A new family practice residency site has been launched at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which will allow new doctors to complete their entire postgraduate training in the community.
The two years of postgraduate medical training will fulfill the requirements of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and let them work with a range of physicians and health professionals to master their skills, while developing roots in Kamloops.
"Training family practitioners here in Kamloops gives them an opportunity to discover this great region and they will hopefully return for their practice careers," says Health Minister Terry 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.
A similar residency-training site for emergency medicine has also been launched at the Kelowna General Hospital, meaning even more new doctors will be able to stay in the Thompson-Okanagan region to complete their training.
The Kelowna site welcomed its first two resident physicians from Royal College last month, in Drs. Daniel Ting and Jared Baylis.
Over the course of that five-year program, residents will take on a range of rotations in emergency medicine, while gaining exposure to other disciplines including cardiology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, neurosciences, internal medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics, as well as obstetrics and gynecology.
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 to serve the health-care needs of families throughout BC.
"It's important to be training doctors throughout the province of BC," 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."
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the UBC MD distributed program. Expansion of UBC's medical school to the BC Interior has more than doubled the number of new medical undergraduates provincially, over the last 10 years.