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    News and views from the Island Medical Program


    The IMP's Regional Administrative Director, Lianne Peterson, retires after 12 years

    Jun 30, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    After 12 years as Regional Administrative Director for the Island Medical Program (IMP), Lianne Peterson will finally settle into a well-earned retirement on July 1, 2017.

    Lianne has had a legendary impact on the IMP. Since first joining the program, in 2005, she has worked tirelessly with both Regional Associate Deans – first Dr. Oscar Casiro, now Dr. Bruce Wright – to expand and strengthen UBC’s medical education programs across Vancouver Island.

    lpTo highlight all she has done would be an exercise in futility; there is simply too much to list. But here are few of her bigger accomplishments: (1) working closely with Dr. Casiro, she was integral in transforming the Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning (CICSL) from an idea on paper to a full-fledged centre, now housed at Royal Jubilee Hospital. (2) She spearheaded the amalgamation of undergraduate and postgraduate administrative functions, leading to greater efficiency. (3) And, shortly after her arrival, Lianne worked with her team to develop a value-system for the IMP – the values people felt were the most important to a happy, productive, and respectful work environment.

    It's that last point, perhaps, that reflects Lianne’s most impressive accomplishment – the way she managed her team. Despite all that her role demanded, which she handled with grace and verve, she always made time for her colleagues, whom she treated with compassion, enthusiasm, and genuine interest. Her desire to help others did not stop with the IMP, either. She was also involved with the broader UVic community, where, for example, she helped organize Connect U, a professional development conference for UVic staff. Indeed, Lianne exhibited the traits of a true leader – intelligence, hard work, generosity, support, strong ethics – and she helped cultivate those same traits in the people around her and in those with whom she worked.

    Lianne has made her indelible mark on the IMP. She has contributed immensely, not only to countless individuals, but also to medical education on Vancouver Island and across BC. We wish Lianne all the best in her next stage of life, which she’ll enjoy with her husband, Carl, and – as the rumors go – a new canine companion. But we shall miss her all the same.

    Lianne was also recently featured on the Faculty of Medicine’s Staff Spotlight, where she shared some of her all-time favorite IMP moments. Check it out here.


    IMP bids farewell to Dr. Kathy Gaul

    Jun 26, 2017 | Posted by: Joy Kirstin & Rhys Mahannah

    kgIn June 2017, Island Medical Program (IMP) colleagues gathered to honor Dr. Kathy Gaul as she prepared to depart from her roles with the IMP.

    Since 2001, when she was part of the Medical Education Expansion UVic Advisory Committee for the IMP, Dr. Gaul has been instrumental in helping to bring the program from an initial proposal into reality. In the early years, she participated in countless meetings to understand and address the challenges that would be encountered in creating an island-wide medical education program. She was also a member of the UVic group who participated in site visits to the UBC Faculty of Medicine to learn more about the program and how it could successfully be expanded to the island, and she represented UVic at building project meetings.

    As the IMP Course Director, Foundations of Medicine, Years 1 & 2, Dr. Gaul has worked tirelessly to recruit lecturers, PBL and CBL tutors, pathologists, specialists and many others. She sat on numerous committees and has long been a passionate advocate for IMP students and the quality of the curriculum. Her infectious enthusiasm, passion for education, and the depth of her understanding and appreciation for the unique culture of distributed medical programs has been an ongoing source of strength as the IMP has taken its place as a valued part of the UBC Medical Education Program.

    In 2008, Dr. Gaul received the UVic Legacy Award for Teaching, and was the 2011 winner of the national Certificate of Merit Award from the Canadian Association of Medical Education. She achieved all of her roles at the IMP while simultaneously balancing a full-time faculty role in UVic’s Department of Exercise Physical Health and Education (EPHE), where she has been a member since 1993. Despite her hectic schedule, she always found time for her close family and sailing trips to remote areas of BC – things we hope she will have even more time to enjoy in the coming months and years. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.


    Introducing the IMP's new Executive Assistant to the Regional Associate Dean

    Jun 28, 2017 | Posted by: Joy Kirstin & Rhys Mahannah

    We are pleased to introduce Kyla Patterson, the new Executive Assistant to Dr. Bruce Wright, Regional Associate Dean, IMP and Head, DMS.

    Kyla comes to us from the UVic Faculty of Law, where she's worked as the Law Careers Assistant for the past three years. Kyla also has experience as an office manager for a busy chiropractor in Victoria, and as a Teaching Assistant with the UVic Geography department.

    We asked Kyla a few questions to learn a little bit more about her.

    It looks like you've had an interesting work history: UVic's Faculty of Law, a chiropractic office, as a teaching assistant. How has each of those experiences helped you hone your skills?

    I view learning as a lifelong endeavor, and I'm driven to develop and master new skill-sets. Working in a variety of fields has allowed me to hone my skills in managing information, project and task management, communication, and teamwork. In my roles as the Law Careers Assistant and as the Office Manager for Progressive Chiropractic, I worked to create and maintain respectful and friendly working relationships with the students and patients, as well as positive and cooperative team dynamics.

    What kind of teaching were you involved in?

    As a teaching assistant for undergraduate geography courses, I independently instructed and graded the laboratory components for surveying and remote sensing classes.

    What are you looking forward to at the IMP?

    As the daughter of a General Practitioner, a former office manager of a chiropractor, and a former athlete with, now, long-term injuries, I have an innate passion for working in a medical-related career. I look forward to being a part of the collaborative and friendly environment at the Island Medical Program, and to contributing to the high caliber of service that the program offers its students.

    What are some of your hobbies and interests?

    I love to hike, travel, and explore! I've been very fortunate to visit many countries in Europe and South America, as well as having helicoptered into the remote back country of beautiful British Columbia while helping with glacier research. I also enjoy indoor time playing strategic board games, watching movies, and cuddling with my cat.

    ***

    Kyla is replacing Katie Gerritsen, who will be moving over to fill Claire Abanto’s shoes as part-time Executive Assistant to Waheeda Esmail, Administrative Director, IMP, and Dr. Laura Farrell, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Program, IMP. Claire will be on Maternity Leave on July 26 (or maybe sooner!) Alisha Lemmen, who job-shares the Executive Assistant position with Claire/Katie, will be continuing in her role.


    Calling all female volunteers -- Island Medical Program students need your help

    Jun 27, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    The Island Medical Program (IMP), which delivers the UBC MD Undergraduate Program in partnership with UVic, is looking for female volunteers to help train the next generation of doctors.

    Each year, from September to October, second-year medical students learn how to conduct gynecological and breast exams in their clinical skills classes. These classes, which take place at Royal Jubilee Hospital Coronation Annex, the IMP’s clinical campus, involve three to four students; a physician tutor; and a healthy female volunteer, known as Female Clinical Teaching Associate (FCTA). FCTAs are trained as both instructor and patient, and together with the physician tutor, they help students develop the sensitive communication skills and techniques required for an effective exam.

    These sessions are essential to medical education. They allow students to practice in a safe, supportive, professional environment, said Dr. Dr. Alex Henri-Bhargava, the Year 1 & 2 Site Director for Clinical Skills. But, just as important, they give patients a voice about the treatment they receive.

    “Without FCTAs, there would be no way for students to practice properly,” said Dr. Henri-Bhargava. “It’s absolutely crucial that doctors-in-training work closely with, and listen to feedback from, the people they’ll soon be serving.”

    fcta

    The community shares this sentiment. Since the FCTA program started in 2006, the response has been powerful – nearly 20 volunteers have participated, and nine of them are now senior FCTAs (meaning they’ve come back in subsequent years).

    “We’ve been blessed with a dedicated number of women who teach these sessions,” said Karen Basi, the IMP’s Patient Programs Coordinator. “They’re passionate about the quality of medical care provided to females, and as clinical teaching associates, they help shape what care can and should look like when performing these sensitive exams.”

    One of the IMP’s most senior FCTAs, Michelle, has been with the program since 2008. Besides the students, what impresses her most is the quality of education and the focus on the patient experience.

    “The work is powerful. It is authentic, holistic learning at a level rarely seen,” she said. “As a woman and mother of a daughter, I am a strong advocate of this unique clinical skills environment; not only are medical students gaining clinical skills, but they’re also learning how to be respectful, supportive, and woman-focused during sensitive examinations that are essential for lifelong wellness.”

    IMP students actually begin clinical skills training in first year, where they start with the basics – how to build a rapport with patients, for instance, and the skills to conduct simple physical exams.

    Students then advance to more complicated, and more sensitive, exams in their second year, including the gynecological and breast exams. Last year, the IMP also unveiled the male equivalent to the FCTA – Male Clinical Teaching Associates (MCTAs), who help students with urogenital assessments.

    Erin Coates, now a third-year student, has had experience with both the FCTAs and MCTAs. Their feedback has been invaluable, she said, in her training to become a patient-centric physician.

    “It’s been a real privilege working with the CTAs,” she said. “They’re very knowledgeable, and I appreciate their focus on communication, specifically as it relates to making them feel comfortable, respected, and in control of their treatments.”

    ***

    If you or someone you know would like to get involved as a Female Clinical Training Associate, please contact Karen Basi, the Patient Program Coordinator, at karenpri@uvic.ca or 250-370-8111 ext: 12386.

    Recruitment for FCTAs ends in August. Training will take place in early September; classes run from September to October. Volunteers receive an honorarium for each training and exam session.

    For more information on the Clinical Teaching Associate programs and other volunteer opportunities, check the clinical teaching associates website: imp.uvic.ca/community/clinical-teaching-associates/index


    The IMP celebrates 10 years of IMP graduates

    Jun 29, 2017 | Posted by: Joy Kirstin & Rhys Mahannah

    2017 marks the 10th Class of Island Medical Program (IMP) graduates to receive UBC Faculty of Medicine MD degrees.

    The IMP opened its doors in 2004, when UBC launched Canada's first fully distributed undergraduate medical education program, part of a long-term strategy to help address regional shortages of physicians, particularly in small, rural, and Aboriginal communities. UBC's distributed program allows students to complete their training in underserved areas, where they are more likely to return to practice once their training is complete.

    Hundreds of clinical teachers from across Vancouver Island are involved in the education of IMP students. The IMP has affiliated regional centres in Duncan, Nanaimo, Comox, and Campbell River; and community-based health centres in Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Tofino, and Salt Spring Island.

    IMP students are admitted through the same process and follow the same curriculum as their peers in the Northern Medical Program (NMP), Southern Medical Program (SMP), and Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP). IMP graduates receive a UBC MD degree.

    collage

    Where They’re From and Where They’re Going

    • 49.4% of IMP students were previous graduates of UVic/VIU and/or Vancouver Island high schools.
    • 58.7% of IMP graduates were female, 41.3% were male; 6.6% were Aboriginal
    • 38.9% of IMP graduates were matched to residencies in British Columbia
    • 17.4% of IMP graduates were matched to residencies on Vancouver Island.
    • 47.9% of IMP graduates went on to Family Medicine residencies; 26.8% of those were on Vancouver Island
    • 10.1% of IMP graduates went on to Internal Medicine residencies; 20.7% of those were on Vancouver Island
    • 7.3% of IMP graduates went on to Psychiatry residencies; 28.6% of those were on Vancouver Island

    IMP Graduates, Classes of 2008-2017

    Total number of IMP graduates: 288

    • 169 female
    • 119 male
    • 19 Aboriginal

    Where IMP students came from:

    • 98 - UVic graduates
    • 4 - Vancouver Island University (VIU) graduates
    • 88 - Vancouver Island high school graduates
    • 98 - other

    Total number of post-graduate residency matches (through CaRMS, the Canadian Resident Matching Service for post-graduate medical training throughout Canada) 

    287*

    * not all students enter the CaRMS match following graduation

    286* students entered the following residencies:

    • 6 - Anatomical Pathology & General Path
    • 16 - Anaesthesiology
    • 1 - Community Medicine
    • 2 - Dermatology
    • 10 - Diagnostic Radiology
    • 6 - Emergency Medicine
    • 138 - Family Medicine
    • 4 - General Surgery
    • 2 - Hematological Pathology
    • 29 - Internal Medicine
    • 3 - Neurology
    • 2 - Neurosurgery
    • 9 - Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • 5 - Opthalmology
    • 4 - Orthopedic Surgery
    • 2 - Otolaryngology
    • 7 - Pediatrics
    • 5 - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • 1 - Plastic Surgery
    • 21 - Psychiatry
    • 7 - Radiation Oncology
    • 6 - Urology

    BC and Vancouver Island Residencies:

    A total of 112 IMP graduates were matched for residencies in British Columbia, with 50 of those on Vancouver Island:

    • 20 - Family Medicine, Victoria
    • 8 - Family Medicine, Nanaimo
    • 4 - Family Medicine, Strathcona
    • 5 - Family Medicine, Aboriginal
    • 1 - Emergency Medicine
    • 6 - Internal Medicine
    • 6 - Psychiatry

    Meet 2017 IMP Graduate Shirley Rudecki

    May 24, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    SHIRLEY RUDECKI

    Hometown: Prince George, BC

    What attracted you to your field?
    A career in family medicine has always been on my radar. As with most medical students, however, I entered my clinical years eager to fully experience and consider each of the medical and surgical disciplines. I quickly realized how much I enjoyed each of these different areas and how difficult it would be to select just one. This confirmed my previous thoughts on pursuing a career in family medicine. It will satisfy my broad range of medical interests, while also giving me the flexibility to develop a practice focus. More importantly, I am excited about taking on a role that emphasizes preventative health. There is nothing more rewarding then helping my future patients live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

    srIn 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?
    That’s a hard question to answer when I feel that I’ve walked away with many memorable UBC moments! However, one that stands out would be the time that my IMP cohort flocked to Victoria for an orientation weekend. We were welcomed with open arms by the amazing second year students. They had planned an exciting weekend for us that featured a Victoria-wide scavenger hunt, BBQ, and animal themed party – just to name a few. That weekend got us all a little bit more excited about what was to come and was also the start of many amazing friendships.

    What’s next for you?
    Next comes a family medicine residency in Chilliwack, BC! I could not be more excited for this next part of the journey. I look forward to continue learning from my patients as I begin to shape what my future practice will look like as a family doctor. At this time, I see myself working in a small- to medium-sized community, providing comprehensive primary care with an interest in obstetrics and women’s health.

    As you look ahead, who inspires you?
    My wonderful parents have always been and continue to be my greatest inspiration. Their approach to work-life balance has always been admirable. While exceling in their own careers, they also prioritized family commitments and wellbeing. I will continue to use their success and happiness as a model for my future professional and personal life.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.
    After dedicating many years to school, I look forward to spending some of my time traveling and exploring the world. A hot ticket item on my bucket list includes pursuing an authentic safari experience in Africa!


    Meet 2017 IMP Graduate Nathan Stefani

    May 22, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    NATHAN STEFANI

    Hometown: Nanaimo, BC

    What attracted you to your field?
    Emergency departments represent the one place in our society where any person can come at any time of day or night and find the help they need – all ages, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, personal expectations, and pathologies come through those doors. I am attracted to the inherent unpredictability, the patient diversity, and the diagnostic challenges that arise on every shift in emergency medicine.

    NSWhat UBC moment will you still be talking about?
    A defining moment for me was when I started a young man on suboxone therapy during my addictions elective at St. Paul’s Hospital. He was addicted to heroin, and had watched many of his friends die from opioid overdose. He was terrified of the same thing happening to him, but couldn’t stop using heroin. Suboxone is a drug that binds to the brain’s opioid receptors in such a way that cravings are reduced, protecting the person from overdosing. This patient did very well on suboxone and cried with gratitude when he left the hospital because he didn’t feel chained to his addiction anymore. It felt like we had saved a life and that interaction sparked a passion in me for addictions medicine that I hope to further pursue during my career in emergency medicine.

    What’s next for you?
    I am starting an emergency medicine residency in Victoria, BC, on July 1st. Before then, you’ll find me on a beach in southern California.

    As you look ahead, who inspires you?
    I am inspired by the doctors I know who are many years into their practice but still find meaning and pleasure in what they do. They are excellent clinicians and dedicated patient advocates but not at the expense of their families or their sanity. I want to be like them someday.

    Name one thing on your bucket list
    To surf inside a barreling wave.


    Meet 2017 IMP Graduate Melissa Dekker

    May 23, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    MELISSA DEKKER

    Hometown: Courtenay, BC

    What attracted you to your field?
    I was drawn to medicine because it marries my passion for human sciences and pathophysiology with my love of problem solving, and it offers the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.

    mdIn 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?
    I will never forget the day I received my letter of acceptance into the UBC Faculty of Medicine. It was such an incredibly exciting moment and it was the beginning of some of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life.

    What’s next for you?
    I am beyond thrilled to be returning home to the Comox Valley to complete my residency in family medicine.

    As you look ahead, what (or who) inspires you?
    My biggest inspiration and source of strength is my best friend and sister-in-law Jenn. She was the most remarkable human being I have ever known and although she is not here to celebrate this milestone in my life, her lessons of love and courage are with me always.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.
    Cycle the Tour De France race course.


    Meet 2017 IMP Graduate Brett Baumann

    May 25, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    BRETT BAUMANN

    Hometown: Qualicum Beach, BC

    What attracted you to your field?

    During my undergrad and later during my MBA I found myself interested in public health and governmental policy but wanted to find more of a tangible connection with the people I was working to help. Medicine provides that and allows me to spend my day learning from and helping patients in my community.

    bbIn 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?
    I’ll remember my time at the UBC Island Medical Program for being filled with amazing medical experiences and for giving me the opportunity to make lifelong professional and personal connections. The people here in Victoria made it a truly unique learning environment.

    What’s next for you?
    I’m excited to be staying in Victoria to start my residency in Internal Medicine!

    As you look ahead, who inspires you?
    Being in medicine allows for a lot of opportunity to draw inspiration from people in our daily lives. We get to meet interesting and perseverant patients and work alongside passionate people who share a common goal. It’s easy to go to work when that’s the environment waiting for you everyday.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.
    Visiting the Galapagos Islands is something I’ve wanted to do since my years in undergrad. I’ll be hoping to cross it off during residency.


    IMP and DMSC celebrate staff and faculty

    Feb 7, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    On December 15, 2016, the Island Medical Program and the Division of Medical Sciences held their seasonal celebration. This is a special event, recognizing the incredible work that IMP and DMSC staff have done over the past year. It was also the opportunity to recognize those who've been with the IMP and DMSC for five or ten years.

    Ten Year Milestone

    Dr. Laura Arbour, Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics; Affiliate Professor in the DMSC

    Kim Brodie, Curriculum Administrator VGH

    "I enjoyed celebrating the season with my colleagues and have enjoyed the successes and challenges of the past 10 years. Looking forward to many more."

    Izaak Housden, UBC Faculty of Medicine V/C Design Liaison

    "I have a diverse background and have worked for small mom and pop shops to big pharma. I can honestly say that my time thus far at UVic has been the most enjoyable of all employers. In my role I have found there is opportunity, support, challenge, growth, recognition, and a lot of friendship. My colleagues at IMP and UBC have created an environment that I enjoy coming to each day and for that I am very grateful. My first 10 years has flown by and I’m looking forward to my next 10."

    Jeff Knight, Simulation Technology Support Analyst

    "It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years already! Over the past ten years, I have witnessed a lot of change including: capital renewals (multiple times in some of the rooms), infrastructure changes, new sites, procedural changes, etc. The tasks I perform today are 90% different than the role I was hired into. When I look back on the past ten years, however, these changes are not what stand out the most. What does stand out is how many of the people I met a decade ago are still here today. These relationships that were formed while working to improve healthcare delivery in our communities are what makes this job as fun and enjoyable as it is. I’m am looking forward to see where the next 10 years bring us!"

    Stephanie Goult, Site Coordinator, IMG, Academic and Faculty Support, Family Practice

    "I really enjoyed the recognition event. It was nice to be with people who I’ve worked with for a long time but don’t get to see very often."

    Carlea Remodo, Site Coordinator, Idigenous Family Practice Site

    "I can’t believe that it has been 10 years already since I began working with UBC Postgraduate Education. I began working with the UBC Royal College Program in 2006 and then joined the UBC Indigenous Family Practice Residency Site in 2009. The highlight for me are my residents (and alumni); they constantly inspire me with their selflessness and genuine passion for the communities and patients that they serve. I also feel blessed to have received teachings from Elders, to have been welcomed into Indigenous communities during our Academic Days and to work with such dedicated preceptors. It has been an honour to be part of a program that considers cultural traditions and teachings, resident resilience and community engagement while also producing knowledgeable, well-rounded medical experts."

    Erin Gogol, DMSC Secretary

    IMP has been a great place to work -- it's more like a family than a workplace. I think that is how I have ended up being here for 10 years! Plus we laugh a lot, which I love.

    ***

    Five Year Milestone

    Katie Gerritsen, Assistant to the Regional Associate Dean

    I’m deeply grateful for all of the love and support I’ve had since joining IMP. It’s a special thing to know that no matter how the work day goes, there is guaranteed to always be some laughter and lots of smiles. To be part of a team of hard-working people, great mentors and all-around amazing humans is a gift, and it’s one I appreciate daily. Having worked on campus for 14 years, my time at IMP has by far been the most rewarding!

    Eleanor Good, Program Administrator Years 1 & 2 RJH

    "It was so wonderful for everyone to be recognized for their time spent at IMP! Personally, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 5 years here, and I’ve felt supported and encouraged every step of the way! I look forward to the coming years and continuing to recognize all the other wonderful staff that are part of the program."

    Luisa Halsall, Program Assistant VGH

    "I just wanted to say that it was an honour to be recognized this way at the years of service event and had a fabulous time mingling with staff. Always a pleasure!"

    Leigh Anne Swayne, Assistant Professor DMSC

    "It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has passed since I started at the IMP/DMS! I’ve loved being a part of the IMP family and associated research group in the DMS over the past 6 years (since January 2011). I appreciated Brian’s remarks as he has been a really important and supportive mentor for me over the years. The genuine feelings of appreciation and community were palpable at the event, as has been true in years past as well. It’s reflective of why we have a strong history of success as a distributed program – our cohesiveness, our ability to work together and appreciate and capitalize one another’s strengths is why we have always been successful. I hope we continue to work as a team and continue on this same trajectory for many years to come!"


    Meet the Class of 2020: Vincent Soh

    Feb 7, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name: Vincent Soh

    Hometown: Seoul, Korea

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    It makes me happy when people are happy. And I think that health and happiness comes hand in hand. The role of a doctor as healer, as someone who people entrust their health to, is what attracted me to medicine.

    vsYou recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    A second-year once told me that medical school is “difficult but fun.” I know exactly what he means now. It’s tiring… But I’ve never had so much fun going to school.

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    I am certainly not in the place to be giving advice but if I had to, it’d be to never forget what a privilege it is to be studying medicine. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy schedule but always remind yourself of what brought you to medicine!

