they will hopefully return for their practice careers,” said Lake.
In July, the family practice residency site in Kamloops accepted its first six resident physicians: Drs. Paul Dickinson, Harpreet Ghuman, Quinn Hamilton, Robert McKeough, Elizabeth Montgomery and Brittany Weaver.
These doctors will complete two years of postgraduate medical training to meet the requirements of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. They will have the opportunity to work with a range of physicians and health professionals to master their technical skills, while developing strong roots in the community.
“The new family practice residency site in Kamloops will allow for more of our students to continue their training in the Interior and inevitably support the long-term recruitment and retention of physicians in our communities,” said Dr. Allan Jones, UBC’s faculty of medicine regional associate dean (Interior).
The expansion of the family practice residency program is part of a combined effort by the provincial government, health authorities, UBC faculty of medicine, and communities to support the recruitment and retention of physicians.
“It’s important to be training doctors throughout the province of B.C.,” said Dr. Selena Lawrie, site director of the family medicine residency program in Kamloops. “The residency program not only helps to meet the needs of under-resourced communities, but sites, like Kamloops, provide an ideal training ground for young doctors.”
Over the past several years, UBC’s postgraduate training programs have continued to steadily grow, with over 1,400 medical residents presently engaged in 67 different postgraduate programs offered at more than 100 clinical training sites in every area of the province. This year, nearly half the residencies – a record number – are designated for family medicine, where the need is great.
Expansion of UBC’s medical school to the B.C. Interior has helped increase the annual enrolment of new medical undergraduates provincially to 288 – more than double the number of spaces from 10 years ago.
Medical students entering the Southern Medical Program, which began operation in September 2011, complete two years of undergraduate academic training at UBC Okanagan and the newly built, clinical teaching campus at Kelowna General Hospital. They transition to area hospitals and clinics for their third and fourth year.
UBC’s family practice residency training program is a two-year program that prepares new doctors with the skills and experience they need to become licensed family physicians.