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Med students get new digs

Vernon Jubilee Hospital will soon be home to a a group of eager, bright and dedicated medical students from the University of B.C.’s Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program.

A recently announced $983,000 construction project, funded by the Ministry of Health, will provide a new medical school space on the fifth floor of the Polson Tower.

The new medical school space will be a total of 3,123 square feet and will be situated in the previously empty shelled-in west end of the fifth floor. 

It will include centralized education areas, a clinical skills room and two videoconference rooms, as well as an on-call sleep area, lounge, and lockers for medical students.

“This new space is an important investment in the future and will help to strengthen health services and patient care in this region,” says Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster.

“Education and training is one way for us to help recruit and retain health care professionals.”

Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree says Vernon Jubilee plays an important role in training upcoming doctors.

“As a busy mid-sized hospital it affords many training opportunities in a variety of care areas. We are excited about having the necessary infrastructure in place to support the medical school program and ultimately help train more doctors for the region.”

Construction on the UBC space has now begun under a construction management services contract with Black and McDonald, and is expected to be complete this fall.

Medical students entering the SMP complete two years of academic training at UBC Okanagan and the newly-built clinical teaching campus at Kelowna General Hospital. They then transition to the hospitals and clinics for their third and fourth year gaining essential hands-on clinical experience on their path to becoming a doctor.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a strong community of over 60 health professionals in Vernon teaching and supporting our students,” says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior.

“The new space will not only enhance the learning environment for our students, but provide an excellent resource for our valued teachers. Additionally, it will provide continuing professional development opportunities for family physicians and specialists within Vernon and surrounding communities.”

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