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    The outdoor activities! Our class is filled with intense athletes, hikers, bikers, runners, etc. As someone who grew up in big cities, I never really had the opportunity to go on such long hikes, camping trips and do other cool outdoorsy things. I’m super excited to discover what the island has to offer and I look forward to all the fun with the classmates. 

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    Movies… I like to watch at least one a week either at home or in the theatres. It’s a good way to relax and forget about any stress I might have. Plus I enjoy sports of any sort!


    Meet the Class of 2020: Nick Slater

    Feb 2, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name: Nicholas Slater

    Hometown: Victoria, B.C.

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    Studying and practicing medicine is such a privilege. To be invited into some of the most intimate and sometimes critical moments of someone’s life and have the opportunity to make a difference is incredibly rewarding. Medicine changes your perspective on life and, by caring for others enduring hardship, reminds us of what we take for granted every day. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing.

    nsYou recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    First semester resulted in a dramatic increase in my coffee intake - medical school certainly lives up to its reputation. It was also the most fun I’ve had in school to date. It is so exciting to learn medicine in lecture and then apply that knowledge in a clinical setting.

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    Everyone who achieves admissions to medical school is smart, that means that you are smart, so don’t forget it! I encourage you to work diligently but don't forget to take time for self-care. Most importantly, this is an incredible journey so enjoy yourself because you deserve it.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    I grew up in Victoria so I am excited to come back to the island and study medicine close to my friends and family. I also feel so fortunate to be joining such a small group of amazing people.

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    I am a bit of an amateur foodie and Victoria is an excellent city to cultivate this hobby, for better or worse. Also, I will almost always take a study break to watch the Toronto Raptors; I rarely miss a game.


    Meet the Class of 2020: Lisa Jeffery

    Feb 1, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name:  Lisa Jeffery    

    Hometown: Duncan, BC

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    I think it was more of a perfect storm of precipitating events than one single thing.  My mom is an incredibly compassionate RN so I always had a lot of positive exposure to medicine.  My volunteer experiences in care homes, the loss of a dear friend to cancer and my curiosity of human physiology all kept pointing me in one direction.

    ljYou recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    It had its ups and downs but was ultimately an incredible experience.

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    A good friend gave me some wonderful advice: whenever you get overwhelmed by med school remember what an honour and privilege it is to be here. Also, the admissions process works: if you’re here you belong here, trust that.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    Being able to know EVERYONE in my class and work with them all. Being home.    

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    I love climbing, running and netflixing (no, it’s not a verb but it should be).  But nothing beats a day on the construction site to relieve some stress!


    Meet the Class of 2020: Sarah Gibbs

    Feb 8, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name: Sarah Gibbs

    Hometown: Victoria, BC

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    I (like most people I am sure), wanted to go into med for a variety or reasons. I like helping people, I love anatomy and physiology, and I really enjoy the human connection that physicians can have with their patients. Most jobs don’t allow people to hear about others' vulnerable issues and then support them and try to work through their issues. Medicine seems to be a career in which you are dealing with the “human” aspects of people and I wanted to be able to help people on this fundamental level.

    sgYou recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    It went well! I knew that med was going to be challenging (and indeed it was), but it is also exciting to study what you have always wanted to study. Also the material you are learning will actually help you in your future career and its practical!

     What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    Be prepared! Cramming in med isn’t the same as in undergrad (some might say it isn’t even possible). The volume of material in med is just colossal so studying every week, through out the semester is definitely helpful!

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    Getting to settle into the medical community here! Being in Vancouver for only 4 months, for many of us it felt like there wasn’t much point in reaching out to lots of physicians and residents (although shadowing some really unique specialists is amazing and definitely recommended!) because you were going to leave so soon. Here in Victoria we can now start to reach out more and get to know people in the medical community here which, fingers crossed, will help us figure out what we want to do in the future and help with CaRMS!

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    A few things! I love to exercise (be it in the gym watching House or running around our beautiful West Coast), hang out with friends, and cook (which my friends are quite happy about)!


    Meet the Class of 2020: Amy Kim

    Feb 6, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name: Amy Kim

    Hometown: Hope, BC

    akWhat attracted you to study medicine?

    Where do I begin! So many aspects of medicine attracted me to the field. To name one, I like being a useful part of society. Arguably, all professions contribute to our current society, but I like to think of medicine as the backbone of it all. This may be a silly way to think of it, but if a group of people were to be stranded on an island, being someone with medical knowledge would greatly benefit everybody, and I would like to be that someone.

    You recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    It was a rollercoaster ride. The saying of “learning in medical school is like drinking from a fire hydrant” is very much accurate. I did manage to find a good balance between the academics, social life, and self-care though so I think it went great overall!

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    Don’t forget to take care of yourself! As I’ve been told many times, medical school is a marathon, not a sprint. Also, new med friends are awesome, but don’t forget about your friends from before medical school. They are the ones who were there for you through not only the highs, but also the lows.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    I’m excited about the smaller class size, not having to fight through a crowd to look at a prosection in the gross anatomy lab, and the opportunity to really get to know the fellow IMP classmates as well as staff/faculty!

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    I like to get outside and explore the many great things that nature has to offer. In the summer you can find me hiking or camping; in the winter, I like to snowboard! You can find me on my bike, Sven, year-round as it is my main mode of transportation within the city. I’ve painted a very outdoorsy picture of myself for whoever is reading, but I will admit that I do find myself lounging at home with a cup of tea and a movie quite often as well.


    Summer Student Research Project highlight: Lee Bauer

    Jan 6, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Project title: Efficacy of Novel Movement Treatment Regimes in Decreasing Spasticity

    Supervisor: Dr. Paul Zehr

    Can you describe your project?

    After stroke there are changes in arm and leg coordination as well as increased muscle activity and spasticity in some muscles, which cause problems during walking. Because of this, many stroke survivors have flexed postures of one arm and one leg that often scuffs the floor when walking. Drugs can be taken to reduce too much muscle activation, but these same drugs also make people very tired and weak. Interventions that can reduce excessive muscle activity in overactive muscles and increase muscle activity in underactive muscles include rhythmic arm and leg training such as on an exercise machine.

    Unfortunately, sometimes the spasticity makes it impossible to have enough movement to actually train on any exercise equipment. Combined Botox© (a chemical that temporarily weakens over-active muscles) and ankle and elbow movement training (on a single limb rhythmic activation device) can help train stroke participants to a level that allows them to begin use of full exercise devices in a rehabilitation program. This approach could work well to bridge these severely affected patients into current research protocols such as strength training and arm and leg cycling. This project is a mechanistic assessment of the concept that single limb oscillation training combined with botulinum toxin therapy can improve patient range of motion sufficient to progress to whole body arm and leg cycling locomotor interventions

    lb

    Why were you interested in working on this project?

    I was interested in working on this project because I have always been fascinated by neuroscience and rehabilitation. This project was a great way to learn more about the basic science involved in rehabilitation while gaining some much needed research experience.

    What’s one thing that surprised you about the research?

    I was most surprised that I would actually enjoy research. I had always looked at research as a tedious process that can be overwhelming at times. My experience in the lab this summer, and specifically being involved in the scientific process, made me realize how valuable research is to my learning. Asking and answering research questions through raw data collection and analysis showed me how research can really consolidate my knowledge in a field of interest.

    How will this research experience help you in your future medical studies?

    This research experience has opened up a new area of learning for me. It also helped me realize how interesting research can be when you are passionate about what you study. I plan to further my research experience in the future regarding physical rehabilitation, either in my career or my residency, as this opportunity has reinforced my passion in this field of study.

    What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your project? How has it influenced your perspective on medicine and patient care?

    The most important thing I learned from this project is that I am capable of doing research on my own. I realized how much teamwork is involved in the lab and in the scientific community as a whole. You truly are never on your own when conducting research.

    This experience has influenced my perspective on medicine and patient care by showing me how much work goes into evidence-based treatment. It is simple to follow evidence-based guidelines without thinking how much work has gone into the development of those guidelines. I’ve also learned that, in research, almost nothing is 100% black and white. This is important to understand when considering patient variability while following evidence-based guidelines in medicine.

    Is there anything else you’d like to share?

    The SSRP was a great chance for me to become fully immersed in research. I really enjoyed working in the Neuroscience Rehabilitation Lab at UVic this summer. My colleagues and my supervisor, Dr. Zehr, made this experience even more enjoyable. I would strongly recommend this program to any students looking to gain research experience during the short summer period.

    ***

    The Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Project (FoM SSRP) provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore their interest in medical research by undertaking a project during the summer, under the supervision of a principal investigator who holds an appointment in the Faculty of Medicine.

    Learn how to apply: http://www.med.ubc.ca/current-learners/summer-student-research-program/students/


    Meet the Class of 2020: Lauren Eadie

    Jan 12, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Students from the Class of 2020 recently joined the Island Medical Program after completing their first semester in Vancouver. We reached out to learn a little more about them, including their first few months in medical school.

    leName: Lauren Eadie

    Hometown: Nanaimo

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    The deep connection to the human condition. I am constantly inspired by the stories of others who allow us into the journey of their life. Very few jobs are as personal and raw as being a physician, and in that I find a humbling sense of what it means to be healthy and alive.

    You recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?  

    It was more than I could have imagined it being. I am very impressed with the multidisciplinary approach medicine is taking. I have high hopes that our new integrative curriculum will produce the physicians that are needed in this modern day.

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?  

    Find balance and pursue what brings you joy! I can not stress enough how important taking care of yourself is. I have only begun this marathon, but I am putting emphasis on starting good healthy habits and giving myself grace when needed. Have a beginner's mind, and let yourself make mistakes. This is the time to test the waters.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    I am so excited to be in a small, tight community of motivated, active individuals. We are all inspiring each other to do great things and I think that this support will give our education an edge. 

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    I love being physically active, especially outdoors. British Columbia has so many options for activity in all the seasons. Snowboarding and snowshoeing in the winter, biking year round, hiking in the summer – the list is endless. I get into the mountains any chance I can. I also really enjoy yoga for calming the mind.


    Meet the Class of 2020: Kaity Lalonde

    Jan 18, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name:  Kaity Lalonde

    Hometown: Vancouver, BC

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    I was attracted to the field of medicine because I was enamoured by the prospect of combining my love of science with my interest in social justice and passion for engaging with people to hear their stories.

    klYou recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    It was an amazing, but overwhelming, experience. It was a big change from my previous degrees and the demands were quite different, especially the volume of material. But, the topics were engaging, all the different sessions and workshops were fascinating, and it was a privilege to work alongside accomplished tutors, professors, physicians and peers. I feel very thankful I get to be part of this journey. It was a lot to take in at first, but it was exciting and I’m looking forward to this next semester!

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    It is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to feel that things are hard. It is okay to be nervous. But, just keep working at it and find what works for you. I really benefited from connecting with some peers -- who have become great friends -- to share these experiences with and support each other through. Also, keeping balance in your life is something that is mentioned frequently. This can be really hard (and something I will be continuously working on), but taking time between studying to see friends, go for a run or do whatever activity it is that makes you happy will go a long way.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    I have never lived in Victoria before, so that in itself is very exciting! I am really looking forward to working in a smaller class size and having more personal interactions with the kind and supportive staff here at the IMP. A new adventure is always thrilling!

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    I love to run and do yoga. I also love books and try to spend some time reading each week. And, I enjoy baking and trying new restaurants with my friends and family!


    Meet the Class of 2020: Angeline de Bruyns

    Jan 10, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Students from the Class of 2020 recently joined the Island Medical Program after completing their first semester in Vancouver. We reached out to learn a little more about them, including their first few months in medical school.

    adbName: Angeline de Bruyns

    Hometown: Nanaimo, BC (but originally Swakopmund, Namibia)

    What attracted you to study medicine?

    I’m a sucker for science and love helping other people, so naturally I was drawn to medicine. For myself, I can’t imagine a career more fulfilling than medicine.

    You recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    I loved it! I got to meet so many cool people in my program and learned so much about medicine. It was a lot of hard work keeping up with all the new material, but everything was so interesting it made it feel like less of a chore! Can’t wait to learn more!

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    Don’t leave studying to the last few weeks before the test. Try to review the material presented in class that same day or soon after. It makes it easier to wrap your head around the topic presented in each week as you go along and also you won’t be swamped and stressed out learning all of it right before midterms and finals! Don’t spend all of your time studying either! Make as many friends as possible and check out the social events. The bonds you make will definitely enrich your med school experience.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    Being back on the Island (and the smaller class sizes will be huge plus)! Also, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my IMP classmates and the 2nd year IMPers.

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    Any sports basically! Soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, squash, snowboarding and running are some of my favorites. I also love anything to do with the outdoors. I’m always up to go camping or hiking!


    Meet the Class of 2020: Dalton Anderson

    Jan 30, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Name: 

    Dalton Anderson

    Hometown:

    Vancouver

    daWhat attracted you to study medicine?

    I am attracted to medicine as a profession to truly help people as well as to contribute to the academic community. After many pleasant interactions with physicians in the past, I have realized how greatly a physician can truly impact a person’s health in more ways than one.

    You recently completed the first semester of your MD degree. How did it go?

    It was truly a journey that has changed who I am. I was mentally stretched on many occasions, but I finished strong and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in this program. There are still many ways I need to develop and become a better learner and I look forward to facing the firehose of knowledge that will be thrown my way this semester.

    What advice would you give to students entering their first semester?

    My advice would be to go out and do amazing things. Last semester, there were many times that I would make an excuse not to do something, or I would avoid applying to something because I felt overwhelmed by school. I have realized, if you put in a decent effort, school will be just fine. This is a time filled with many opportunities and I don’t want to miss out on something valuable just because I had to study material that probably wouldn’t be on the test anyway.

    What are you most excited about beginning your studies with the Island Medical Program?

    I’m excited to work with our class of about 30 students and study in a tight-knit environment. After going to UVic for 3 years in my undergrad, I’m excited to be back on the island and do all the touristy things that I missed out on my first time around.

    What do you like to do in your spare time to relax and have fun?

    In my spare time I go to the gym, read something non-medical, and play video games (NBA, NHL, FIFA, MLB, you name it). I hope to take advantage of the free time I get, as opposed to spending it on my computer in a sea of memes.  I also find making and eating tacos a brilliant way to spice up my world (as long as they don’t fall apart when I eat them).


    Mini Med School to start soon

    Jan 4, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Mini Med School is about to start. Check out some interesting lectures by passionate second-year medical students!

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    Meet high-school volunteer patient Gil White

    Jan 13, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    At just 15 years old, Gil White volunteered with the IMP's clinical skills sessions, eager to help and learn more about becoming a doctor. Now 17 and heading into his senior year at Stelly’s Secondary School in Saanich, BC, he’s committed to fulfilling his goal of becoming a surgeon. We sat down to learn more about him and his experience.

    What made you want to become a doctor?

    I decided on becoming a surgeon in Grade 6. There was nothing specific that lead me to that idea. I just thought about it, liked it, and started down that path. I knew I’d need good grades, so I started working harder in school. And it’s paid off.

    I got even more interested when I attended Medical School for Secondary Students (MedSS), hosted in the UVic Medical Sciences Building. We got talks from med students, heard more about the different fields of medicine, and even learned how to do sutures. All the kids attending were some of the smartest around. It was intimidating! So my goal was to speak out in front of them as much as possible. I actually wound up winning the Citizens Award for asking so many questions. I learned a ton – I loved it!

    What type of doctor would you like to become?

    A surgeon. I like drawing and building stuff. I’m good with my hands, so I think that would transfer over well. And surgery itself is so intriguing, so intense and exciting. I love the idea of helping someone in such an immediate way. In under 24 hours, you could perform a surgery on someone who's near death, and shortly after, they could be back with their families again. That’s crazy to me, and so inspiring.

    gwWhen did you hear about the Volunteer Patient Program (VPP)?

    I was at home sitting around and figured I better do something with my day. So I went online and started looking at different medical schools. I checked out UBC and discovered there was a medical school on the Island – the Island Medical Program. Then I saw they had volunteer opportunities, and I knew I needed to get involved. So I connected with Karen, the volunteer coordinator, and she got me right in.

    Do you recall what your first session was like?

    I do, actually. It was for some physical exam. There were three second-year students, all a little quiet. I suppose they didn’t expect to see some teenager taking part. But then the preceptor comes in, so charismatic and friendly, brimming with confidence, and he starts writing on the board. It was a lesson for the students, of course, but there I was learning a ton about internal medicine. I felt like I was getting paid for a free medical lesson.

    Has your volunteer experience changed how you view medicine or medical school?

    Yes. Aside from my great-grandfather, there’ve been no doctors in my family. I didn't know what the process looked like; when I was younger, I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to become. I didn’t have a concrete image of what a doctor exactly was – but I did know that it’s not like Grey’s Anatomy.

    So coming in here and meeting the students helped me to figure out what I wanted to become. It gave me a general outline of the process and the profession, what they ask of the people wanting to become a doctor. I can analyze all of their traits and get an idea of the trends of successful applicants. It’s been great.

    ***

    Are you interested in volunteering with the Island Medical Program?

    We need standardized patients – a healthy person trained to simulate the personal history, physical symptoms, emotional characteristics and everyday concerns of an actual patient. And, of course, volunteer patients like Gil, who allow medical students to interview them about their health or perform non-invasive examinations.

    For more information, connect with Karen Basi, Volunteer Patient Coordinator, at karenpri@uvic.ca


    Students to discuss exercise and spinal cord injury in the latest Let's Talk Science presentation

    Jan 12, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah


    Inaugural year a success for simulation centre

    Dec 7, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    On the second floor of a hospital facility in Victoria, BC, patients repeatedly face medical distress hour after hour, day after day, just so others can learn how to best respond. The good news? The patients are sophisticated life-like mannequins, and the simulated in-hospital, operations, and critical-care rooms are training hundreds of people in the health professions.

    Since the Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning, or CICSL, opened in September 2015 at Royal Jubilee Hospital, nearly 1300 nursing and medical students, residents, and other healthcare practitioners have learned valuable lessons.

    “We’ve been very happy with the response,” said Darin Abbey, CICSL’s Director and an RN of 15 years. “We’ve had close to 300 registered nurses participate in simulations. We’ve had medical students from the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Island Medical Program, Island Health teams, midwives, and even the Canadian Armed Forces take part. People recognize the value that simulation training offers. We’re busy every day, and it’s exciting.”

    Planning for CICSL actually began five years earlier, in 2011, when the University of Victoria (UVic), the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Island Medical Program, and Island Health formed a unique collaboration which resulted in the shared governance model that built and now supports the Centre. It took some time in those early days for the partnership to work through the financial, academic, and logistical hurdles, a daunting task given the size of the organizations involved. But thanks to dedicated efforts from leadership, the centre finally opened in September 2015.

    Why this particular partnership? Because, explained Abbey, it was a clear opportunity to address overlapping goals for each organization. “Simulation training is recognized, through mounds of research, as a fantastic way to train nursing and medical students, as well as continue the education of established practitioners,” he said. “And because healthcare is constantly changing, as are learners and their expectations, we needed a safe place for collaborative learning. The simulation centre provides all of that.” CICSL’s large user base suggests that others agree. And as the Centre becomes more established, the number of users, not to mention the diversity of health professions involved, will expand.

    It’s not hard to see why CICSL is so popular. Inside are learning laboratories that exactly replicate common healthcare environments, including an operating theatre, critical-care space, four-patient hospital ward, and a living room used to practice in-home care. Attached to these spaces are mini control rooms, where facilitators remotely control life-like mannequins to reproduce healthcare scenarios – anything from a heart attack to a mother giving birth.

    Bringing the simulations to life are the sophisticated patient mannequins. These $100,000-plus life-size dolls do nearly everything one might expect of their human counterparts. They breathe, sweat, cry, and vomit. Their pupils react to light. They go into cardiac arrest. They require IVs and constant monitoring. And if the ailment is especially painful, they’ll even scream out – a jarring experience, especially for those interacting with the mannequins for the first time.

    CICSL can also replicate large-scale disasters involving many patients, often all suffering from different injuries. For Anna Macdonald, CICSL’s Operations Manager, these multi-patient scenarios have been a highlight. “We’ve had anesthesia workshops, where everyone is dressed exactly like they’d be in a hospital,” she recalled. “The participants are running through many different emergency situations. It’s interesting to see what goes well and what errors are made, and how people react to these errors. It gets emotionally charged and very real for the people involved.”

    Sometimes these simulations result in a patient’s recovery. Other times, like the reality CICSL works so hard to replicate, patients don’t make it. But what remains constant is a dedication to a safe learning environment – one where, no matter the outcome, people work together to learn, or improve, or get better at what they’re already experts in. “When a simulation goes exceptionally well, that’s excellent,” said Abbey. “When something happens that needs to be better understood, that’s also excellent. Either way, we’re provoking reflective practice with our teams. We’re constantly learning with, from, and about each other.”

    This reflective practice, in the form of post-scenario debriefs, is the lifeblood of a successful sim session – and its longest component. Through a series of questions, facilitators review what happened during a simulation, then promote a group analysis in order to unpack people’s decision-making. “We try to understand what people were thinking during a session,” said Abbey. “Our goal, specifically, is to figure out why people made certain choices. Even when they did something right, they’re not always sure why they’re right. We’re interested in the why.” The hope is that such reflection, practiced regularly and in-depth, will carry over to the important work healthcare practitioners are doing each day – and with live patients. “At the end of each debrief,” said Anna Macdonald, “we ask people, how will this benefit your clinical practice? How will it benefit the people you’re serving? Because simulation is ultimately about improving the care for everyone.”

    Despite how tough the simulation experience can be – from preparation to the lengthy debrief, not to mention the scenarios themselves – users recognize the value that CICSL and its facilities provide. In its recent “Inaugural Year in Review” report, CICSL shared some comments from its users: “Very supportive environment; good simulation scenarios. Enjoyable,” wrote a rural family physician. “Amazing and valuable learning experience,” said a BCIT specialty nursing student. “We all need more sim. It is the best way to learn outside reality,” mentioned a second-year medical resident.

    But the positive reception also reverberates in the halls of CICSL itself. From his office, Abbey often hears the excitement – and apprehension – of those coming in for a session, especially from students and first-timers. Afterwards, there’s more than a sense of relief. “When they leave, I hear participants talk about how much they enjoyed the experience, that they learned a lot, that they discovered something about themselves or their team,” said Abbey. “It’s incredibly gratifying to hear.” But it’s not just talk: though not all healthcare professionals are required to use CICSL, or simulations in general, many return to practice.

    Despite the success and the praise, Abbey and his team know there’s lots to be done, in no small part because healthcare itself is a moving target. New medical techniques and breakthroughs, changing expectations, interdisciplinary teams with different perspectives, flexible learning and outcomes, an increasing number of research projects – there’s a lot CICSL has to consider. But this hard work is made easier, said Abbey, because of the cohesive vision, not to mention the dedication, of the Centre and its supporters: “We have three committed partners, and they’re focused on the same thing: to provide the best, most impactful training for our users.”

    With CICSL’s first year now complete, what’s the future for the Centre look like? Certainly an increase in capacity, in ground-breaking research, in the number of interprofessional teams working on any given simulation scenario, which reflects the reality of healthcare today. All of this growing activity will take a heavy toll on CICSL’s equipment – and for CICSL’s team, that’ll be a mark of success: “The Centre will feel well used,” said Abbey. “It will need to replace its gear, because it’s tired and beaten. It’ll have contributed significantly to the learning of our healthcare community. It will be a prime example of knowledge translation, research, and collaboration that benefits everyone.” Getting to that point will be a lot of work, Abbey admits. But the work is worthwhile, because of the benefits to be gained. “CICSL and its goals are pretty noteworthy to me. We’re grateful to be part of it.”

    ***

    If you are interested in learning more about simulation, or utilizing the CICSL for teaching opportunities, please contact Darin and Anna through simsupp@uvic.ca


    New clinical research centre envisioned for Vancouver Island

    Dec 9, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Graduate students prepare samples for analysis in mass spectrometers.

    A new clinical research centre is being envisioned for Vancouver Island.

    The Centre would feature a partnership between the IMP and the University of Victoria-Genome BC Proteomics Centre (the latter a collaboration between Island Health and the University of Victoria). Together, the two partners would focus on translating proteomics research – the study of protein expression in an organism – into more effective clinical treatments for serious diseases, such as diabetes and cancer.

    The key to this initiative, says Dr. Bruce Wright, the IMP’s Regional Associate Dean, is the analytical expertise the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre would bring. “Their strength is not that they have expensive, high-end equipment; they do, and that’s significant,” he said. “But more importantly, they know how to use it – and it’s resulted in their reputation as an excellent proteomics platform.”

    This reputation extends beyond the City of Victoria, the province, and even Canada. “We have clients around the world,” said Dr. Christoph Borchers, the Centre’s Director and Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at UVic. “We examine samples for academic, government, and private institutions, some of which are very well known, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” Recently, the Centre signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Cancer Research Program, initiated and directed by US Vice President Joe Biden, which includes three other universities that Borchers has worked with, including UBC, McGill, and the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences in Dortmund, Germany.

    Dr. Borchers brings an abundance of leadership experience to the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre. Originally from Germany, he received a Ph.D. in Chemistry, with a focus on protein chemistry using mass spectrometry. Shortly after, he was appointed Director of UNC-Duke Proteomics Facility in North Carolina, USA. Today, alongside his UVic Professorship and role as Director with the Proteomics Centre, Dr. Borchers is a Professor in McGill University’s Department of Oncology, and holds the Segal Chair in Molecular Oncology at the Jewish General Hospital at McGill.

    While his leadership is moving the Proteomics Centre in exciting directions, Dr. Borchers is quick to acknowledge the roughly 30-person team – a combination of scientists, researchers, staff, and students – who’ve been instrumental to the Centre’s success. “We have excellent people solving tough biological problems. They’re publishing high-impact articles in renowned journals, like Nature. They’re very productive, and we’re lucky to have them.”

    What’s the primary goal of the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre and its talented team? Using mass spectrometers – it has 11 of them, which together cost roughly $10 million – the Centre analyzes the proteome, or the protein content, of biological samples. The sample is carefully prepared, then introduced into a mass spectrometer, which separates components on the basis of their mass and electrical charge. Modern mass spectrometers enable the analysis of large, clinically-important biomolecules, such as antibodies and proteins, typically by putting multiple charges on each molecule. Inside the machine, a second stage of mass spectrometry can be used to read off the amino acid sequence of the protein like a bar code. The spacing between the bars can be used to pinpoint modifications to specific amino acids that make up the proteins in the sample. 

    “Essentially, mass spectrometers are fancy scales – and they’re incredibly precise,” said Derek Smith, the Proteomic Centre’s Lab Manager. “But these machines can do more than that: proteins can be covered in chemical groups, such as sugars or phosphates, which affect how they interact with other proteins. We can actually see how proteins talk to each other, what mutations are occurring, in great detail.”

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    The UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre has 11 mass spectrometers, each ranging from $500,000 to $2 million.

    Sometimes these mutations are bad news. For example, proteins may interact in a way that allows for the formation of cancer cells. But thanks to the field of proteomics, powered by equipment like mass spectrometers, scientists can spot patterns that lead to such diseases. That research can then be used to develop, say, inhibitor drugs that prevent those interactions from taking place. “Right now, cancer therapies aren’t as effective as we’d like,” said Dr. Borchers. “Some have a response rate of 60%; other are only 30%. But with proteomics data, combined with the genomics (the study of DNA), we have the opportunity to develop treatments that are extremely effective for a variety of conditions and diseases.”

    Despite this exciting potential, the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre is only an analytical lab. It examines samples for other organizations, but does not set up medical research projects in-house – and this is precisely what the partnership with UBC, by way of the Island Medical Program, would provide. “The Proteomics Centre has the expertise and the analytical capabilities,” says Dr. Wright. “And if we pair that with the IMP, which has the infrastructure to define the research and develop the results, we can build a centre that can do it all: create research protocols and develop clinically relevant treatments.”

    The combined initiative, though still conceptual, has been well-received. The idea began when Dr. Wright first learned about the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre two years ago. At that time, the Centre was working with McGill on the clinical application of the its research, but there was no collaboration with the medical school next door – UBC’s Island Medical Program. “Everyone that I talked with – UBC, UVic, Island Health, the Proteomics Centre itself – felt there was an excellent opportunity to combine forces,” said Wright. Dr. Borchers agreed: “We had people asking us why we were doing this work in Montreal but not here. It was a great question. But before Bruce, we didn’t have someone seriously promoting the partnership.” Since then, no official decisions have been made, but the prospects are looking good: nearly $1.8 million in funding is being considered for the centre, and there’s been discussions about where the space might be located.

    If all goes according to plan, the new clinical proteomics centre will mark the beginning of an exciting partnership on the Island. “We’d like to have satellite centres around Canada, with the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre as the primary node,” said Dr. Borchers. “This is already happening: we’re looking at a partnership with the Sick Kids Hospital, in Toronto, and the BC Cancer Agency.” For Dr. Bruce Wright, this expansion would not only include other satellites around Canada, but a comprehensive research platform that could improve the health of populations on the Island and across the country. “We could combine this proteomics data with genomics data, clinical information, medical information, and social determinants of health, like income” he said. “Such a database would help us really understand – and improve – the overall health of our communities. And that’s a very good thing.”


    IMP students to give public healthcare lectures

    Dec 16, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Starting in mid-January 2017, two students from the Island Medical Program (IMP) will be offering a series of public healthcare lectures as part of a joint engagement-research project.

    Samuel Harder and Sergiy Shatenko, second-year peers, designed Mini Med School to not only inform the community about important health topics – something they’re passionate about – but also to study whether public education programs make an impact.

    “Many residency and medical school programs have used Mini Med School, or programs like it, to engage the community,” said Harder. “But interestingly, not much research has been done on whether such outreach changes people’s health behaviors. That’s what we’re interested in.”

    The lecture series will feature talks on six relevant topics, including chronic illness, preventative medicine, and medical testing. Everyone is welcome to attend, but those interested in the study will need to fill out a survey and attend a minimum of four lectures.

    The project was inspired by another seminar series called Let’s Talk the Science of Medicine, which Harder and Shatenko took part in during their first year. They enjoyed the experience, giving a total of four presentations, but felt the lectures could be expanded.

    “As medical students, we are in a unique position to bridge the gap between doctors and the general public,” said Shatenko. “We wanted to take LTS one step further and develop greater continuity from one lecture to the next. This will allow us to create a more comprehensive picture of health and diseases, and that could ultimately improve health outcomes for communities.”

    Harder and Shatenko have developed Mini Med School as their Foundations of Scholarship and Flexible Enhanced Learning (FLEX) project. FLEX, a mandatory component of the IMP’s curriculum, requires medical students to develop a directed study initiative, which they design and run with the help of a supervisor.

    Dr. Jane Gair, a Teaching Professor with UVic’s Division of Medical Sciences, is overseeing the project. Not only will participants learn more about health, she said, but they’ll be engaging with passionate students.

    “We have two dynamic speakers presenting on relevant, interesting health topics,” she said. “These talks, we hope, will improve health literacy, which will empower patients for when they next visit their physician.”

    Despite Mini Med School being a curriculum project, Harder and Shatenko see it as a first step into a larger – and important – part of healthcare education for communities across BC.

    “We’re hoping that IMP students who come after us decide to continue this project and improve on what we’ve started,” said Shatenko. “We’d especially like to see it reach higher risk populations, who have limited access to healthcare resources.”

    ***

    The Mini Med School lectures will be presented on January 14, 21 and 28, and February 4, 11 and 18. Each will take place from 10am – 12pm in the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) 150 on the University of Victoria’s campus.

    For more information on the lectures and the research project, visit uvic.ca/medsci/mms or contact Jane Gair at jgair@uvic.ca


    IMP students engage patients to improve healthcare

    Dec 2, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Two third-year students from the Island Medical Program (IMP) are looking to improve healthcare – not in a research lab, but in hospital wards, where they’re asking patients to speak up about their experiences.

    Meagan McKeen and Elisabeth Pharo are piloting a new patient-based survey system, called The Patient’s View, on the pediatric unit at Victoria General Hospital (VGH). The tool empowers patients to report on any issues with the care they receive – a practice that is not yet mainstream.

    “Patients and families want to report on legitimate, unreported safety concerns,” said Pharo. “But for whatever reason, this is not a common procedure. We need a healthcare model that engages patients in all aspects of care. This survey is designed to do just that.”

    McKeen and Pharo’s project is modeled after the original Patient’s View, implemented in 2012 at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) in Vancouver, BC. There, patients reported on four key areas where problems could arise: medications, equipment, communication, and complications of care. These issues were then relayed to healthcare professionals and administrators, who used the information to improve healthcare effectiveness while decreasing provider burnout.

    “It was a major success,” said McKeen, who volunteered for the BCCH pilot project. “It gave patients a voice that positively impacted the care that they and others received.”

    The original pilot project was so successful, in fact, that it spread to every ward in BCCH and was adopted by the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, and the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England.

    The positive response has carried over to VGH, too. The Patient’s View, in its current incarnation, has been well received by patients, families, clinical staff, administrators, and volunteers who are part of the project. Its impact will be formally evaluated by the implementing team next spring.

    McKeen and Pharo recently entered their clerkship year, and so handed the project reigns to second-year IMP students Stephanie D’Aoust and Andrew Watters. Thought they’re excited for the next phase of their medical education, McKeen and Pharo will keep an eager eye on the project they feel will have a big impact.

    “Engaging in patient-centered care, feeling part of the healthcare team at VGH, empowering providers and patients to make care safer – it’s been really rewarding to be part of such an important project,” said Pharo.

    McKeen agrees: “I’m excited to see this valuable program expanding into more areas of healthcare. One day, I hope to see it adopted throughout BC and beyond.”


    Happy Holidays from the IMP and DMSC

    Dec 8, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    As the holidays creep closer – along with the promise of family gatherings, lots of food, and inevitable weight gain – the Island Medical Program and the Division of Medical Sciences would like to thank all those who are, and have been, a part of our outstanding team.

    Staff, faculty, and clinical faculty: you’re the reason these programs thrive each year, that we’re able to train the next generation of physicians and researchers who, like you, contribute to a better, healthier, and happier world. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication.

    We asked our team what they like best about the holiday season, or if they had any special memories to share. They did not disappoint:

     ***

    Aleah Ross, Program Support Years 1 – 4

    My favorite part of the holidays? Receiving a warm welcome from my family (pets included) when I go home to Alberta for Christmas each year. I love all of the activities we get to spend time doing together that go along with a white Christmas, especially skating on a local pond just off the river near my childhood home. It helps to work off a few of the many sugar cookies I plan to decorate and indulge in – my favorite every year!

    Kristofer Harder, IMP Class of 2017

    My favourite thing about the holidays with my family is how relaxed it is. We don't typically have an overtly set schedule, or necessarily places to be, or even a defined date. Between me and my two sisters and our work/school commitments, one year we celebrated Christmas on Jan 2nd and it didn't matter.

    Jenn MacMillan, Program Manager Years 1 & 2

    I love our family traditions – Chinese food on Christmas Eve, an eggs benedict breakfast on Christmas morning, napping, and a game of Mad Libs.

    My favorite part of all is decorating our Christmas dinner table and having all of my family together in one place (as it rarely happens with so much busyness in our lives). This year we made our own decorations from recyclables (including used coffee pods), so it truly is a green tree!

    Kurt McBurney, Assistant Teaching Professor

    My favourite part of the holidays has traditionally been the day after Christmas Day. For my family, Christmas Day is when we can all be together; we’ve had Christmas on a lot of different days! But my favourite day is the day after that day when the big meal and the presents are done. This is the day we wake up and eat this big ring my Mum makes (essentially it’s a big cinnamon bun). Then the rest of the day we eat leftovers, watch movies, and play board games; sometimes we even get in a good street hockey game or outside football on those rare occasions we have had deep snow. And of course watching the world juniors and the Spengler Cup have always been part of my holiday tradition.

    Jo-Anne Neustaedter, Program Assistant Years 3 & 4 Central Island

    I love our family time at Christmas. Especially creating new memories and watching my grandchildren grow and how excited they are at this time of year.

    I love snow, and my favorite holiday dish is stuffing with bacon. My favorite holiday memory was a Christmas in Banff a couple of years ago – it was an amazing time. We took the kids on a sleigh ride, then to the hot springs.

    I love everything about the holidays. My mother passed away on Christmas Eve, so we take this day to celebrate the amazing mom and nana she was. She is my reason for the love of Christmas.

    Lianne Peterson, Administrative Director

    I received a life-sized doll from Santa when I was four years old. I loved her much more than my baby sister. My doll went everywhere with me – she was the sister I really wanted, so I was happy that Santa listened. This doll helped me get over the disappointment of having a baby sister who was no fun at all.

    Keely Hammond, Class of 2019

    My favourite winter memories in Victoria are outdoor ones. Going cross-country skiing on the beach at Ross Bay (probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience) when I was a high school student and skating on frozen fields (happens every couple of years or so) out by the highway to the ferries are the top two.

    Stephanie Eamergoult, Site Coordinator, IMG, Academic & Faculty Support, Family Practice

    One thing my family and I like to do is go up to Nanaimo to GoGo's Christmas Tree Farm and cut down our Christmas tree. We meet a group of friends up at a Serious Coffee in Nanaimo and then convoy to the farm, coffees in hand. We drive and walk all over to find the “perfect” tree, cut it down, grab some free holly or tree boughs, and then we go back to our friends' place in Nanaimo for nibbles and drinks. It is a great day.

    Lynne Fisher, Program Manager Years 3 & 4

    I really enjoy having a moment to slow down the hectic pace of life and spending time with family and friends. In particular, for me, having a daughter with special needs who is like “Peter Pan” and forever young in mind and spirit, I get the sheer joy of seeing Christmas every year through her eyes and the anticipation and excitement it brings, so I’m forever grateful for that.

    Growing up in Winnipeg, I must admit that I do miss the snow at holiday time, but I don’t miss the shoveling! We decorate a lot and really enjoy seeing the kids in our neighborhood stopping by to enjoy the decorations.

    Aldyth Booton, Program Assistant Years 3 & 4, UBC Postgraduate Family Residency Program

    I love that my parents and our children always come to our home in Campbell River for Christmas. We’ve only missed having the whole family together once. And, weather permitting, we try to get out for a day in the woods (hiking, sledding, target practice, campfire and great food).

    My favorite Christmas treat is homemade shortbread. My paternal great grandmother had a bakery in a small town in Scotland and brought their recipe with them to Canada. It has been handed down as a traditional Christmas treat in our family ever since. I make huge batches every year for family and friends. It wouldn’t seem like Christmas without it.

    Karen Basi-Primeau, Patient Programs Coordinator

    I think for me, the traditions/values I have instilled with my daughters is that the holidays are about spending time with family and friends, preparing and sharing food, and doing at least an outing together without any drama!

    We pick a fun movie out in the theatres and then go to see the gingerbread houses at Laurel Point. 

    The holidays are also about drinking mulled apple cider and hot chocolate – made with real chocolate, of course!

    ***

    Happy holidays, everyone, and may your celebrations be relaxing, safe, and enjoyable!


    Dr. Stan Bardal says goodbye to the IMP, DMSC

    Dec 13, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    sbOn Thursday, December 8, staff, faculty, and students celebrated Dr. Stan Bardal's long tenure with, and incredible accomplishments in, the Island Medical Program (IMP) and the Division of Medical Sciences (DMSC). December 31 will mark Dr. Bardal's last day with both programs.

    "I have many friends in the city and in Vancouver, and with my continuing work at UBC, I certainly won’t be a stranger to the IMP," said Dr. Bardal. "I will always be thankful to former IMP dean Dr. Casiro, who convinced me to leave the 'big smoke’ (UBC) for UVic, and for all my colleagues I have worked with over the years."

    Just a few of Dr. Bardal’s more recent accomplishments include:

    Creator of a drug formulary and app, used by thousands worldwide; co-lead for the Pharmacotheraphy theme and MEDD 412 Week 31; tutor for problem-based and case-based learning; supervisor and advisor in the FLEX courses; and creator of, and teacher in, a new Geriatric Pharmacology course at UVic.

    These contributions and the many, many others not listed are unto themselves exceptionally laudable. But what has been the most consistent and notable are the accolades of the medical students. Dr. Bardal has, year over year, won the respect and admiration of students, resulting in multiple teaching awards.

    The IMP and DMSC staff and faculty, as well as past and present IMP students, we would like to thank Dr. Bardal for his commitment to providing students with an excellent educational experience. As well, his significant contribution to the development of pharmacology teaching within the Faculty of Medicine has firmly established this important topic in the undergraduate medical education curriculum.


    IMP clinical faculty member considers how to improve current healthcare model

    Nov 2, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    We recently sat down with Dr. Alex Henri-Bhargava, the Clinical Skills Site Director for the Island Medical Program (IMP), to discuss his recent Walrus Talk, entitled “Dementia: the last frontier of quality of life.”

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    In his presentation, Dr. Henri-Bhargava calls for an interdisciplinary approach to brain medicine, as well as the implementation of a rapid learning healthcare system. If healthcare professions collaborate more closely with each other and with scientists, he argues, then we’ll be better equipped to understand and treat debilitating neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s. See his full talk on YouTube.

    What do you mean by the “last frontier” in the title of your talk?

    Many people prepare for a certain quality of life. They make plans for saving up, downsizing, and ensuring their affairs are in order before they retire. Then dementia hits them. It’s the one thing they can’t do much about, and it has a devastating impact on their quality of life. But dementia is just one piece of a complicated puzzle – the puzzle of helping our aging population live well more generally.

    You talk about a Rapid Learning Healthcare System – what is this and why is it important?

    This refers to the way we deliver care. Right now, the way we acquire knowledge in medicine is very top-down. A bunch of smart people will make a discovery in a lab. Then that discovery – sometimes years later – moves into the clinical sphere, where it’s translated into a new surgery, for example, or a new drug.

    But in a Rapid Learning Healthcare System, researchers have access to the patient information that doctors collect every day, which is then used to drive discoveries that can be quickly fed back to clinicians for immediate use. For example, neurologists across the country could use a standardized assessment to test for dementia. Many patients would take this assessment, meaning there’d be a large pool of data. Researchers, who would have access to this data, may discover that the first three questions of the assessment give neurologists all the information they need to make an accurate diagnosis, therefore cutting down the time required for assessment. This discovery is then shared with neurologists in real time, who can then implement it right away. This evolved healthcare system allows for faster discovery, less waste, and ultimately better treatment for patients.

    What is the Interdisciplinary Brain Medicine initiative?

    This is about the future education of healthcare professionals. There are many different types of brain conditions out there. How we diagnose and treat these conditions is rapidly expanding – but it’s expanding in medicinal silos. The Interdisciplinary Brain Medicine initiative wants to solve this by equipping specialists with the knowledge of other fields. For example, if I as a neurologist know more about mood disorders – treated by psychiatrists – then I’ll have a better idea of how to manage a patient with Parkinson’s who is also suffering from depression.

    It’s been a challenging initiative to organize, but we submitted our application for the development of this program to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in September. We’re focused on bringing together six feeder specialties – psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, neurology, geriatric medicine, neurosurgery, and physical medicine rehabilitation.

    Do you see the eradication of certain neurological disorders, perhaps all of them, within 50 years?

    That’s a possibility – and if not the eradication, then a modification of the effects these diseases have on people. We’ll soon be testing the limits of human longevity. Some argue that many forms of later-life dementia are the bi-products of a degenerating brain: that is, the brain has a certain life expectancy, and eventually it outlives its cycle. But I don’t agree with that argument. There are many examples of people in their late 90s who are successful and cognitively intact without dementia. They may be outliers, and if they are, then we should try and push humanity towards that outlier status.

    Do you see gene editing as a way to combat neurological conditions?

    I don’t know about this yet for dementia, but gene editing is already becoming a reality for some conditions. For example, I have a close friend who has Hunter’s Syndrome – a rare genetic illness that afflicts maybe six other people in Canada. He’s been told multiple times that he’ll die within the year. One of the reasons he’s still alive is because he took part in an enzyme replacement trial. That medication has since been approved, and he still takes it. Now, he’s about to embark on a new clinical trial with a gene-altering tool, where they’ll program a virus to reinsert the gene that he’s missing. That’s very exciting. But there’s the dangers of gene editing – of playing God, essentially. That’s why the social sciences are important: we need to ensure the tools we develop are used in ethical and careful ways.

    ***

    Dr. Henri-Bhargava completed his MD, CM and neurology residency at McGill University. He then completed a fellowship in behavioral neurology at the University of Toronto, where he’s currently completing a Masters in Health Practitioner Teacher Education. He moved back to Victoria in 2012, and has since built a successful clinical practice and participated in several clinical research projects.


    2016 Teaching Awards announced

    Oct 21, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Manville, the 2016 receipient of the Dr. Bruce Crawford Award of Excellence.

    This annual award is presented by third-year IMP students to the teacher, preceptor, or tutor who's made a significant impact on the students' first two years of medical training.

    "I am so humbled and thrilled about this award," said Dr. Manville. "Teaching in the undergraduate medical program has been a joy, and being a part of educating the next generation of physicians is a great privilege. These IMP students are going to be fantastic physicians. I'm the lucky one."

    Dr. Manville will be formally recognized for this award at the IMP and DRM Teaching Awards Recognition Reception on Thursday, December 15, 2016.

    ***

    As well, award winners for the Year 3 Teaching Awards for 2016 have been announced. These awards are made on the recommendation of fourth-year students of the IMP, based on the teaching they received during their third year.

    2016 Vancouver Island Clerkship Preceptors Teaching Excellence Awards -- Dr. Jim Spence.

    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect a clerkship preceptor demonstrates in teaching the third-year students of the Island Medical Program.

    2016 Island Medical Program Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award -- Pediatrics.

    This award acknowledges the rotation that provides the most efficient, supportive, and engaging learning environment for third-year clinical clerk medical students of the Island Medical Program.

    2016 Resident Teaching Excellence Award -- Dr. Shamir Rai.

    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect that Vancouver Island residents demonstrate in teaching the third-year students of the Island Medical Program.

    2016 Vancouver Island Clerkship Preceptor Teaching Excellence Award -- Dr. Andrea Bardell.

    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm, and respect a clerkship preceptor demonstrates in teaching the third-year students of the Island Medical Program. 

    ***

    Please join us in congratulating these individuals for all of their hard work. The awards will be presented during the Victoria Medical Society Welcome Dinner for the Class of 2020 on January 28, 2017.


    A warm welcome to two new IMP staff

    Oct 19, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Please welcome two of the Island Medical Program's newest staff -- Elizabeth Heslop and Sara Ohora.

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    Meet Liz, the IMP's new Technical Analyst with the MedIT team.

    Liz is from all over Vancouver Island, but she grew up mainly in Duncan and Qualicum Beach. She recently completed her B.Eng in Electrical Engineering at UVic. In her spare time, she loves to bike, play flute and tenor saxophone, and travel.

    You'll fine Liz in the Medical Sciences Building (MSB), room 161.

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    Say hello to Sara, the Division of Medical Sciences' Research Operations Coordinator.

    After completing her MSc at Western University, Sara was eager for a change of scenery and began searching for opportunities on the West Coast. She moved to Victoria in 2014 after accepting a research assistant position in UVic’s Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology. A desire to pursue new career opportunities within UVic brought her to the IMP team, where she now supports DMS research staff and students.

    In her spare time she enjoys exploring the Island with her dog, Milo, playing soccer, and gardening.

    You'll find Sara in MSB 216.


    Students to discuss medical marijuana in the latest Let's Talk Science seminar

    Oct 11, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Join us for the latest talk in the Let's Talk Science seminar series.

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    Volunteer patient veteran diagnosed with ALS still making an impact

    Sep 15, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    agFor Annie Graham, a volunteer patient with the Island Medical Program (IMP), the clinical skills session was supposed to be a predictable but gratifying way of helping UBC medical students learn how to interview and examine patients.

    Graham, 72, had been volunteering as a patient for ten years, ever since she moved to Vancouver Island. The session in October was focused on the musculoskeletal system, and required patients to walk on their heels and toes.

    But Graham struggled with that task. The physician overseeing the session, Sam Stewart, quickly noticed.

    “Only Sam picked up that I couldn’t walk on my heels during the test,” Graham said. “He said there might be something wrong with the L4 and L5 spinal columns in my back, and that I should get further testing.”

    On Dr. Stewart’s suggestion, Graham visited a physical therapist, which led to an X-Ray and CT scan. But they showed nothing. In early March, a neurologist did an electromyography exam, measuring the electrical activity in her body’s tissue. On April 26, she received a diagnosis from the neurologist: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS attacks cells in the brain and spinal cord needed to keep the body’s muscles moving, even while the brain remains untouched. There is no cure, and life expectancy after diagnosis is between two and five years.

    “The bottom fell out of the room,” she recalls. “I felt awful. I shut down. My husband tried to keep composure, asking our doctor questions. I didn’t know what to do.”

    She has since found her bearings: With friends, she aims to be one of the top local fund-raisers for the Walk for ALS, which takes place this weekend in Victoria, and in many communities across Canada from June to October.

    So far, her team is succeeding. As of this writing, they’ve raised an astounding $18,375 – nearly half of the $42,302 so far raised for the Victoria region.

    Some days are dark days, she admits. And some chores, like washing dishes, are becoming more difficult. Recently she got a new electric scooter, which helps with the fatigue that afflicts ALS patients. But still, each day she notices the disease progressing.

    Amid the challenges, Annie remains strong – largely due, she explains, to her friends and the overwhelming support they’ve shown her. That includes her friends from the Island Medical Program.

    “It’s like a second family when you walk in the door,” she says of the IMP staff and volunteer patients. “Everyone knows everyone else. And I really enjoy it.”

    Most of the volunteer patients in the Island Medical Program’s clinical sessions are healthy. Occasionally, however, the sessions lead to serious discoveries.

    Graham plans on attending clinical skills sessions as long as she’s able. For Karen Basi, the Patient Program Coordinator for the Island Medical Program, this is thrilling news.

    “Annie has been a dedicated patient since 2006. And we love having her – she’s friendly, outgoing, and seems always to put the students at ease.”

    Malcolm Howard, a third-year student who worked with Graham since his first year in medical school, feels the same: “She’s an awesome volunteer who always smiles and laughs. I really appreciate her dedication, that she cares so much about the program.”

    “In the end, I want to know that I’ve made a difference for the students,” Graham says. “I want them to learn the skills they did with me.”

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    For those who’d like to support Annie and to help raise money and awareness for ALS, consider donating to her campaign and joining the walk on September 18 at the University of Victoria, Parking Lot 10. For more information about the walk, click here.


    Men's Health Day a success for the IMP

    Sep 16, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    On Saturday, September 10, the Island Medical Program (IMP) participated in the 15th annual Men’s Health Day at Tillicum Shopping Centre. Organized by the Island Prostate Centre, the popular event offered various free health assessments, consultations, and educational materials to men of all ages.

    On hand were IMP faculty, staff and students, who manned a booth focused on prostate health. Despite the sensitive subject, nearly 150 people – men and women of all ages and ethnicities – stopped by the IMP’s table to learn more about the male urogenital system.

    For Neil Webb, a second-year IMP student and event volunteer, the experience was interesting and eye-opening – and emphasized the importance of public health education.

    “I learned many men have no idea where the prostate is, or the problems that can arise when, for example, it gets bigger. And few seemed to know what their doctor looks for in a digital rectal exam.”

    A digital rectal exam is part of a standard physical check-up. A doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check for any abnormalities, such as an enlarged prostate or potentially cancerous lumps. Men 50 or older are recommended to get an exam every year or two until age 75.

    Also available at the booth was a hands-on, life-sized prostate model. With it, participants saw and felt different prostate pathologies. Those interested were even able to administer their own digital rectal exam – an opportunity that predictably left some feeling ill at ease.

    “There was definitely a gradient of comfort with the prosthetic model,” recalled Webb. Some were eager to feel the prostate, others only asked questions, and a few completely avoided the area.”

    Still, the model proved a popular and effective tool for educating participants, said Karen Basi, the IMP’s Volunteer Patient Coordinator.

    “Our student volunteers, Neil and Brett Giolma, walked people through the exam, discussed the different problems that could arise and what treatments were available. Many also had questions about the PSA testing, a way to screen for prostate cancer, and what was considered a normal range.”

    Giolma, a third-year student, agreed: “the model on hand was great resource for teaching.”

    Such face-to-face interaction is important. Next year, IMP students will work with Male Clinical Teaching Associates (MCTAs), part of the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s new volunteer initiative.

    MCTAs are trained by physicians to assume the role of both instructor and knowledgeable patient during these sensitive exams. Like all volunteer patients, MCTAs – with the help of professional doctors – are crucial for teaching medical students how to perform various patient assessments.

    Dr. Nathan Hoag, the IMP’s new Clinical Skills Instructor and faculty representative for the event, will be overseeing the MCTA sessions.

    The IMP is currently recruiting for MCTAs – they need 12 healthy men in total – and Men’s Health Day was the perfect opportunity. “10 to 12 showed interest, and six seriously so,” said Basi.

    For Basi, the interest in MCTA roles, and the opportunity to talk with the public about the importance of prostate health, combined for a successful event.

    “The collaborative effort of the community to raise awareness for not only prostate cancer and preventative care, but also men’s health was special,” said Basi. “We’re really happy the IMP took an active role.”

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    If you’re a healthy man interested in becoming a Male Clinical Teaching Associate, or you want to learn more about the volunteer patient program, please contact Karen Basi, Volunteer Patient Coordinator, at karenpri@uvic.ca or 250-370-8111 ext. 12386. You can also check our website: https://imp.uvic.ca/community/volunteer-patients/index.php

    All clinical skills sessions take place at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Coronation Annex. Volunteer patients must be interested in interacting with medical students, and must be comfortable undergoing medical exams. Volunteers will be screened and, if selected, trained before their first teaching sessions.


    IMP graduate wins prestigious award in psychiatry

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    Dr. Roxanne Mitchell, an IMP graduate from the Class of 2016, has been awarded the "Kristin Sivertz Memorial Prize in Medicine in Psychiatry."

    The Memorial Prize, worth $1,700, has been endowed by the colleagues, friends and family of Dr. Kristin Sivertz in recognition of her many accomplishments as a psychiatrist, medical educator, and senior administrator with the UBC Faculty of Medicine for over 25 years.

    This prestigious prize is offered to a third- or fourth-year MD student who embodies Dr. Sivertz's many extraordinary personal qualities by demonstrating development of the core competencies of an exceptional physician early in medical training. Learn more about Dr. Sivertz and her memorial fund here.

    According to Dr. Wei-Yi Song, a Clinical Associate Professor in UBC's Faculty of Medicine and the Assistant Program Director for Postgradaute Education in Psychiatry with the Island Medical Program, Dr. Mitchell's accomplishment comes as no surprise.

    "Dr. Mitchell is an exemplary student -- she's well qualified for this prestigious award. We are very fortunate to have Roxy to start her residency in psychiatry on the Island."

    Dr. Song's enthusiasm was shared by Dr. Mitchell, who also received the Cynthia Honer award for psychiatry in 2015, which recognizes an undergraduate MD student who excels in psychiatry.

    “It is truly an honour to be recognized for the 'Kristin Sivertz Memorial Prize in Medicine in Psychiatry.' I have had the opportunity to speak to a few who knew Dr. Sivertz professionally, and it's clear she was an exceptional psychiatrist, teacher and colleague. Thank you to my UBC preceptors for supporting my interest in psychiatry, in particular Drs. Song and Chan. I hope I'll one day bring the same kind of compassion, wisdom and expertise to my future career in psychiatry as Dr Sivertz did in hers.”


    DMSC cross-listed faculty member awarded funding for stem cell research

    Sep 23, 2016 | Posted by: Stephanie Willerth & Rhys Mahannah

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    Dr. Stephanie Willerth, a cross-listed faculty member in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria, was recently awarded $15,000 by the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD). The grant supports Dr. Willerth’s sabbatical to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she’s investigating ways to repair spinal cord injuries using stem cell engineering.

    We briefly talked with Dr. Willerth to learn more about her research

    Dr. Willerth received her SB in Biology and Chemical Engineering from MIT (2003) before attaining a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (2008). She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California-Berkley (2008-2010). Dr. Willerth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and the Associate Director for the Centre of Biomedical Research, both at the University of Victoria. She also holds the Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering.

    ICORD is a renowned health research centre focused on spinal cord injury. From the lab-based cellular level to rehabilitation, ICORD is dedicated to improving prevention, recovery, and improved quality of life for those afflicted with spinal trauma. The centre is housed in Vancouver General Hospital in the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, and is supported by the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health Research. Visit http://icord.org/.

    Tell us about your research.

    My lab uses stem cells to replicate tissues found in the nervous system. We work with a special type of stem cell called an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). These are made by transforming skin cells back into a state where they can become any type of cell – including those found in the spinal cord. We then expose these iPSCs to materials – fibrin, which has Jell-O-like consistency, and polycaprolactone, a long-lasting plastic often used to make surgical stitches – that mimic the conditions found in healthy nervous tissues. These engineered, implantable stem cells can then be used to treat, and potentially even cure, serious spinal trauma. Even better, iPSCs self-renew indefinitely. And unlike embryonic stem cells, they can be derived from a patient’s own cell line – meaning the patient’s immune system won’t reject the treatment.

    What benefits will stem cell-based neural tissue engineering provide?

    Many neurological diseases and disorders, like spinal cord injury, are not curable. The available treatments only focus on alleviating symptoms. Cell therapy, on the other hand, provides a potential way to cure such disorders by rebuilding damaged neurons. In fact, clinical trials are on-going to evaluate the effect of stem cells in treating spinal cord injuries. My work involves developing materials, fibrin and polycaprolactone, to control the behavior of stem cells, and these materials are designed with patients in mind.

    What most excites you about working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison?

    The first human embryonic stem cell lines were derived at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They have a large cluster of world-class faculty – leaders in neural tissue engineering and neurology – working on stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. As well, I’ll be giving seminars to their biomedical engineering department as part of their stem cell seminar series.

    Is there anything else you’d like to share?

    I am currently writing a book entitled Neural Tissue Engineering Using Stem Cells for Elsevier. I’ve also written, alongside Dr. Leigh Ann Swayne and our graduate students, a kid-friendly article on neural stem cells.


    The Island’s medical students need healthy men

    Sep 2, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Photo credit: Rob Shaer

    The Island Medical Program (IMP), delivering the University of British Columbia’s MD curriculum in partnership with the University of Victoria, needs healthy male volunteers to help teach second-year medical students how to conduct urogenital exams.

    Selected volunteers, officially Male Clinical Teaching Associates (MCTAs), are trained by physicians to assume the role of both instructor and knowledgeable patient during these sensitive exams. Like all volunteer patients, MCTAs—with the help of a professional doctor—are crucial for teaching medical students how to interact with patients and perform various invasive and non-invasive assessments.

    We asked Dr. Nathan Hoag, Clinical Skills Instructor with the Department of Urological Sciences, about the IMP’s Volunteer Patient Program (VPP), the new MCTA initiative, and men’s health.

    After graduating from the IMP (2009), Dr. Hoag pursued a urology residency in Vancouver. He then completed a two-year fellowship in Melbourne before moving back to Victoria, BC. Come January, he will oversee the MCTA clinical skills sessions.

    Dr. Nathan Hoag and members of the Volunteer Patient Program (VPP) will be attending Men's Health Day on Saturday, September 10 at The Tillicum Centre, 9:30 - 3:00pm, to recruit healthy men, inform the public about the VPP, and promote men's health.

    Can you explain why volunteer patients, including MCTAs, are important?

    Volunteer patients are members of the general public who help medical students practice their clinical skills, mainly examinations, on real people. We’ve had Female Clinical Teaching Associates (FCTAs)—focused on sensitive female exams—for years now, but not the male equivalent. So we’re recruiting healthy men to help our students practice male urogenital assessments. While models or simulations are available, nothing replaces working with real people, because there’s so much to it—comforting the patient, for example, and ensuring he knows what’s happening, what the process is.

    What does a clinical skills session look like?

    Each session involves a small group of students and a preceptor, a trained physician. After the preceptor explains how the exam is done, the volunteer patient comes in. The preceptor does a demonstration, then each student takes a turn; the physician and the patient provide feedback during the process. After the session is done and the volunteer leaves, the physician and students discuss how everything went.

    What assurances can you give volunteers?

    Confidentiality is guaranteed—students are held to the same standards as any medical doctor or specialist. There’s also, in every clinical skills session, a fully trained physician—a clinical instructor or professor—who supervises the assessment, ensuring the patient is comfortable and the exams are done properly. If at any point the patient is uncomfortable, students stop and check that everything is okay.

    What’s your goal as the preceptor overseeing these sessions?

    I have a vested interest in every student performing the physical examination properly, regardless of the specialization they end up choosing. We want to ensure students don’t feel uncomfortable doing that practice in the future—they’ll be the ones on the front lines, looking and screening for testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and any other pathologies.

    Switching gears: Do men neglect their health compared to women?

    We know there are some barriers to men seeking care. Women’s health is represented more broadly in society, including pop culture, for things like breast exams, mammograms, and pap smears. Men tend not to talk about their health as much with their friends. There’s some “taboo subjects” around the urogenital system and the prostate that can make them uncomfortable.

    Can this neglect have fatal consequences?

    I’ve seen patients with testicular tumors that have been growing for months, but the patient had been too embarrassed to seek care. Penile or testicular tumors, which could have been managed with simpler interventions when the symptoms first appeared months or even years before, sometimes get to a metastatic point—the cancer spreads throughout the body and becomes fatal. It’s important that men get checked regularly, and immediately if they notice anything abnormal.

    Men, how often should you get checked?

    • If you’re 50 or older, you should speak to your GP about having a rectal exam every year or two until age 75, depending on your health. If you’re over 40, it’s worth considering if there are risk factors for prostate cancer. Doctors may also recommend a PSA blood test, revealing your base-line risk for prostate cancer.
    • Once puberty hits, examine your testicles a few times per year. If you notice anything abnormal—lumps or enlargements—make an appoint with your GP.

    Have conversations with your family, too—prostate cancer, for example, tends to be genetic. Before you get screened, find out if your brother, dad, or grandfather had issues. This may help with the screening process. For testicular cancer, knowing your medical history will help determine your risk factor.

    ----------

    If you’re a healthy man interested in becoming a Male Clinical Teaching Associate, or you want to learn more about the volunteer patient program, please contact:

    Karen Basi
    Clinical Skills Coordinator
    Island Medical Program
    T: 250-370-8111 ext. 12386
    E: karenpri@uvic.ca

    All clinical skills sessions take place at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Coronation Annex. Volunteer patients must be interested in interacting with medical students, and must be comfortable undergoing medical exams. Volunteers will be screened and, if selected, trained before their first teaching sessions.

    Please visit our website for more info: https://imp.uvic.ca/community/volunteer-patients/index.php


    Faculty Profile: Dr. Jody Anderson

    Sep 5, 2016 | Posted by: Dr. Jody Anderson & Rhys Mahannah

    jaBefore graduating from the Island Medical Program in 2010, Dr. Jody Anderson had her sights set on a career in the banking industry, working in the field of corporate social responsibility. But when she lost a close colleague to cancer, she began reflecting more deeply on her long-standing interest in medicine. Today, nearly two decades later, Dr. Anderson practices family medicine and palliative care in Victoria, B.C. She is also the Island Medical Program’s new Preparation for Medical Practice (PMP) Course Director.

    We recently caught up with Dr. Anderson to learn more about her unique path to becoming an MD and what excites her about taking on the role of PMP Course Director.

    You have a diverse educational background—you graduated with a BSc in Biology (1996), then received an MBA (2000) before completing your MD degree (2010) with UBC’s Island Medical Program in Victoria. Can you share more about your path to medicine?

    After my BSc, I considered both medicine and business. Becoming a doctor seemed, to me, the “default” option for a biology degree, and I wasn’t interested in following that path just because I didn’t know what else to do.

    But then I learned about corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is about channeling the power of business to create positive change, and that inspired me to do an MBA. Following graduation, I got a job with Citizens Bank of Canada, where I was involved with a number of projects that really aligned with my values. I loved it.

    But then a co-worker and close friend contracted cancer and passed away. Shortly after, a woman who reported to me also developed cancer. I became interested in how this illness affected their lives, and I supported them – and that wasn’t part of my job.

    Those experiences got me thinking seriously about medicine again. I reconnected with my MBA career counsellor, did some soul-searching, and started taking some science courses to prepare for the MCAT. Actually, Dr. Fraser Black, the former PMP Course Director and a mentor of mine – he was the first person I talked with about medicine. I wanted to know if the journey was worth it.

    And it was. For me, it’s always been a common theme to discover where I can make the biggest difference, where both my head and heart are fully engaged. And I’ve found it: as a doctor, I feel I’m exactly where I should be.

    Why did you choose the UBC Faculty of Medicine, specifically the Island Medical Program?

    I really enjoy working in smaller centres. We had only 23 students in our class, which contributed to a sense of community and warmth. On the Island, we benefited from Vancouver’s excellent speakers, but also enjoyed the “small town” feel of the IMP – especially the IMP’s anatomy labs, which were above and beyond excellent. In fact, everyone felt the labs were the superlative experience. And the clinical experience on the Island was top notch, too.

    We were also aware of how many resources we had the opportunity to take advantage of – like the actor-patients! And the administrative support is phenomenal: things were so seamless that we didn’t notice it.

    The quality of video conference technology in BC is also incredible. You appreciate just how much we’re living in the technological lap of luxury here at UBC.

    How did your experiences with Citizens Bank improve you as a doctor?

    Citizens Bank had a huge focus on customer service. “Success,” for us, was a balanced scorecard, and financials were only one part. We were also concerned with employee satisfaction, how we connected with the community, and how we treated the environment.

    This comprehensive, conscientious approach to customer service helped me, as a doctor, to become patient-centric—which is the primary purpose of the profession! That’s what I love about palliative care. It’s the most patient-focused area in medicine, from what I’ve experienced. It’s so gratifying to make easier one of the most difficult times of a person’s life.

    What intrigued you about the PMP Course Director role?

    As a student, the PMP course made a big impression on me. It prepares you for important issues, intense experiences, and difficult conversations—like the first time you encounter a patient who has experienced domestic violence. I wanted to get involved with the course again. It was also a change for me to get a taste of medicine’s academic side.

    What are you most excited for regarding the future of medicine and medicinal technology?

    I’m most excited to return to the heart of medicine—the focus and importance on human interaction, empathy, and the impact such care and attention has on people. As technology improves, we sometimes get lost in what’s shiny and new. But what machines can’t do is be human—this is what we, as people and healthcare professionals, bring to the table, to our patients. And this is critical.

    Do you have any hobbies?

    I love to cook. And I love Zumba dance—I danced when I was younger, so this is my grown-up version.


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Sarah Gibbs

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Sarah Gibbs & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namesarah

    Sarah Gibbs

    Hometown

    Victoria

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    So many things! Yes, like many, I really do like human anatomy and helping people, but I also think it is so cool that as a doctor, people will trust you and tell you things they don't tell others. Being in a position to really help people on such a fundamental and human level is definitely part of the reason I have pursued medicine.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    Mostly getting to learn what I have waited to learn for so long! High school and my previous bachelor's program helped me learn interesting things, but did not satisfy my medical passions. Also, meeting and learning with lots of like-minded people is something I am excited to do this year.

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    My last semester was spent on exchange in the Netherlands, and I am still trying to learn Dutch.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Hopefully situated in a residency program, either in General Internal Medicine or Endocrinology.

    Best piece of advice?

    Get involved and stay involved! Be active with things you live, otherwise you won't have a good time.

    Last vacation destination?

    Europe. After being in the Netherlands for my exchange, I traveled around the rest of Europe and even made it to Morocco (where I got to ride camels and sleep in the Sahara Desert)!


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Nicholas Slater

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Nicholas Slater & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namenicholas

    Nicholas Slater

    Hometown

    Victoria

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    I view medicine as a unique invitation into the most intimate and sometimes critical moments of someone’s life. It is an opportunity to provide guidance for somebody navigating through the uncertainties of their own health and mortality. Medicine also provides the capacity to dramatically alter the course of a person's life, such as by managing a cancer or treating a developmental disorder. Having worked as a paramedic, I know first-hand how tremendously satisfying it can be to help someone through what may be the worst moments of their life. I choose to pursue a career in medicine as a continuation of this responsibility and privilege.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    So many things. I look forward to meeting my new classmates and forming relationships that may last a lifetime. I'm also extremely excited to learn new clinical skills and have the opportunity to work with patients as a medical student. Lastly, I greatly anticipate the various extra-curricular activities that I will undoubtedly involve myself in.

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    I have a fraternal twin brother in year two of the Southern Medical Program. Although he may be a year ahead of me, I know that he will always look up to me... literally, as I'm about five inches taller!

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Finishing my first year of residence in a specialty that is yet to be decided. Perhaps I will be scrubbing into surgeries, or doing rounds in the hospital, or hustling to the pace of the emergency room. I can't wait to find out!

    Best piece of advice?

    Everything in moderation, including moderation itself.

    Last vacation destination?

    Portland, Oregon, in 2015. As a die-hard Toronto Raptors fan, my girlfriend and I watched them take on the Trail Blazers. At the time, Toronto held the best record in the east and Portland the best in the west. It was an amazing game but unfortunately the Raptors lost in overtime; however, my girlfriend did get Demar Derozan to sign my hat!


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Michael Gallea

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Michael Gallea & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We also had a student join us from another site -- Michael Gallea, a member of the Class of 2018, recently moved to the Island for his Integrated Community Clerkship in Duncan. Learn more about Michael below.

    Namemichael

    Michael Gallea

    Hometown

    Stoney Creek, Ontario

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    As an undergraduate student studying liberal arts, I always teetered between pursuing a career in the arts versus the sciences. Through various extracurriculars and academics, I found medicine to be the perfect in-between – and intersection between life's social complexities and the steadfast biochemical sciences of our world.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    This upcoming year holds so much opportunity. I've just moved to Duncan, BC, to participate in the Integrated Community Clerkship program – and I cannot wait to begin my clinical years in such a fruitful learning environment!

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    A little closer to retirement.

    Best piece of advice?

    Notice and appreciate the clear-cut paths that others have taken in medicine, but whenever you have the chance, boldly and stubbornly fight your way through the brambles instead.

    Last vacation destination?

    Salt Spring Island – I highly recommend it for a weekend getaway!


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Lauren Eadie

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Lauren Eadie & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namelauren

    Lauren Eadie

    Hometown

    Nanaimo

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    Since I was young student, I have been fascinated with the human body. As a snowboarder, hiker and rock climber, I have witnessed the body’s remarkable ability to regenerate and heal itself. However, even more interesting to me are the biological implications of an individual’s personal experience in life.

    Moving to Vancouver from a smaller city, I have been immersing myself in the cultural diversity that our country has to offer. Everyone has a story.

    I worked as a kinesiologist for individuals rehabilitating themselves after mild to severe car accidents. I became immersed in the position and was motivated by each individual’s determination to overcome his or her injury and its associated challenges. I enjoyed puzzling together topics such as mental and physical health, and medicine and lifestyle choices with people from all different cultural, social, religious and occupational backgrounds.

    However, my passion in medicine was ignited from those who have less than most others. I worked alongside individuals with severe spinal cord injury and other associated brain injuries to try and understand what one day of their life would feel like. I wanted to know how I could make one hour of that day more enjoyable. While they endured pain and sometimes extreme disability, it was the smiles of these people who reinforced my desire to pursue the medical field and be a part of the scientific and technological revolution that could make one’s life that much easier.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    I am excited to be in the academic learning environment again and to meet like-minded people who are motivated and passionate about health and medicine.

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    I used to be in an all-girls heavy metal band in high school.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    In five years, I would be very excited to see myself settled in a community of individuals who are environmentally and health conscious. I would love to work with a team of professionals to educate, aid and inspire physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

    Best piece of advice?

    Follow your heart, walk your own path and "do the things." Do not limit yourself, don’t stop believing in yourself, and never stop exploring. No one in this world has it all figured out, and we are all continuously learning through our own experience. Your personal experience is the most valuable tool you have; use it to your benefit. Grab life by the horns and act with intention. How we respond to life is what we will get out of it.

    Last vacation destination?

    I have just returned from a trip to Jamaica and Belize. Both beautiful countries, but for the adventurous soul, Belize is a must. The crystal clear water is perfect for snorkelling, the Mayan ruins are captivating and the abundance of wild life is stunning. You will not be disappointed.


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Kaity Lalonde

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Kaity Lalonde & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namekaity

    Kaity Lalonde

    Hometown

    Vancouver

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    I love how medicine encompasses so many different things – learning, science, teaching, research, and culture, amongst many others. I find this versatility amazing, since I hope to continue research at some point during my career as a practicing physician while also finding ways to educate and mentor new medical students or the general population. This career provides numerous ways to impact both society and the lives around us all while learning and experiencing some pretty neat things.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    I'm really looking forward to diving right into the new program and meeting many amazing people along the way. I'm also excited to be part of the IMP, so I can explore Victoria and see what it has to offer!

    What's one thing we'd be surprised to learn about you?

    People usually seem to be surprised I don't drink coffee or eat poutine.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Hopefully I've successfully completed medical school and have found my way into a great residency!

    What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

    Just keep trying. And when that fails, try something new. There are many ways to get to the same objective.

    Last vacation destination?

    I went to Vegas!


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Dalton Anderson

    Sep 1, 2016 | Posted by: Dalton Anderson & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namedalton

    Dalton Anderson

    Hometown

    Vancouver

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    I pursued medicine because I found it to be the perfect balance between scientific research and caring for people. I'm hopeful that med school will lead to an amazing adventure!

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    I'm super excited to start my first year of med school! After dedicating years to get into the program, I'm excited to make the most of this opportunity and get exposed to plenty of new life experiences.

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    I am a big taco lover. My personal motto is, "The only bad taco is one you haven't eaten yet." My only problem is when I eat a taco I get too excited and I crush it.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    While I'm unsure about a particular medical specialty, hopefully in 5 years I will have graduated and moved on to the next challenge. In 5 years, I also hope to become a master paddle boater, catch up with the entire Marvel movie franchise, and get in shape to the point where no one will ask me, "Do you even lift, bro?"

    Best piece of advice?

    Input = Output. What you get out of something is directly proportional to the amount of energy you put in. You might as well try your best!

    Last vacation destination?

    Last summer I went for a family reunion to Port Douglas, Australia. There were 16 of us sharing a house for a two-week adventure full of hiking, snorkeling, and relaxing.


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Catherine Landells

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Catherine Landells & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Namecatherine

    Catherine Landells

    Hometown

    Victoria

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    Medicine is the ideal combination of health care provision, problem solving, lifelong learning, interpersonal relationship development, and public service. These qualities are exactly what I desire in a career, and I believe medicine will be a perfect fit for me. I am thrilled to be able to pursue a career in this exciting and challenging field.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    I am most excited for the wonderful opportunities that will accompany the year to come. I cannot wait to meet my new classmates, professors, and preceptors, engage in the challenging curriculum of first-year medical school, and participate in the many extra-curricular activities and clubs on offer. I think I will have a hard time staying grounded with all the excitement!

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    I adore the performing arts and nearly pursued an education and career in musical theatre!

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Passionately pursuing a medical speciality that I love, improving and advocating for the health of Canadians, and balancing a fulfilling family life.

    Best piece of advice?

    "Self-care is not selfish; you cannot serve from an empty vessel." -- Eleanor Brownn

    Last vacation destination?

    I backpacked around Europe this summer for 2 months, visiting Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Croatia, Spain, and Portugal!


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Ariel Nesbitt

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Ariel Nesbitt & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Nameariel

    Ariel Nesbitt

    Hometown

    Vancouver

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    I have always been interested in fields of study related to human health and well-being. But it wasn't until I started working at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, where I interviewed female sex workers about their health and health risks, that I wanted to acquire the clinical knowledge and skills necessary to help women with their health concerns. It was remarkably frustrating to hear a woman's story and be unable to help her (beyond referrals to health professionals).

    My desire to obtain the knowledge necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses was further intensified while working at the Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre. The physicians there were able to make meaningful differences to the lives of their patients, who were living with HIV/AIDS and dealing with numerous other acute and chronic health issues. In addition to their excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, these physicians provided patient-centred holistic health care, working with their patients and other health providers to ensure patients obtained support for their physical, mental, and emotional health. The physicians were very strong advocates for their patients, and frequently went above and beyond to make sure that their patients were able to get to their medical appointments, had the right combination of antiretroviral medications, and took their medications consistently. In the future, I hope to be able to provide a level of high-quality patient-centred care similar to these physicians, who have inspired me to pursue medicine.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    I am incredibly excited to learn the knowledge and skills I will need to be a competent physician in the future. I am particularly excited about the family practice placements. It will be such a privilege to shadow family physicians and to learn from them and their patients.

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    I love being physically active – I run and do CrossFit 3 - 5 times a week, and have completed four marathons. But I am a bit of a disaster at most team sports (e.g. soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, etc.). You're much more likely to find me on the sidelines, cheering everyone else on.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    In 5 years I hope to be working at a family practice residency. I am attracted to family medicine because of the diversity of patients, diseases, and ailments that I’ll be able to treat. During my MPH degree at UBC, I also learned about the challenges many Canadians face when trying to access a family doctor; I would like to help alleviate this deficit (even in a small way). I hope to obtain additional specializations in mental health and geriatrics in order to help my patients as much as possible, given that the Canadian population is getting older and living longer, sometimes with multiple chronic diseases.

    Best piece of advice?

    The best piece of advice I was ever given was to keep an open mind and explore a wide variety of options. When I started my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, I did not heed this advice, choosing instead to believe that I knew what I wanted to do in life based on my high school experiences (so, becoming a chemist). I quickly realized that I was mistaken – high school chemistry is much easier than chemistry at the university level – and that I was missing out on a whole range of amazing subject areas. While my mistake led to some heartbreak and poor marks in some of my second-year classes, I am glad that I recognized the error of my ways.

    Last vacation destination?

    My dad and I recently drove around southern British Columbia. We had a wonderful time biking the old Kettle Valley Railway trestles in Myra Canyon outside of Kelowna, exploring Nelson and its neighbourhoods on foot, and wine tasting in Naramata and Oliver. It was wonderful to be able to spend quality time with my dad, especially since I'll be moving to Victoria in January.


    Back To School Spotlight 2016: Angeline de Bruyns

    Sep 7, 2016 | Posted by: Angeline de Bruyns & Rhys Mahannah

    On August 22, the Class of 2020 officially started the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. We've asked members of the IMP cohort to share some a little about themselves -- check it out!

    Nameangeline

    Angeline de Bruyns

    Hometown

    Nanaimo (but I'm originally from Namibia).

    What attracted you to your field of study or research?

    Becoming a doctor has been a dream of mine for a long time, and for three main reasons. First, growing up with a mom who's a pharmacist, I've always found the medical field fascinating. Her passion for her job combined with interesting stories about the health care system and how medicines function fed my unrelenting curiosity. Second, having a natural aptitude for science and math definitely contributed to my attraction to the field of medicine. Last (but certainly not least), for as long as I can remember, wanting to make others happy has always been a part of my nature. Making a positive difference in the lives of others has been the most rewarding and enriching parts of my life. I know that people are a lot more likely to be happy if they are healthy, so I want nothing more than to be able to improve someone’s quality of life by caring for their health and well-being. This intrinsic desire fuels my passion and motivation to become an outstanding doctor for my future patients.

    What excites you about the upcoming year?

    Making new friends and learning more about how the human body functions!

    What's one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

    While doing my Master's at McGill, I played competitive Ultimate Frisbee, at both the club and university level.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Doing my medical residency, hopefully on the west coast somewhere, and perhaps in family medicine or obstetrics/gynecology.

    Best piece of advice?

    A simple smile can go a long way. You'd be surprised how much the positive energy from a smile flows from you to the people around you. Speaking from personal experience, a smile can brighten up a stranger's day or help you navigate a challenging situation. So when it's appropriate, remember, smiling is a very easy way to show kindness.

    Last vacation destination?

    In May, I went to Europe for the first time with my sister! Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Rome!


    How on-call simulators may reduce first-year resident anxiety

    Aug 23, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah & Dr. Ali Walzak

    We recently connected with Dr. Ali Walzak, a clinical facultyaw
    member with the Island Medical Program, to learn more about
    her research on first-year resident anxiety.

    Dr. Walzak completed her MD, Internal Medicine residency, and fellowship in Internal Medicine at the University of Calgary. She currently practices General Internal Medicine at the Royal Jubilee (RJH) and Victoria General (VGH) hospitals, and holds two positions with the Island Medical Program: Director of the Clinical Teaching Unit and Clinical Education Leader in Simulation.

    Tell us about your research.

    My research focuses on the transition from medical school to residency, a period of significant change and added stress and anxiety. This is important, as some studies suggest there may be an increase in medical errors during this challenging time. To better understand this transition, we developed a 12-hour night-on-call simulation—mirroring the real thing—that allowed us to observe residents as they worked through patient cases.

    What interests you about resident anxiety? What inspired you to pursue it as a topic?

    I was inspired to study resident anxiety after hearing countless experiences, both from my colleagues when I was a resident and the trainees I work with now, about how stressful the transition is, especially during the “on-call” period when there’s less supervision. While there will always be some anxiety when starting residency (and this is a good thing), there are certain environmental factors we may be able to change to alleviate these negative feelings.

    Why is it important to study resident anxiety?

    Resident anxiety is common and may have some beneficial effects, such as increased patient surveillance or attention to medication errors. But, if residents are overanxious, it can have negative outcomes, including impaired judgment, learning, and decision-making in the medical setting, as well as negative effects on personal relationships and overall mental health.

    What were the key findings? What are you hoping the impact of these results will be?

    Our preliminary findings from our three study sites (UBC’s Island Medical Program, UBC’s Vancouver Fraser Medical Program, and the University of Calgary) indicate that when first-year residents participated in the simulated night on-call, it decreased anxiety (as self-reported by the residents) at the time of their first real on-call shift. These residents found the simulation to be a very useful training and preparatory experience. With these results in mind, I hope that UBC and other medical schools can develop curricula to help final-year medical students and first-year residents better integrate into their new roles and responsibilities, while optimizing patient safety.

    Besides simulations, are there other ways first-year residents can reduce stress and anxiety?

    Definitely! Maintaining balance through exercise, social activities, and meaningful personal relationships are all great ways to reduce stress during residency. Creating a network of colleagues and mentors can also help new residents better navigate the difficult parts of medicinal practice.

    Did you discover anything surprising or unexpected?

    I was surprised by how many residents volunteered to be a part of the project. For me, this reaffirmed how much they care about the transition from medical school to residency training.

    What did you enjoy most about this project?

    I loved working with the new first-year residents. Their excitement and enthusiasm for medicine was inspiring!

    What’s next? Has this research opened up other areas you want to pursue?

    I’m really interested in how learning occurs when residents are on-call overnight, and I’d like to pursue further research into making learning effective and efficient during periods of fatigue.

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    How are MD undergraduate students prepared for residency?

    We’re committed to providing our students and residents with the best education and support to ensure they succeed. To that end, the MD Undergraduate Program curriculum combines theory, clinical skills training, and clerkship experiences that prepare students for the rigors of medical practice. Students and residents also have access to confidential help and support with the Student Affairs Office and the Resident Wellness Office.


    Aboriginal high school students get a taste of the Island Medical Program

    Aug 4, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    MiniUCollage

    In the last week of July, amidst beautiful weather and never-ending herds of grazing deer, UVic met with the next generation of Aboriginal university students – and, possibly, members of a future Island Medical Program (IMP) cohort.

    Each year, the Indigenous Mini-University Summer Camp (or MiniU) invites BC Indigenous youth from grades 8 to 12 to learn more about, and better prepare for, the transition to post-secondary life.

    “Entering university can be a big culture shock for Aboriginal students,” said Blake Desjarlais, MiniU Project Coordinator, UVic alum, and member of the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement. “The MiniU program gives them the knowledge and tools to better understand this transition. We want to show students they can succeed in higher education.”

    On Tuesday, July 27, MiniU students congregated in the First Peoples House on UVic’s campus, where they learned about the various programs available to them, including the IMP.

    The following day, James Andrew, Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator with UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, prepared a presentation for the eager, wide-eyed participants. He explained the tough, but rewarding path to becoming a doctor – and the critical need for Aboriginal physicians in BC and beyond.

    “Less than one percent of doctors in Canada are Aboriginal,” said Andrew, later stressing the importance of training medical professionals who can relate to their communities on a social and cultural level.

    “The Faculty of Medicine is always looking to recruit Aboriginal students, especially on Vancouver Island,” continued Andrews, who presents to and recruits Aboriginal students around BC. “Not many people know there’s a top-notch medical education available here.”

    Following Andrew’s presentation, which took place in one of the Medical Sciences Building’s video-conference rooms, students visited the multi-purpose lab with Senior Instructor Kurt McBurney, who gave a hands-on mini-lesson about the human skeleton using the IMP’s state-of-the-art technology.

    Aleah, a Grade 9 student from Nanaimo, enjoyed the experience: “It was fun! I learned a lot, especially all the work needed to do well in medical school. The freedom to see and touch the bones in the lab was really cool, too.”

    She didn’t hesitate when asked about her goals following high school: “I want to come to UVic. I just find it warm and welcoming. It’s not huge, but it’s also not tiny; it has everything. And the First Peoples House – it’s the nicest one I’ve seen. It really represents the First Nations people.”

    Dr. Bruce Wright, the IMP’s Regional Associate Dean, joined the students for lunch in the MSB foyer following the lab. He hopes these dynamic experiences inspire Aboriginal students to consider medical school, especially with the IMP.

    “The Island Medical Program focuses on training excellent doctors, especially for those populations in need – rural, remote, and Aboriginal. We want to work with these communities, combine our training with their social and cultural knowledge, and promote and maintain healthy living as best we can.”

    UBC’s MD undergraduate program set a goal, in 2002, to graduate 50 Aboriginal students by 2020. That goal was reached in May 2015 – five years ahead of schedule. Learn more about this important milestone at: http://www.med.ubc.ca/ubc-aboriginal-md-program-meets-goal-five-years-ahead-of-schedule/


    A trip update from former IMP Program Assistant, Years 1-4, Alli Bunting

    Jul 12, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah & Alli Bunting

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    Less than a month ago, Allison Bunting, former Program Assistant, Years 1-4, for the Island Medical Program (IMP), left for Uganda to pursue her passions in social justice, cross-cultural experience, and international development.

    “For the next 6 months,” she writes in her blog, “I will be living in Jinja, Uganda, working as a staff and volunteer coordinator / manager at Arise and Shine.” Arise and Shine, a youth-focused organization, “provides care and support for approximately 20 orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children, with the goal of providing assistance to families and resettling children within their home community.”

    “I’m [also] here as an IYIP intern through VIDEA . . . a human-rights focused international development organization developed in Victoria, BC.”

    Alli provided more information about her role with VIDEA (the International Development and Education Association), plus some pictures of her adventure. See below for her update.

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    From July 23 – 28, I will be participating in VIDEA’s Global Solidarity Challenge. VIDEA partners with organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to promote and realize basic human rights, including healthcare, clean water, and access to education—but does so without grants or government funding. Thus, to continue their humanitarian work and support sustainable, long-term programming overseas, VIDEA must find creative ways to fundraise and build awareness; that’s the primary goal of the Challenge.

    A few weeks ago, I fell ill as I adjusted to my new Ugandan environment. Coming from abroad, with health/travel insurance, I was able to go to a private clinic in a bigger city and pay to receive quality care. Many people in Uganda cannot afford such a privilege. Public clinics, which are free to attend, often have long lines, and while the consultation and treatment are free, often there are no drugs or treatments available. In smaller towns and villages, even paying to go to a private clinic does not guarantee accurate testing or treatment. Since arriving, I have been reminded of the privilege that the vast majority of Canadians have in accessing top-quality care for free. 

    I have also been reminded of the freedom and privilege of movement (to choose where you want to live, to move within a country freely, pay for flights/trains/buses, access passports, purchase visas, and leave when and how you'd like). Lack of movement and inability to leave unsafe areas is important for those facing gender-based violence, those dealing with the effects of climate change, and for those living in conflict zones. Not having the option to remove oneself or family from unsafe situations is a major impediment to realizing basic human rights.

    On a more local level, I have observed that for those living under/at/near the international poverty line, accessing transportation is a dividing line for those with and without disposable income, and tangibly impacts people's ability to access better education, housing, health care, job opportunities, not to mention visiting relatives and friends and generally improving quality of life. Life becomes more difficult when, out of necessity, you need to walk long distances to and from work, budget to visit your sick mother, or can't afford to go to a relative’s funeral because you need to pay your child's school fees. My privilege means that I don't need to think about these things on a daily basis.

    For this year's challenge, I am going to move only by foot. No cars, no vans, no bikes. Just me and my feet. If you would like to donate, please go to my page.

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    Please contact Rhys Mahannah, Admissions and Communications Coordinator, if you have a story to share.


    A warm welcome to three of the IMP's newest staff members

    Jun 13, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    AleahAleah Ross (E: progsupp@uvic.ca | P: 250-370-8111 ext. 11347)

    Welcome Aleah, the IMP’s new Program Support, Years 1 – 4.

    Originally from Red Deer, AB, Leah moved to Victoria in 2011 for her undergraduate studies at UVic. She now has a BSc in Bio-Psychology, and brings a passion for human health and well-being to her role at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, where she supports IMP students and volunteers.

    Outside of work, Aleah enjoys nature with her dog, Paisley, and teaching fitness classes part-time.


    Nikki

    Nikki Polischuk (E: currsupp@uvic.ca | P: 250-721-7206)

    Welcome Nikki, the IMP’s new Curriculum Support, Years 1 – 2.

    Nikki previously worked at National Money Mart for 13 years as the assistant to the CIO. A desire for change brought her to the IMP team, where she enjoys a better work-life balance, not to mention a lovely walking commute to the office.

    Nikki and her husband have been married for 14 years, and keep busy with their nine-year-old son, Reid, and a three-year-old black lab-hound named Teddy. Weekends are usually filled with soccer, hockey, and camping, and they try to coordinate a trip to Southern California every couple of years for when their favorite baseball and hockey teams are in town.


    RhysRhys Mahannah (E: impadmcom@uvic.ca | P: 250-472-5527)

    Welcome Rhys, the IMP’s new Admissions and Communications Coordinator.

    Rhys hails from Kelowna, BC, where he grew up and completed his BA (Hons) at UBC’s Okanagan campus. After graduating with a Masters in English from UVic, Rhys returned to his hometown to work with UBC’s Faculty of Management before traveling through SE Asia and Australia for 5.5 months.

    In his spare time, he cycles and plays soccer, reads a variety of fiction and non-fiction, and puts up with the Vancouver Canucks’ recent, tragic demise.


    IMP Class of 2016 Celebrates Graduation

    Jun 8, 2016 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    IMP Class of 2016

    After four years of intense medical school training—including lectures, labs, and clinical skills-building—our graduates move on to their next adventure: participating in residency programs in BC and across Canada, where they’ll complete their medical training before becoming licensed, practicing physicians.

    On May 20, we celebrated the outstanding achievements of the IMP Class of 2016 with a graduation celebration at the Hotel Grand Pacific in downtown Victoria. Family members, faculty, staff, and local practitioners came together to honor our 32 graduates, the next generation of health care professionals poised to positively impact Canadian communities.

    The event featured speeches by:

    • Dr. Bruce Wright, Regional Associate Dean, IMP, UBC Faculty of Medicine
    • Dr. Jeremy Etherington, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Island Health
    • Dr. Valerie Kuehne, Vice-President Academic & Provost, University of Victoria
    • Dr. Darlene Hammell, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, IMP
    • Emma Koopmans, IMP Class of 2016

    Following Emma Koopmans’ speech, which featured humorous and interesting facts about each of her classmates, fellow graduate Elizabeth Mason presented a cheque to the Women’s Transition House. Each year, the IMP graduation class makes a donation to an outstanding local organization: the Women’s Transition House is a shining example, providing emergency shelter and counselling services to over 160 women per year. Representative Myriah Breese was at the event to accept the gift.

    Read more about our impressive grads and their IMP experiences here.


    Strategic plan update May 11

    May 3, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    All UBC Medicine faculty, staff and learners are invited to join the May 11 Full Faculty Meeting to learn more about the Faculty’s new strategic plan framework that you, in consultation with additional internal and external partners, have helped to build.  

    Date:     Wednesday, May 11, 2016
    Time:    5:00 - 6:30 pm​
     

    Host Site:  Life Sciences Centre, Lecture Theatre 1 | UBC Point Grey Campus, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver 

    Webcast: Click here to join 

    Videoconference Sites: 

    Vancouver Island: 
    UVic, Medical Sciences Building (MSB) 150 LT

    Lower Mainland:
    Diamond Health Care Centre, Lecture Theatre, Room 2263 

    2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver
    Overflow room is provided in DHCC 2264
     

    Northern: 
    UNBC, Northern Health Science Centre (NHSC) 9-235 LT
     

    Interior:  
    Clinical Academic Campus, Room 235 
    2312 Pandosy Street, Kelowna
    Adjacent to the Kelowna General Hospital


    Let's Talk Science: Physician-assisted Suicide

    May 11, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    Join first-year Island Medical Program students Sergiy Shatenko, Samuel Harder and Andrew Watters to learn about physician-assisted suicide in Canada including current and proposed legislation. 

    When: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

    Where: MSB 150

    Refreshments available |  All are welcome  |  No RSVP required

    We hope to see you there!


    IMP students talk about hand hygiene in Uganda

    May 17, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    IMP student Tika Okuda, Class of 2018, and her classmates presented their research regarding hand hygiene in Uganda at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) in April. Below is a summary of their findings.

    Insight: hand hygiene knowledge, practices and barriers of community health workers and community members in rural Uganda

    OKUDA T1, FUNG V1, HEMMONS P1, GEDDES A1, KALYESUBULA R2, SEWANYANA J2, KAPOOR V3
    1 Medical Undergraduate Program Class of 2018, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2African Community Center for Social Sustainability, Nakaseke District, Uganda, Africa 3Department of Family Practice, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 

    INTRODUCTION

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), preventable diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia have accounted for 38% of total deaths in children under 5 years old (1) – (See Table 1). Evidence from epidemiological studies has shown that exposure to unsafe water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene habits are, among others, directly linked to infectious respiratory and diarrheal disease. According to the WHO, over 23,000 deaths in the year 2004 were attributable to water, sanitation and hygiene inadequacies in children under 5 years old (2). In a 2007 study by the National sanitation working group in Uganda (NSWG), it was noted that while 84% of adults in the study recognized the need to wash hands with soap after using the toilet, 57% of observed Ugandans washed their hands in some way, but only 14% were observed to do so with soap (3). Compliance with hand hygiene is an issue that affects health care providers around the world – the WHO has estimated that worldwide, proper hand hygiene practices have a compliance of approximately 39% (4). Given that hand washing with soap can prevent diarrheal diseases by up to 50% and acute respiratory infections by about 25%, it is crucial to increase adherence to proper hand hygiene (4).

    UBC’s affiliation with the African Community Center for Social Sustainability (ACCESS) has previously enabled teach-the-teacher models. This year the UBC team hosted a hand hygiene module for community health care workers (CHWs) and evaluated existing knowledge, and practices of community members (CMs) and CHWs. In addition,a focus group of CHWs discussed barriers to proper hand hygiene in the Nakaseke district (Figure 1). 

    METHODS

    Two main groups were studied, Community Health Workers (CHWs) and community members (CMs) (Figure 2). A translator was required for all stages of our data collection.

    Knowledge: CHWs were given a hand hygiene knowledge questionnaire, adjusted from a WHO hand washing presentation, to assess CHWs baseline knowledge. A 2-hour workshop on hand hygiene was completed and then a post-workshop test to assess knowledge acquisition. This procedure occurred with groups of CHWs on different days. An ANOVA was performed between the groups of CHWs and demonstrated that there was no statistical difference between them; therefore, CHWs (N=65) data was compiled together. Then a paired t-test was performed between pre-test and post-test results to determine if the module was effective (Figure 2).

    Practice & Knowledge: A survey was designed to assess individual hand hygiene practices and knowledge based on the 2007 NSWG study (3). CHWs were recruited by ACCESS for the research project (N=62). CMs were at ACCESS for UBC hosted community health days. On the day of the event CMs (N=24) were selected such that every 5th adult was asked to participate. If a CM accepted, consent form and survey were completed. Two value t-tests between proportions were performed between CHWs and CMs (Table 2).

    Barriers: A subset of CHWs (N=15) were asked to participates in a focus group. Questions were created based on current research and consultation with a qualitative data expert. Topics included barriers and solutions to proper hand hygiene for themselves and the surrounding community. Translated scripts underwent thematic analysis. 

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    QUANTITATIVE RESULTS

    Knowledge: CHWs and CMs when asked, “Why do you wash your hands?”, the number one reason was to avoid germs with 50% of CHWs and 58.3% of CMs provided this response (Figures 3 & 4). Delving further into this, we had discovered that 93.2% of CHWs had previously been taught hand hygiene through World Vision programs.

    The modified WHO test given to CHWs showed that prior to the UBC hand hygiene module, the average score was 57.5%, the post-module score was at 69% mean improvement was 11.5% (p= 3.94 x 10^-7).

    Practice: 100% of CHWs and 95.8% of CMs self reported that they washed their hands after visiting the toilet (see Table 2). Of note, 97.4% of CHWs and only 74.2% of CMs (p=0.00452) washed their hands with soap and water. Alternatively 4.2% CHWs and 8.3% of CMs (p=0.53526) wash with only water. In addition 41.7% of CMs washed their hands for only 5sec-15sec compared to 19.4% of CHWs (p=0.034). 

    Focus groups with CHWs discussed potential barriers in the community and local solutions (Figure 6).

    Barriers:

    Severe lack of financial resources for CMs and CHW

    • “People in the village are poor and don’t have money to buy the soap
    • “[CHWs do not] receive funding to help improve community health... it is all voluntary work”

    Cultural and traditional differences

    • “one of the biggest barriers are cultural beliefs and trying to break down their ‘old beliefs’”

    Miseducation or lack of education

    • “They do not believe that there are germs on their hands because they do not see anything”

    Solutions:

    Education

    • “[CHWs] are local community members – if new faces taught hand hygiene lessons, people would be more receptive to information.”
    • “Get government officials... local leaders... religious leaders to accompany CHWs, people listen to them”
    • “Important to teach the local leaders [and students] at the same time as CHWs to improve the hand hygiene compliance in the community” 

    DISCUSSION

    The data gathered showed that both CHWs and CMs have a high working knowledge of proper hand hygiene. It appears that barriers need to be addressed with innovative solutions that are locally driven to be effective in Uganda, particularly in the Nakaseke District where we performed the study.

    Knowledge: The workshop provided was effective although improvements could be made, including removing information on alcohol hand rub. Many CHWs had never written a multiple choice exam, so a culturally appropriate method could be used in addition to multiple forms of the test and pre-translating the written material.

    Practice: Stated hand washing techniques differ such that significantly more CHWs than CMs wash for longer than 6 to 15 seconds and use soap and water versus water alone. The better hand practises noted by CHWs could be caused by higher education and/or income. A larger sample size and a truly random selection of CMs and CHWs should be obtained to increase the power and decrease selection bias. In the future observational studies could be created.

    Barriers & Solutions: CHWs are trained in hopes that they disseminate knowledge to CMs. However, education, culture and socioeconomics are inhibiting spread of this knowledge. CHWs called for engagement from local leaders to help improve the noted disparities in hand hygiene techniques. If CHWs could generate an income by disseminating knowledge they believe CMs would respect, listen and practise healthy habits. Future studies could look at income generating projects such as creating soap with locally sourced ingredients. 

    CONCLUSIONS

    Although CHWs, and CMs in Nakaseke had a relatively strong understanding of the importance of proper hand hygiene various barriers prevent best practices. CHWs generally had a greater understanding of hand hygiene practices than CMs, but the obstacles they encounter prevents this knowledge transfer. Future directions would include exploring potential solutions to some of the barriers faced by CHWs to facilitate knowledge dissemination to improve health outcomes. In addition to providing a source of income for their work as community teachers such as locally producing and selling soap.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    We would like to thank the people of the Nakaseke community for welcoming us, our hosts at ACCESS for helping us with recruitment and translation, the Community Health Workers for participating in this research, the UBC Behavioural Review Ethics Board and the UBC Faculty of Medicine Summer Research Program. 


    IMP volunteers help students transition from books to real-life patients

    Apr 1, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    The Volunteer Patient Program is a critical component of the MD undergraduate program which enables first and second-year medical students to practice history-taking and hands-on physical exam skills.

    Volunteer patients participate as ‘themselves,’ offering their time, energy and authentic medical history, whether they are healthy or living with an illness or disability. In IMP’s Clinical Skills course, volunteer patients are instrumental in students’ development of basic communication and clinical skills, such as: taking a medical history, using basic medical instruments, and practicing physical examinations.

    The contributions of volunteer patients are invaluable and allow students to gain confidence and competence with communication and clinical skills in a safe environment and realistic setting. At IMP, over 100 people take part in the Volunteer Patient program. The participants’ ages range from infants to seniors. 

    To thank participants in the Volunteer Patient Program this year, IMP hosted an appreciation tea on March 14 from 1:00-3:00 pm. The event was attended by close to 50 volunteers. The volunteers were thanked by Dr. Bruce Wright, IMP Regional Associate Dean, and Dr. Alex Henri-Bhargava, Clinical Skills Site Director, IMP.

    For further information about the Patient Program, please contact Karen Basi at karenpri@uvic.ca or 250-370-8111 x12386.


    Preparation for Medical Practice Course poster presentations

    Apr 7, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli & Alli Bunting

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    Please note: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

    On March 1, 2016, IMP students in year 4 presented posters they had created for the Preparation for Medical Practice Course. The posters covered a variety of topics, and the focus was to examine the evidence for clinical recommendations. Here is a sampling of project summaries:

    Group: Christopher Yeker, Kesh Smith, Anthony Willmot, Chelsea Wiksyk

    We examined several systematic reviews and individual randomized controlled trials to determine the available evidence for the use of ginger in treating pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting. We found consistent and reasonably strong evidence that ginger was an effective treatment for this complaint but further study of safety and dosages would be beneficial for guiding practice.

    Group: Julie Bowen, Michelle Lamarche, Emma Tucker, Elizabeth Mason

    We conducted a literature review to investigate antibiotic treatment as an alternative to surgical management for acute, uncomplicated appendicitis in adult patients. We found that antibiotics are an effective treatment option in this population, avoiding surgery in the majority of patients (approximately 70%) with no increased risk of major complications.

    Group: Aimee Kernick, Tianru Sui

    Research Question: How effective are community opioid overdose prevention programs with naloxone distribution at reducing morbidity and mortality?

    Conclusions: Current evidence suggests that these programs show high overdose reversal rates, minimal harm, and increased knowledge about overdose prevention; however, evidence is insufficient to comment on reduction of morbidity and mortality (Grade 2). Study limitations include a lack of randomized controlled trials, results based on self-report, and poor follow-up. Although more rigorous studies would be valuable to improve public and political support of such initiatives, there are many challenges inherent to studying this transient population. Additionally, now that the benefits of naloxone are well established, would randomization into a control group ever be ethical? Can we ever expect Grade 1 evidence for these programs and should there be a delay in implementation while we wait? Finally, is this method of evaluating evidence appropriate for all research questions? 

    Group: Sherri Tran, Teresa Rodriguez

    There is increased public interest for the use of cannabinoids in medicine, particularly in rheumatological disease. We searched the literature for the evidence of cannabinoids in the control of chronic rheumatic pain. As the current evidence is too limited to recommend cannabinoids over standard therapy, they should be reserved for those who have failed standard treatments (B) with a focus on a multidisciplinary treatment approach including exercise and education together with pharmacological interventions (C).  

    This project was a good practice and introduction for a process we will be expected to master during our residencies for patient treatment and teaching. What surprised me the most about our project was the difficulty to find randomized control trials. It was slightly disappointing to be unable to find more evidence on a topic where there are so many opinions. I hope that on the following years, more and larger studies will come out to help guide the discussion.

    Group: Michael Honey, Sam Minaker

    We were both inspired during our neurology rotations at VGH after witnessing fantastic outcomes of ischemic stroke patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy. Our evaluation of the literature confirmed our beliefs that we are on the cusp of a major change in standard of care with regard to acute ischemic stroke management in Canada.


    IMP's April e-newsletter is available

    Apr 18, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    Check out the latest news about our students and faculty! Go to: https://www.mailoutinteractive.com/Industry/View.aspx?id=786514 today.


    IMP students visit grade two classrooms

    Apr 4, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    In February, Riley Chen-Mack and his team delivered the "Do Bugs Need Drugs?" talk to elementary school students. With puppets and activities in hand, the IMP students brought the importance of handwashing to the young students through songs, colouring sheets and skits.

    First-year IMP students bring the “Do Bugs Need Drugs?” education program to grade two classrooms in Victoria every year. The two-hour session helps elementary students understand the importance of washing their hands to stay healthy and to stop the spread of infections, the difference between viruses and bacteria, and when antibiotics should be used. Informational materials are provided for the classroom and for the children to take home to their families.

    For more information, visit www.dobugsneeddrugs.org.


    Understanding “harm thoughts” in postpartum mothers

    May 11, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    As any new mother will tell you, things can get pretty overwhelming after you bring your new bundle of joy home from the hospital. However, some postpartum experiences cause more anxiety and distress than others.

    Unwanted, intrusive thoughts of harm coming to one’s infant are experienced universally by all new mothers, and close to half of new moms experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts of harming their own babies. Both of these kinds of “harm thoughts” (accidental and intentional) can be extremely upsetting to the women who experience them; provoking fears about their own mental stability and, subsequently, ability to care for their child.

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    Nichole Fairbrother, a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor with both UBC's Department of Psychiatry and IMP, has been working on a research project that aims to determine both how common these thoughts are, among postpartum women, as well as what kinds of mental health issues might result from them. 

    Perinatal caregivers often worry that “harm thoughts” may indicate that a woman is at risk of hurting her child. However, evidence suggests that the occurrence of these thoughts is quite normal, and is much more likely to lead to the onset or exacerbation of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a potentially debilitating anxiety disorder. Responding appropriately to women who report these kinds of thoughts is critical for mothers and their infants.

    “New mothers and their healthcare providers are often very concerned by the thoughts of harm they experience in relation to their infant, and worry that they may be at risk of harming their baby,” explains Dr. Fairbrother. “If, in fact, these thoughts do not indicate a risk of harm to the infant, but rather indicate an increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder such as obsessive compulsive disorder, I believe it is important to educate mothers and their care providers about this.”

    Currently, Dr. Fairbrother’s project is in the data collection and recruitment phase. Pregnant women who agree to participate will be administered questionnaires and an interview at 33 weeks gestation, and again at one and three months post-partum. This research will determine the prevalence of postpartum thoughts of harm and postpartum OCD. It will also examine whether or not there is an association between these thoughts and actual maternal harming behaviours.

    Dr. Fairbrother believes the knowledge gained through this study will be integral to the development of interventions for pregnant and postpartum women and educational material for maternity care providers. She is optimistic that her research will have a positive effect on how pregnant and post-partum women are cared for.

    “New mothers are sometimes unnecessarily separated from their infants, due to misconceptions around these kinds of thought patterns,” says Dr. Fairbrother. “My hope is that we can influence the content of prenatal education, particularly education relating to postpartum mental health.”


    Let's Talk Science: Suntanning

    Apr 5, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    erJoin IMP students Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 pm in MSB 150 to talk about the effects of suntanning and sunscreen... To tan or not to tan, that is the question.

    Meet Dr. Kelleher! You're invited to the Dean's town hall at IMP's clinical campus next week

    Mar 11, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    eFaculty, staff, and students are invited to join UBC Faculty of Medicine's Dean for a Town Hall with the Island Medical Program and contribute to the strategic planning process for the Faculty of Medicine. (Link to full message from Dean Kelleher)

    It's a pivotal time for the Faculty as we develop the strategic plan that will guide our activities for the next 5 years. Dean Kelleher is seeking input on how to best capitalize on new opportunities, address challenges, and reflect the budgeting process through to 2021.

    Join us on Thursday, March 17th in person at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Coronation Annex room 125 or via videoconference at UVic MSB 160, CDH 045, CRH IMP, NRGH 2060, SJGH 0100 or WCGH 2340C.

    4:30 to 5:00 pm – Meet and Greet with Dean Kelleher; light snacks to be served (Royal Jubilee Hospital only)

    5:00 to 6:00 pm – Town Hall with Q&A

    Please email impadmin@uvic.ca or call (250) 472-5505 with any questions.


    CaRMS match day at IMP

    Mar 10, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    eThe buzz of excitement is always tangible as fourth-year medical students (residents) gather to celebrate the results of the first round of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), which matches graduating MD students with postgraduate programs nationwide. On March 2, 2016, IMP students gathered at the Royal Jubilee Hospital for a special lunch.

    With celebrations in order, students shared news of the results by writing their specialty and location in bright magic marker on t-shirts donated by the Canadian Medical Association.

    Read about Match Day across the MDUP here. Watch the video here. See photos from across the province on Facebook here


    Farewell to IMP's Susanne Phillips

    Feb 11, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    k

    IMP and other UBC Faculty of Medicine staff gathered to say goodbye to a long-time colleague Susanne Phillips, Program Manager, UBC Regional Specialty Training Programs-Vancouver Island on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Susanne was honoured with a retirement tea with presentations and anecdotes of fond times together. The occasion was video-conferenced throughout the province to ensure that all who wanted to participate could do so.

    In follow up to the event, Susanne sent a heartfelt message to those she worked alongside, "I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your patience, kindness, generosity of spirit and the sharing of knowledge over the years.  It has truly been an honour and pleasure to be part of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and work with such collegial team members.  This, and the residents, is what I am going to miss the most."

    Susanne plans to spend the next four months travelling with her husband Keith, through some very exotic locations in Central and North America – a very exciting start to her well deserved retirement.  


    Let's Talk Science: Opioids

    Feb 24, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    rJoin IMP students Ashley Yip and Barbara Lelj to learn more about opioids, their uses and their effects on March 1, 2016 at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in MSB 150.

    Let's Talk Science: Gluten

    Feb 29, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    adJoin IMP students Sergiy Shatenko, Samuel Harder and Andrew Watters to learn more about gluten on March 3, 2016 at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in MSB 150.

    Calling all high school students!

    Feb 17, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    e

    Find out what the UBC MD Undergraduate Program is all about at IMP's special info session for high school students tonight:

    When: Wed, Feb 17 at 7:00 pm

    Where: MSB 150

    No registration required! View background materials here


    Faculty Announcements Jan/Feb 2016

    Feb 15, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    e Welcome to Dr. Lisa Cairns as the new IMP Site Director for MEDD 419/429/439 (FLEX)! Reporting to the Regional Associate Dean through the Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Education, IMP, Dr. Cairns will collaborate with Course Directors, Site Directors, and Site Leads at the IMP as well as those in each distributed program. She will also work closely with the Program Managers and administrative team, and other physician colleagues and leaders.
    e Following her long-standing role as Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Program, Students Affairs, IMP, Dr. Darlene Hammell will become the Deputy Registrar, Medical Council of Canada, UBC-Victoria site for the MCCQE2 exams this year. Dr. Hammell is also likely to continue being a resource to IMP as a teacher. (Dr. Fraser Black will assume the role of Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Program, Students Affairs, IMP effective July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019).
    e Following his role as Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Education, IMP, Dr. Adrian Yee has accepted the position of Associate Director Curriculum, Years 3 and 4 for the MD Undergraduate Program starting February 1, 2016. This follows the interim leadership from Dr. Michael Curry, who has kindly agreed to provide ongoing continuity in this position until the on-site accreditation visit in February is completed.
    Current picture unavailable Welcome to Ms. Sarah Buydens who has been appointed Regional Faculty Development Director, Vancouver Island! Sarah will be working closely with Regional Associate Dean and Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Education, IMP, on Faculty Development on the Island, as well as with the Assistant Dean, Faculty Development and her site-based colleagues. Ms. Buydens comes to IMP with a background in teaching and program development at the UVic Faculty of Education and the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

    February e-newsletter is out!

    Feb 22, 2016 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    IMP and DMSC's latest e-newsletter is out!

    Read it to find out what our students and faculty are up to: DMSC grad starts career abroad, IMP students run Pre-Med Club for UVic students, Brian Christie consulted for Dr. Oz article, upcoming faculty development, IMP student wins prestigious scholarship, faculty announcements, "An evening with batman's brain" and Program Manager Susanne Phillips retires.


    Dr. Hammell receives CMA Honorary Membership Award

    Aug 19, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Congratulations Dr. Darlene Hammell!

    Dr. Hammell has been awarded the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Honarary Membership Award. Honorary membership to the CMA goes to BC doctors who, at the age of 65, having been active members of the association for at least 10 years. Recipients must also have been nominated by their provincial/territorial medical associations and have had their nominations approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of the CMA. 

    The nominees are held in high regard by their colleagues; they are humanitarians who have put into practice the aims and ideals of our profession. They are people who exemplify the words of the CMA Coat of Arms: "Integritate et misericordia” - integrity and compassion.

    To view the full list of 2015 receipients, go to:

     https://www.doctorsofbc.ca/resource-centre/awards-scholarships/cma-honorary-membership-award


    Kurt McBurney Receives Dr. Bruce Crawford Award

    Dec 21, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    kaOn Dec 17th, during IMP and DMSC's seasonal celebration, Melissa Dekker (Class of 2017) presented Kurt McBurney with the Dr. Bruce Crawford Award on behalf of her fellow classmates. Below is a copy of her speech.

    Today I have the privilege of presenting a very special award to a very special teacher. This award is presented by the third year students of the Island Medical Program to the Island Medical Program teacher, preceptor or tutor who has made the most profound and positive impact on our first two years of medical training. I am honored to present this award to Kurt McBurney.

    Kurt grew up on a grain farm in Manitoba and always thought he’d end up being a farmer. However, after his family sold the farm the year he graduated high school Kurt moved to BC and pursued a degree in education. Kurt began his career in education teaching young kids, but after an experience teaching anatomy to adults he knew he had found his calling. He went on to complete a graduate program in education and has been working in the Gross anatomy lab at the Island medical program ever since. Originally tutored by Dr. Bruce Crawford, Kurt is now the Assistant teaching professor and in his own words “absolutely loves” his job teaching medical students.

    Kurt’s passion for his job is so evident. Not only is he clever and creative in the ways that he teaches us, but he also goes above and beyond to ensure that we our well prepared in our knowledge. He is always available and happy to help if you are struggling with some material and will always support you in your learning.

    In my second year of medical school I had knee surgery and was on crutches for 6 weeks and missed several gross anatomy lab sessions. Kurt took extra time at the end of the year to go over the all sessions I missed and ensured I was up to speed on all the material. Knowing I had his support put me at ease and allowed me to focus on healing from surgery. This is just one example of Kurt’s commitment and dedication to our learning.

    When I knew I would be presenting this award today I polled a bunch of my third year classmates and asked them to describe Kurt in a few words. These are the responses I received:

    Creative
    Knowledgeable
    Kind
    Generous
    The reason I passed anatomy
    Marry me....?
    Edutastic
    Super hero
    Kurt is a huge part of why we all love the Island Medical program. I know I speak on behalf of the entire third year class when I say that we are extremely lucky that Kurt’s parents sold that grain farm and that he is here teaching us. It is with gratitude and appreciation that I present Kurt McBurney with the 2015 Dr. Bruce Crawford Teaching Award.


    December e-newsletter is out

    Dec 24, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    IMP's electronic newsletter is out for December! In it, Dr. Arbour talks about her research and Kurt McBurney receives the Dr. Crawford award.

    If you have a story to include in the next issue or would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please email Eryn Rizzoli at erizzoli@uvic.ca.

    Kurt McBurney Receives Dr. Bruce Crawford Award

    Dec 18, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    kmOn Dec 17th, during IMP and DMSC's seasonal celebration, Melissa Dekker (Class of 2017) presented Kurt McBurney with the Dr. Bruce Crawford Award on behalf of her fellow classmates. Below is a copy of her speech.

    Today I have the privilege of presenting a very special award to a very special teacher. This award is presented by the third year students of the Island Medical Program to the Island Medical Program teacher, preceptor or tutor who has made the most profound and positive impact on our first two years of medical training. I am honored to present this award to Kurt McBurney.

    Kurt grew up on a grain farm in Manitoba and always thought he’d end up being a farmer. However, after his family sold the farm the year he graduated high school Kurt moved to BC and pursued a degree in education. Kurt began his career in education teaching young kids, but after an experience teaching anatomy to adults he knew he had found his calling. He went on to complete a graduate program in education and has been working in the Gross anatomy lab at the Island medical program ever since. Originally tutored by Dr. Bruce Crawford, Kurt is now the Assistant teaching professor and in his own words “absolutely loves” his job teaching medical students.

    Kurt’s passion for his job is so evident. Not only is he clever and creative in the ways that he teaches us, but he also goes above and beyond to ensure that we our well prepared in our knowledge. He is always available and happy to help if you are struggling with some material and will always support you in your learning.

    In my second year of medical school I had knee surgery and was on crutches for 6 weeks and missed several gross anatomy lab sessions. Kurt took extra time at the end of the year to go over the all sessions I missed and ensured I was up to speed on all the material. Knowing I had his support put me at ease and allowed me to focus on healing from surgery. This is just one example of Kurt’s commitment and dedication to our learning.

    When I knew I would be presenting this award today I polled a bunch of my third year classmates and asked them to describe Kurt in a few words. These are the responses I received:

    • Creative
    • Knowledgeable
    • Kind
    • Generous
    • The reason I passed anatomy
    • Marry me....?
    • Edutastic
    • Super hero

    Kurt is a huge part of why we all love the Island Medical program. I know I speak on behalf of the entire third year class when I say that we are extremely lucky that Kurt’s parents sold that grain farm and that he is here teaching us. It is with gratitude and appreciation that I present Kurt McBurney with the 2015 Dr. Bruce Crawford Teaching Award.


    Nomination Deadlines: 2016 UBC Faculty of Medicine Awards

    Nov 13, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Nominate a colleague today!

    UBC's Faculty of Medicine awards provide a tremendous opportunity to acknowledge outstanding faculty and staff who are dedicated to advancing our Faculty. You are encouraged to review each award category and submit nominations for appropriate candidates. The recipients of 2016 Faculty of Medicine awards will be announced in the spring and the awards will be presented at the 2016 Annual Awards Reception in the fall. The nomination deadlines are approaching soon.

    November e-newsletter is out

    Nov 30, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    IMP's electronic newsletter is out for November! In it, Brian Christie talks to Global News about concussion risks in children's soccer. 

    If you have a story to include in the next issue or would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please email Eryn Rizzoli at erizzoli@uvic.ca.

    2015 Year 3 Teaching Awards

    Oct 16, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Congratulations to the following groups and individuals for receiving the Year 3 Teaching Awards for 2015! These awards are made on the recommendation of the fourth year students of the Island Medical Program, based on teaching done during their third year.

    Dr. Logan Lee received the 2015 Vancouver Island Clerkship Preceptors Teaching Excellence Award. This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect a clerkship preceptor demonstrates in teaching the third year students of the Island Medical Program.

    Internal Medicine clerkship received the 2015 Island Medical Program Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. This award acknowledges the rotation that provides the most efficient, supportive, and engaging learning environment for third year clinical clerk medical students of the Island Medical Program.

    Dr. Allan Kostyniuk received the 2015 Resident Teaching Excellence Award. This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect that Vancouver Island residents demonstrate in teaching the third year students of the Island Medical Program.

    The awards will be presented during the Victoria Medical Society Welcome Dinner for the Class of 2019 on January 30, 2016.


    Faculty Studies Shaping Healthcare Horizon

    Oct 6, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Manville and Dr. Stephanie Willerth, Ph.D. P.Eng., for their tremendous research into medical issues likely to improve healthcare in the coming years.

    Dr. Margaret Manville Receives Best Original Research Article Award

    Congratulations to Dr. Manville and her team including Dr. Michael C. Klein and Dr. Lesley Bainbridge on being selected to receive the 2015 Canadian Family Physician Best Original Research Article Award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

    The award is given for a scientific article published in 2014 in the Canadian Family Physician (CFP) and resulting from a research project developed, financed, and completed by the authors. Dr. Manville's article “Improved outcomes for elderly patients who received care on a transitional care unit” was judged to be the best research paper published in CFP during 2014.

    As the recipient of the CFP Best Original Research Article Award, Dr. Manville will deliver a presentation during the CFPC’s Family Medicine Innovations in Research and Education Day in Toronto, on November 11, 2015. The award will be presented at the Section of Researchers Dinner that evening, at the Liberty Grand (Exhibition Place).

    Dr. Stephanie Willerth, PhD and PEng, Declared an Innovator

    Dr. Stephanie Willerth, who holds the Canada Research Chair in biomedical engineering, has been named one of the 2015 Young Innovators in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. As part of the award, her group paper was published in the Young Innovators special issue of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering in August. The study extends the work done in the eponymous Willerth Lab—engineering tissue that can be transplanted into humans to treat diseases of the nervous system like Parkinson’s or to repair spinal cord damage. The paper describes experiments using drug-releasing microscopic particles, called “microspheres,” into pluripotent stem cells—adult cells that can be genetically modified to become muscle, blood, heart or nerve cells. The work begins what promises to be a revolutionary tool for regenerative medicine.

    To read more about the study, click here.


    IMP starts e-newsletter

    Nov 2, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    eIMP sent its first electronic newsletter to its staff and donors on October 27! In it, Dr. Margaret Manville, Stephanie Willerth and Dr. Oscar Casiro are recognized. IMP previously distributed print copies of its newsletter twice a year. With this switch to an electronic version, we look forward to sharing our stories and updates with you more often.

    If you have a story to include in the next issue or would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please email Eryn Rizzoli at erizzoli@uvic.ca.


    New simulation centre provides UBC (IMP) students and residents with real-life medical scenarios

    Sep 18, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    cicsl

    The long awaited Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning officially opened in the Royal Jubilee Hospital on September 17, 2015.

    Designed for future and current doctors, nurses and midwives to work together, the centre has state-of-the-art technology to simulate real-life medical situations with mannequins that can breathe, talk, cough and moan. For students, residents and professionals in Victoria, this is as close to real-life as they can be, while still learning.

    The $2.9 million centre will be working in partnership with Island Health, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine's Island Medical Program.

    UBC's new Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Dr. Dermot Kelleher was there with IMP's Regional Associate Dean Dr. Bruce Wright to celebrate the event. "The result will be better-trained people," said Dr. Kelleher. “It means that as we produce new medical graduates — we’re not just producing more graduates — we’re producing better graduates. We’re producing people who are equipped to deal with acute problems at an early stage of their career.”

    There are three simulation laboratories replicating an operating room, a critical care unit, and a patient care room that will be used by more than 100 medical and 300 nursing students; numerous medical residents, and experienced health professionals in Greater Victoria.

    For more information, check out the following news stories:
    Global News (video), Sep 17, 2015
    Global News, Sep 17, 2015 
    Victoria News, Sep 17, 2015
    Times Colonist News, Sep 17, 2015  
    UBC news, Sep 17, 2015
    UVic news, Sep 17, 2015 


    Listen to your gut: the role of the gut-brain axis

    Apr 13, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    gutLet’s Talk Science with Med Students Ashely Yip and Tiffany Miller

    Friday, April 17 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm
    Medical Sciences Building, Room 150

    See poster for more details!


    Just out! Winter 2014 newsletter

    Dec 20, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Catch up on what has been happening in the Island Medical Program and the Division of Medical Sciences in the fifth edition of our bi-annual newsletter! We hope you enjoy reading about what's happening in our world, where medical education and medical science on Vancouver Island intersect.  Read it here

    IMP student's reflection piece published in Canadian Family Physician journal

    Dec 13, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Katrina Genuis (IMP 2015) has written a wonderful and touching tribute to a very special "teacher".  You can read it in the December 2013 edition of the Canadian Family Physician journal.

    Well done Katrina!


    Dr. Oscar Casiro presents at inaugural Latin American conference on residency training

    Dec 5, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    In late October, a group of staff members and volunteers from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) travelled to Santiago, Chile, to participate in the inaugural Latin American Conference on Residency Education (LACRE).  The conference was very well attended, with 450 participants from 12 neighbouring countries who were provided with opportunities to share experiences and learn from Canadian and Chilean educators about best practices and challenges in residency education and training.

    Dr. Oscar Casiro, Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island was part of the RCPSC delegation and led workshops in both English and Spanish on medical resident selection and teaching and assessing professionalism, as well as a symposium on how to organize a residency program.


    Read more about the conference and Dr. Casiro’s comments on the success of the event in the December edition of  Dialogue, RCPSC’s monthly newsletter.


    10 years of province-wide medical education a cause for celebration!

    Nov 19, 2014 | Posted by: Nancy Taylor

    2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of UBC’s distributed MD Undergraduate Program.  To mark this occasion, UBC has developed a dynamic website which will take people through the history, challenges and successes of the program.  Through storytelling, audio and video, you will hear from key players, faculty, staff and students who were an integral part of this process.

    More stories will be added to the site throughout the year.  You can join in on the conversation by following @UBCIMP on Twitter. 


    How a Vancouver Island physician hopes to quell a drowning epidemic

    Nov 22, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Steve BeermanDr. Steve Beerman is a Nanaimo family physician, clincal educator and Site Director for the UBC’s Family Practice residency program at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. He is also considered an expert in medical management issues around drowning and water-related injury prevention.  A long time volunteer visionary leader and collaborative partner with UN Agencies, NGO's and Governments, Dr. Beerman has been involved in projects to research and facilitate evidence-based strategic interventions to reduce drowning in low-income countries where it is a leading cause of child mortality.  In Bangladesh, drowning is the single leading cause of death in children ages 1 – 17. 

    Dr. Beerman has just been awarded a $100,000 grant from the federal government’s Grand Challenges Canada, Stars in Global Health program to work with Bangladeshi collaborators and implement low-cost, effective and culturally sensitive interventions to reduce the rate of drowning in one Bangladeshi village.  If successful, the project will be scaled up to encompass a broader region of the country.

    To read more about this project see the UBC Faculty of Medicine news. 


    Open House for Aboriginal students interested in Medicine

    Nov 4, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The Island Medical Program and UBC Faculty of Medicine MD Admissions are hosting an Open House for Aboriginal students:
     

    Saturday, November 23, 2013
    10am – 1pm
    Medical Sciences Building, University of Victoria

    The event is open to all Aboriginal students in senior high school, college and university who are interested in finding out more about a career in medicine.  Come out and tour the medical education facilities, meet with Aboriginal medical students, residents and physicians and find out how the UBC Faculty of Medicine supports Aboriginal students who are interested in pursuing medical studies.  See the poster for more information.

    RSVP by Friday, November 15 to:
    James Andrew, Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator
    Phone: 604-875-4111 Ext. 68946
    Email: james.andrew@uvic.ca


    IMP preceptor named BC Family Physician of the Year

    Oct 31, 2013 | Posted by: Christine

    Dr. Tom Rimmer is a family physician in Duncan who was recently named as the 2013 BC Family Physician of the Year.  He and medical colleagues representing other provinces were nominated for this award by peers, local leaders and the 30,000 members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).  The award honours family physicians for outstanding patient care, significant contributions to community's health and well-being, and commitment to family medicine, teaching and research.

    In addition to his full-time medical practice, Dr. Rimmer is heavily involved in teaching medical students and residents.  He is a rural family practice preceptor for undergraduate medical students, teaches third year medical students in the Cowichan integrated clinical clerkship program and is a preceptor for UBC postgraduate residents, most recently taking on a role as preceptor for the Aboriginal Family Practice Resident program. 

    Presentation of the award will be on November 5 during the CFPC annual Family Medicine Forum in Vancouver

    Find out more about Dr. Rimmer and the award in this local Cowichan newspaper article http://www.cowichannewsleader.com/news/225366982.html (Note: Medical resident, Dr. Troy McLeod, in photo with Dr. Rimmer is a member of the IMP Class of 2012)

    The IMP congratulates Dr. Rimmer on this well-deserved recognition!


    IMP students and faculty shine at recent research event

    Oct 22, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The UBC Faculty of Medicine Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES) hosted the Celebration of Scholarship in Vancouver on October 17, 2013.  This is an annual event, providing an opportunity for the CHES community to showcase their research and to celebrate the accomplishments of the health professions education scholarship network.


    At the end of the daylong event, participants were asked to vote for the most thought-provoking presentation and poster.  We are pleased to announce that the winners in both categories this year are affiliated with the Island Medical Program!


    Most Thought Provoking Poster award went to Ariel Liu (IMP Class of 2015), Teresa Rodriguez (IMP Class of 2016), Kiran Veerapen (Regional Faculty Development Director, Vancouver Island) and Adrian Yee (Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate Education, IMP) for their poster titled Teacher-Student Partnership in Faculty Development – Developing New Synergies in Undergraduate Medical Education.  Award for the Most Thought Provoking Oral Presentation went to Richard Veerapen (DPAS Tutor for the IMP, PhD candidate, Law and Society, UVic) for his presentation titled Physician Engagement with Family and Close Others of Patients during the Informed Consent Process.


    Congratulations to these talented and worthy recipients!


    IMP Class of 2014 student recieves prestigious scholarship

    Sep 6, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Andrew JeffreyIMP Class of 2014 student, Andrew Jeffrey, is the UBC recipient of the 2013 Medical Student Scholarship from the College of Family Physicians of Canada.  This scholarship is the College's highest scholastic award and is offered to one outstanding medical student from each Canadian medical university, for those with an interest in a rewarding career in family medicine.

    Andrew has consistently expressed a strong drive to practice rural family medicine, and in pursuing this goal has held student positions with the UBC Family Practice Interest Group, the Vancouver Island Rural Medicine Interest Group, and the Rural Education Action Plan.  Andrew has demonstrated strong support of the aboriginal community through various volunteer opportunities with the Vancouver Native Health Centre, the Aboriginal Health Initiative and an after school program for children at the Tsawout First Nation.  Additionally, he has completed numerous research projects related to rural medicine and primary care and presented at several conferences.

    Congratulations Andrew on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award!


    Leader in community-based medical education and research visits IMP

    Sep 26, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. worleyOn Monday, September 23, the IMP hosted Dr. Paul Worley, Dean of the School of Medicine at Flinders University in Australia. Flinders University has a reputation as the leader in community-based and distributed medical education with campuses in Australia extending from Darwin, Northern Territory to Warnabool, Victoria.

    Dr. Worley is a practicing rural doctor with a passion for increasing the profile, impact and social accountability of medical schools and their students.  He is recognised internationally as a leader in community-based medical education and research and strongly supports the creation of mutually beneficial partnerships between medical schools and clinicians, health services, government and community agencies, the wider research community, and professional bodies.  

    Dr. Worley was in British Columbia for five days as a guest of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES), before travelling to Montana to attend the Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (CLIC*) conference.   While in Victoria, Dr. Worley shared information about his work in rural training and community-based medical education with leaders and administrators involved in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education on Vancouver Island. 

    *CLIC is a group of faculty from medical schools around the world who have or are considering developing, implementing and studying the longitudinal integrated clerkship model to address core clinical training for undergraduate medical education.

    Neuroscience Grad program kicks off academic year with seminar by award-winning scientist

    Sep 23, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. William A. Catterall, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, will be presenting a seminar to help kick off the Division of Medical Sciences and Neuroscience Graduate Program academic year.  Dr. Catterall is the 2010 recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award for his discovery and continuing work on voltage-gated sodium and calcium channel proteins, responsible for generating electrical signals in the brain, heart, skeletal muscles and other cells.  Recent work in Dr. Catterall's lab at the University of Washington has been directed at understanding diseases caused by impaired function and regulation of voltage-gated ion channels, including epilepsy and periodic paralysis.

    Dr. Catteral's presentation, titled "Electrical Signaling at Atomic Resolution", will take place on Friday, September 26, Medical Sciences Builiding, Room 160, University of Victoria, 11:30am - 12:30pm


    Division of Medical Sciences student recipient of Vanier Scholarship

    Sep 24, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Christine Fontaine, PhD candidate in the Division of Medical Sciences is a 2013-14 recipient of a NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her research  in behavioural neuroscience research.   Christine is the second graduate student from the Division to recieve this prestigious award.  Leigh Wicki-Stordeur was a recipient last year.  Read more here

    IMP student spends summer break involved in cancer research

    Aug 23, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    David Kim, IMP Class of 2016, spent two months this summer working on a research project at the BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Center (DRC) in Victoria.  Read more about the important research he was involved in on our Student Research page.

    David Kim


    IMP host site for pre-admission workshop for Aboriginal students

    Aug 11, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    On July 28 to 30, the Island Medical hosted the 11th annual "Aboriginals into Medicine" pre-admissiton workshop.  This UBC Faculty of Medicine annual event takes place each summer and rotates between each of the four sites of the UBC MD Undergraduate program, which in addition to the Island Medical Program includes the Northern Medical Program in Prince George, the Southern Medical Program in Kelowna and the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program in the lower mainland. 

    The workshop aims to provide Aboriginal students who have an interest in attending medical school with tools to help improve their success in the applicaiton process.  The workshop is open to senior high school students (Grade 11 and 12) or those currently attending a post-secondary insitution.  Activities and presentations are run by UBC MD Undergraduate program site faculty, staff and students and by James Andrew, the Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator with the UBC Faculty of Medicine MD Admissions office, who has been the driving force behind this workshop since it was initiated in 2003.

    This year, ten Aboriginal students from communities such as Victoria, Langley, Dawson Creek and Vancouver participated in the workshop, which was held in the Medical Sciences Building at UVic.  Participants also had the opportunity to enjoy some local fun at the end of a long day at UVic (see the Victoria Hippo tour photo below)!

    hippo tour


    IMP featured in First Nations Drum newspaper

    Jul 31, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    First Nations Drum, Canada's largest Aboriginal newspaper reaching communities across Canada, featured a story about the Island Medical Program in it's June 2013 edition.  Dr. Oscar Casiro (Regional Associate Dean) and two IMP Class of 2013 graduates (Dr. Geoff McKee and Dr. Frank Clarke) were interviewed for the article.  Please read the article to find out more...   


    Summer 2013 newsletter now available

    Jul 15, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The latest edition of the bi-annual Island Medical Program/Division of Medical Sciences newsletter is now online.  Please read to gather some insights about our programs and find out more about our students and faculty.

    Victoria pediatrics training site open for residents

    Jul 24, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    It's official! UBC Pediatrics has expanded to the Island with a site in Victoria. Two residents will be based at this second site each year. They will be integrated as UBC Pediatrics residents but will have a fantastic opportunity to be part of building a community-based program in Victoria.

    To read more, go to http://pediatrics.med.ubc.ca/education/residency-program.


    Welcome to Dr. Bruce Wright, New Regional Associate Dean for Vancouver Island

    Jul 2, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Bruce WrightDr. Bruce Wright, MD, CCFP, FCFP, joins us today as the new Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island, UBC Faculty of Medicine and Head, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria

    Dr. Wright comes from the University of Calgary, where he was a professor in the Department of Family Medicine with a specialty in geriatric medicine, and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education.  He is serves as a councillor with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and currently chairs their Research and Development Committee. He is also an active member of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

    Prior to beginning his career in medicine, Dr. Wright completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of Calgary and a Master of Arts in Political Economy at the University of Toronto. He received his medical degree and completed residency training at the University of Calgary. Dr. Wright has a particular interest in international medical education and serves as a consultant on curriculum development projects in Tajikistan, Tanzania, Nepal and Laos.

    As Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island, Dr. Wright will continue to provide strategic leadership of the undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs throughout Vancouver Island and as Head, Division of Medical Sciences he will lead the ongoing development of research capacity within medical sciences at UVic. In his dual roles, Dr. Wright will work closely with partners, such as Island Health, to facilitate the achievement of these goals.

    A warm welcome to Dr. Bruce Wright from everyone associated with the Island Medical Program!


    Prestigious MSFHR Scholar Award for faculty member

    Jul 14, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne, faculty member with the Division of Medical Sciences and the Island Medical Program, is the recipient of a 2014 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Scholar Award, jointly funded in partnership with the BC Schizophrenia Society Foundation  This prestigious award provides support to new scientific investigators, allowing them to focus on their research activities, train students and facilitate research collaborations.

    Additional information and comments from Dr. Swayne posted on the Division of Medical Sciences website.  A summary of Dr. Swayne's research proposal, Ion channels: Molecular determinants of health and disease in the head and heart can be found on the MSFHR website

    Congratulations Dr. Swayne!


    Our summer newsletter just out!

    Jun 18, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Please take a few moments to read our Summer 2014 Newsletter and find out what has been happening in the Island Medical Program and the Division of Medical Sciences over the past several months. 

    Also included in this issue is a farewell message from Dr. Oscar Casiro who, after 10 years, steps down from his positions as Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island and Head, Division of Medical Sciences at UVic.


    Dr. Amita Modi recipient of 2013 teaching award

    Jun 6, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Amita ModiDr. Amita Modi, IMP Year 4 Electives Director is the recipient of the 2013 Dr. Bruce Crawford Teaching Award.  This annual award is given by third year IMP students to a teacher, preceptor or tutor who has made the most profound and positive impact on their first two years of medical training.

    This award was established by the IMP Class of 2008, the first cohort of IMP medical students, in honour of it's inaugural recipient, Dr. Bruce Crawford, a well-respected educator with the UBC medical undergraduate program and an IMP faculty member.  Dr. Crawford retires this June after over 35 years as a professor of anatomy, histology and neuro-anatomy.


    Pediatric concussion research funded

    May 9, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Brian Christie, Division of Medical Sciences, is part of an assembled team of nationally and internationally distinguished clinician scientists, researchers, and knowledge users from across Canada, whose innovative research programs and clinical initiatives have had a significant impact on the field of pediatric mTBI (mild Traumatic Brain Injury or concussion).  This team has just been awarded a significant grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) to create a data management system that will advance clinical care of pediatric mTBI.  The overall goal of the project is to enhance the ability to conduct multi-centre research and provide evidence-based care across Canada that will assist in diagnoses and treatment of pediatric mTBI. 

    Find out more about how CIHR advocates for TBI research


    Meet our newest IMP graduates!

    May 23, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Members of the IMP Class of 2013 joined their UBC MD classmates at the UBC Spring Congregation ceremony on May 22.  These fresh, new doctors now head off to residency programs in BC and elsewhere across Canada to complete their medical training before becoming licensed, practicing physicians.  On May 10, in Victoria, a celebraton was held for the IMP Class of 2013, to recognize their hard-earned achievements so far and wish them well on the next step of their journey.  Over 100 family members, faculty, staff and local medical practitioners attended this joyful event. 

    Each year, the IMP graduating class makes a monetary donation to a local organization.  The Class of 2013 chose to donate to the Victoria Cool Aid Society Community Health Centre, which provides critical primary health care to Victoria's vulnerable and marginalized population.  Dr. Danica Gleave, a physician at the Centre, was at the graduate event to accept the gift on behalf of the Centre.

    Graduating students were asked to submit a short paragraph about their experiences in the IMP over the past four years.  These submissions were then compiled into a special graduation publication.  We invite to you to read about our newest grads... 

    Congratulations to the IMP Class of 2013!

    2013 Grads


    UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Award for IMP faculty

    May 17, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Stan Bardal and Dr. Gisele Bourgeois-Law are recent recipients of awards from the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) for 2013-14. TLEF was created to enrich student learning by supporting innovative and effective educational enhancements.

    Dr. Bardal, a Senior Instructor in pharmacology for the MD Undergraduate program, will be using the funds to develop a formulary app for UBC medical students.  The "app" will provide quick, easy access to key drug information which should facilitate the application of pharmacological principles at the bedside and reinforce student learning.

    Dr. Bourgeois-Law, IMP Faculty Liaison for the Centre for Health Education Research, will be using funds to design, develop and implement a comprehensive Case-Based Learning (CBL) tutor training program, in preparation for a transition from Problem-Based Learning to CBL with the implementation of a new MD Undergraduate Program curriculum over the next few years.


    IMP clinician researcher involved in study of blood thinners

    May 15, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Anthony Tang is part of a research team who conducted clinical trials and concluded that patients who took warfarin blood thinners were able to remain on the drug while undergoing pacemaker or defibrillator surgery, contrary to current guidelines which recommend switching patients to an alternate blood thinner (heparin) prior to surgery. Results from the study, which was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine (May 9).  Read more...

    IMP faculty and students featured in Medical Education

    Jun 12, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    The May issue of Medical Education features not one, but two, articles by our IMP faculty and students under the "Really Good Stuff" section:

    • "The Professional Competencies Toolkit: teaching reflection with flash cards" by Patricia Seymour and Maggie Watt on page 518
    • "The teacher-student partnership: exploring the giving and receiving of feedback" by Teresa Rodriguez (Class of 2016), Yi A Liu (Class of 2015)  and Kiran Veerapen on page 536.

    

    Read the articles online here.


    Graduate Katrina Genuis

    May 19, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    dGraduates from across the UBC MD program were asked to answer a few questions about their experience in the program. Below is Katrina's response.

    Name: Katrina Genuis

    Hometown:     Sherwood Park, Alberta
    Program:        IMP Class of 2015

    What have you enjoyed the most about your MD Undergraduate experience?
    It's impossible to list just one thing that I have most enjoyed! I have loved the process of learning about the human body, the relationships I developed with peers, and the wisdom I have learned from patients. Finally, I am so grateful that I chose to study at the Island Medical Program where all these aspect of training were supported in a close-knit environment.

    What has surprised or challenged you in medical school?
    I was surprised by the focus on balancing studying with recreation and community involvement. Prior to entering medical school, I imagined that these four years would be 24/7 studying! Wise mentors taught our class, however, that this was not the case. Practicing medicine isn't just about medical knowledge; it requires personal wellness and strength of character, fostered through participation in other avenues of life.

    What advice would you offer to upcoming students in the UBC MD program?
    You'll surprise yourself by what you love and what aspect of medicine you find most challenging. I hadn't even considered my chosen specialty (anesthesiology) before my third year rotation, but now I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Don't narrow your options too early, and remember that even into residency you spend time as a resident doctor working in all different specialties. Keep an open mind and give everything a chance. You'll get more out of each rotation if you see everything as a possibility!

    What's next for you?
    I am thrilled to be entering the UBC Anesthesiology residency training program in July! I'll spend my first rotating internship year in beautiful Victoria.


    Meet our newest grads!

    May 26, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

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    Following four years of intense lectures, labs and clinical skills training, our graduates now head off to residency programs in BC and elsewhere across Canada to complete their medical training before becoming licensed, practicing physicians.  

    On May 15, we recognized the hard-earned achievements of the IMP Class of 2015 with a graduation celebration. Over 100 family members, faculty, staff and local medical practitioners came together to honour our 33 graduates and to wish them well on the next step of their journey.  

    The event included speeches from:

    • Dr. Bruce Wright, Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island, UBC Faculty of Medicine
    • Dr. Martin Wale, Deputy Chief Medical Officer & Executive Medical Director, Medical Affairs & Research, Island Health
    • Dr. Valerie Kuehne, Vice-President Academic & Provost, University of Victoria
    • Dr. Brian Farrell, Chief of Emergency Medicine, VGH
    • Rose Hsu and George Ko from the IMP Class 2015

    Rose Hsu presented a cheque to the Victoria Cool Aid Society Community Health Centre on behalf of the Class of 2015. Each year, the IMP graduating class makes a donation to a phenomenal local organization and this year was no different - the Victoria Cool Aid Society Community Health Centre provides critical primary health care to Victoria's vulnerable and marginalized population. Dr. Morgan
    Price, a physician at the Centre, was at the event to accept the gift.

    To read more about our impressive grads and their experiences in the IMP, click here to see their individual photos and summaries.


    Dr. Oscar Casiro recieves recognition from his peers

    May 30, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Oscar Casiro was named as one of four 2014 recipients of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Award of Excellence. The award is presented to College registrants or former registrants who have made an exceptional contribution to the practice of medicine whether in teaching, research, clinical practice, administration or health advocacy.

    The award recognizes Dr. Casiro’s outstanding contribution to medical education and service to the community of Vancouver Island.  In the span of just 10 years, since relocating from the University of Manitoba in 2004, Dr. Casiro has been influential in a number of areas.  As Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, he was the driving force behind the exponential growth and expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education across Vancouver Island.  As Head of the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria, he was instrumental in bringing new faculty to the university who are engaged in important health-related research in neurosciences, genetics, maternal health and pharmacology.  As a neonatologist and pediatric intensivist, Dr. Casiro served as Director of the Vancouver Island Neonatal Follow‐Up Clinic, which provides a continuum of care for infants and children with significant health challenges.

    All honoured physicians were presented with their awards at the president’s annual dinner in Vancouver on May 28, 2014.

    Congratulations to Dr. Casiro on this well-deserved recognition!


    IMP student and faculty articles in newest Education Matters

    May 21, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The spring 2014 edition of Education Matters, a newsletter from the Office of Faculty Development, is out and celebrates 20 years of faculty development at the UBC Faculty of Medicine. 

    This special edition features articles from around the province, including several from the Island Medical Program.  Graeme Bock, IMP Class of 2014, writes about a mentoring initiative at the IMP whereby semi-retired surgeons provide extra guidance and assistance to third-year surgical clerkship students in a low-pressure, non-clinical environment (see page 14).  An article by Dr. Kiran Veerapen, IMP's Regional Faculty Development Director, describes the stragegies used to promote and sustain faculty development in a regional setting (see page 19).


    UBC Clinical Faculty award for Dr. Maggie Watt, Duncan, BC

    May 13, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Congratulations to Dr. Maggie Watt on being awarded a UBC Faculty of Medicine Clinical Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Practice Teaching!  Dr. Watt is a family physician in Duncan BC and Site Leader for the Integrated Community Clerkship, Cowichan Valley.  The award recognizes clinical faculty members throughout BC who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and made an educational impact in a local community.

    Dr. Watt is consistently commended for providing medical students and residents with excellent and challenging clinical learning experiences and is a natural leader who has created a cohesive community of medical educators in the Cowichan Valley.  She is an inspiring role-model for current and future physicians!


    IMP faculty and student contributions at Canadian Conference for Medical Education 2013

    May 2, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) 2013 took place in Quebec City from April 20-23.  The UBC Faculty of Medicine had a large presence at this year's event, with workshops, oral presentations and posters by a large contingent of faculty, staff and students.

    IMP faculty and staff made significant contributions to UBC presentations.  Listed below are some examples of presentations involving IMP members:

    • Knowledge Gaps Around Professionalism on Social Media Websites in a Sample of Canadian Medical Students (Oral Presentation): Goldis Chami, Anush Zakaryan, Rebecca Raworth (IMP Librarian) and Gurdeep Parhar.
    • Exploring the Giving of Feedback in the Clinical Setting Focusing on Learner-Directed Assessment and Goal Oriented Feedback (Poster Presentation): Laura Farrell (IMP Clinical Educator), Glenn Regehr and Gisele Bourgeois-Law (CHES-IMP Faculty Liaison).
    • Online and Mobile Medical Mystery Games as Platforms for Health Literacy and Medical Education (Poster Presentation): Janny Zue Chen Ke, Laura Nimmon, Stan Bardal (IMP Senior Instructor), Mathieu Goudot, Gert Lankriet, Yi Ariel Liu (IMP Class of 2015 student)
    • Are Medical Students Equipped and Able to Accurately Assess and Evaluate their PBL Tutors? (Poster Presentation): Jane Gair (IMP Senior Instructor), Nora Houlahan

    Two additional research posters were prepared and presented by IMP-specific groups (Find out more about these IMP-specific presentations on the Student Research pages):

    • Producing Educational Videos on Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis (Poster Presentation): Susan Edwards and Laura Farrell (IMP Clinical Educators), Amita Modi (IMP Electives Director, Year 4), Steve Martin (IMP Course Director, Clinical Skills), Brian Buchan (IMP Class of 2013), Andrew Jeffery and Katelyn Sorenson (IMP Class of 2014), Sarah Campos (IMP Class of 2015)
    • IMPart: The Therapeutic Waiting Room (Poster Presentation): Lee-Anna Huisman, Kalen Leech-Porter, Justine Spencer, Melanie van Soeren (all IMP Class of 2015 students).

    Congratulations to all IMP Faculty and students for their excellent contributions to medical education research at CCME 2013!

    Yi Ariel Liu with ccme posterYi Ariel Liu (IMP Class of 2015) with poster "Online and Mobile Medical Mystery Games as Platforms for Health Literacy and Medical Education" at CCME 2013


    International activities of researchers featured in World@UVic Newsletter

    Apr 29, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. Jane Gair (IMP) and Drs. Joana Gil-Mohapel and Patricia Brocardo (Division of Medical Sciences) were featured in the Spring 2013 World@UVic newsletter.  Read about Dr. Gair's experiences during a recent study leave in Australia on page 11 of the newsletter.  On page 4 you can find out more about a research grant (Science Without Borders) awarded to Dr. Gil-Mohapel and Dr. Brocardo by the Brazilian government.

    Inaugural IMP "Arts in Medicine" coffeehouse a success

    Apr 22, 2013 | Posted by: George Ko ( IMP'15)

    Friday, April 12, 2013 marked the very first IMP Coffeehouse put on by the IMP class of 2016, spearheaded by Aimee Kernick (2016) and her fabulous team. The event attracted friends, family, and students to the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) for a night full of fun, food, artwork, poetry, short stories, musical ballads, comedy, and an open mic. Never before has the MSB been so alive with culture and an amazing energy, setting the bar high for coffeehouses to come.

    Thanks go to all the wonderful performers, volunteers, and guests for participating and donating the event proceeds to the IMP Class of 2015 Run for Rural Medicine (held on April 7).  

    Performer at the 2016 coffeehouse  coffeehouse performer

    Photos courtesy of Tianru Sui, IMP '2016


    IMP wins big in brain and behaviour art contest

    Apr 19, 2013 | Posted by: George Ko (IMP'15)

    Students at the IMP had an extremely strong showing in the recent UBC Neuro Visual Arts Contest.  This competition allows undergraduate medical students to use their knowledge, creativity, and imagination to create visual art projects inspired by aspects of brain and behaviour 

    The IMP students are truly a talented bunch, taking the top 3 prizes!  Congratulations to George Ko (2015), Sara Chater (2015), and Jessica Nathan (2016) for their winning submissions. Stay tuned to view the winning submissions and other fabulous submissions once the website is updated at http://neurocontest.med.ubc.ca/


    Q&A with student Darcy Good

    Mar 13, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Over the next few weeks, several UBC MD undergraduate students will be featured across the program. Today, we are featuring Darcy enrolled in the Island Medical Program here in Victoria.

    DGood--------------------------------------------------------

    Name: Darcy Good       
    Year: 2018        
    Hometown: Nanaimo, BC
    Program: IMP    

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    

    

    
    What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in medicine?
    After a year of many sudden deaths in my family, my stepfather suffered a heart attack while at the hospital. Being surrounded by doctors at that time was extremely fortunate. I can’t imagine the impact on my family if we had to endure another huge loss. Seeing the impact that saving one life can have on so many individuals inspired me and gave me a strong determination to make the same difference in other peoples’ lives.
     
    What excites you the most about your site location?
    Having traveled across parts of Canada, Europe, and South America, I’ve never found a place I’d rather call home than Vancouver Island!

    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    UBC has done a pretty good job of sparking my interest in Family Medicine, so perhaps in one of their residency programs!

    Scrubs or Suit?
    Scrubs

    Stay in or Go Out?
    Stay in

    Mac or PC?
    Mac

    Cook or Take Out?
    Take out

    Students were asked to answer the above rapid-fire questions in only a few sentences in their own words. If you know of a student who might like to participate, please email Eryn Rizzoli at erizzoli@uvic.ca. We know every student has a fascinating story and we would love to hear from you!


    IMP Celebrates CaRMS Match Day

    Mar 23, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli


    CaRMS2015The buzz of excitement is always tangible as fourth-year med students gather to celebrate the results of the first round of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), which matches graduating MD students with postgraduate programs nationwide. On March 4, 2015, IMP students gathered at the Royal Jubilee Hospital for a special lunch.

    A total of 280 fourth-year UBC MD undergraduate students from the Class of 2015 across the IMP, NMP, SMP and VFMP sites, matched to postgraduate training programs in the first round — a strong showing in the highly-competitive Canadian residency match. 109 (nearly 40%) of the 2015 Class matched to Family Medicine.

    With celebrations in order, students captured moments of Match Day on camera and shared news of the results by writing their specialty and location in bright magic marker on t-shirts donated by the Canadian Medical Association.

    Photo L-R: Colin Lundeen, Katrina Genuis, Ariel Liu, Kalen Leech-Porter, Rose Hsu

    Read about the VFMP event here.


    IMP students organize OneMatch stem cell drive

    Mar 6, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    stem cell driveOn March 9th, students and staff are welcome to stop by the UVic Student Union Building to show your support for stem cell donation, and to help save the lives of those dying of blood-related diseases. 


    Less than 25% of people who need stem cell transplants are able to find a match within their family - meaning that more than 75% rely on unrelated volunteer donors to help save their life.

    Please stop by our table in the SUB next Monday to learn more, and if you're comfortable, get swabbed to sign up as a potential stem cell donor and help save a life!

    While the main target donors are males aged 17-35, everyone is welcome to visit us and learn more about how you can help!


    Biomedical research students at IdeaFest today

    Mar 3, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Students, faculty and staff are invited to CBR’s Pecha Kucha Biomedica and Poster Social – an IdeaFest event!

    Come out to support biomedical graduate students and undergrads who are participating. Many of whom are your students from the DMSC.

    What is Pecha Kucha Biomedica?

    It is a chance for you to sit and listen to 7 fast paced (Pecha Kucha Style) power point presentations presented by graduate and undergraduate students about their biomedical research!

    After the talks there will be 35+ posters up for discussion including a cash bar and some light snacks.

    Excellent mingling, socializing and learning opportunity!

    Invite your friends, family and work or lab mates. 

    When:  Tuesday, 3 March

    3:00 - 4:30 pm      Pecha Kucha Presentations

    4:30 - 6:00 pm      Poster Social

    Where:  MacLaurin David Lam Auditorium and Foyer

    Why:  Because it’s fun!

    Please RSVP by emailing cfbr@uvic.ca or calling 250- 472-4067


    IMP student wins prestigious 3M Fellowship

    Mar 31, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    David Kim, IMP Class of 2016, is one of ten students from across Canada recently named as a 2014 3M National Student Fellow.  The 3M National Student Fellowship honours undergraduate college and univerisity students at Canadian institutions who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in both their personal endeavours and at their academic institutions.

    David leadership and altruistic activities are numerous including: founding a UBC students group that offers support to the disadvantaged (and going to Nicuaragua with that group to help build an elementary school); working as part of an executive to bring the World Model United Nations conference to Vancouver; wserving as a director on the UBC Alma Mater Society; volunteering as a piano instructor for marginalized youth and conducting research.

    As a 3M Fellow, David will travel to the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) conference in June, hosted by Queen’s University, and participate in a day-long retreat where he will work on a collaborative project related to post-secondary education with other Fellows.  STLHE and 3M Canada will honour this year's Fellows formally at an awards ceremony during the conference.


    Let's Talk Science with medical students on March 27: Fecal Transplants

    Mar 14, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Join Island Medical Program students Khatereh Aminoltejari and Jessica Nathan for a talk on "Fecal Transplants: Strange or Miracle Cure".  Find out more about this unorthodox medical treatment and how it is being used to fight antibiotic resistant infections. 

    Wednesday, March 27

    12:00 - 1:00 PM, Room 160

    Medical Sciences Building, Room


    Heartfelt Images contest winners

    Mar 22, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    IMP Class of 2016 members were among the winners in the UBC MD Undergraduate Program 2013 Heartfelt Images contest.  This popular contest runs every year during the first-year cardiovascular curriculum block (early February to early March, coinciding with Valentines Day) and is organized and sponsored by block chair, Dr. Carol Ann Courneya.  Submissions can be anything someone considers as “art” including photographs, paintings, sketches, sculptures and even music videos! 

    IMP students always work hard to submit some very creative and beautiful works of art and many have garnered awards for their efforts in past years.  This year, congratulations go out to o Jessica Nathan, for her photo called "Wear my heart on my chest" (below) and to the team of Kesh Smith, Ryan Lohre, Reem Habtezion, and Jessica Nathan for their music video "(He)art Attack"

    Visit the Heartfelt Images website for more information and to view a wonderful gallery of "heart art"!

    Heartfelt Image"Wear my heart on my chest" by Jessica Nathan


    IMP students "compete" for a good cause

    Mar 27, 2013 | Posted by: George Ko (IMP'15)

    After the holidays we often forget about those in need in our communities and the food banks run low on supplies. With the arrival this term of the new IMP Class of 2016, the VPs for the IMP 2015's (George Ko) and the IMP 2016's (Mike Steel) got together to plan a food drive from March 11th to 22nd. In order to motivate students to donate and to encourage class participation and bonding, a contest between the two classes was initiated to see which of them could raise the most food. After two weeks of friendly competition, the IMP 2016's came out victorious, giving them a sense of pride in their accomplishment and bragging rights over their second-year colleagues!

    Many food items, including both fresh and non perishable items along with non food items such as baby diapers, were donated by both classes. Items were delivered to the Mustard Seed of Greater Victoria, a non-profit organization which runs the largest food bank on the island.  Hopefully this friendly food drive contest will become a tradition that can be carried forward into future years.

    IMP 2016 students


    3rd Year IMP student wins inaugural Student Leadership Award

    Apr 4, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Andrew Jeffery, IMP Class of 2014, is the recipient of the first ever Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) Student Leadership Award.  The award is given to a medical student who has a demonstrated interest in rural medicine.  Selection criteria for the award includes the following:

    • electives in rural or remote areas, or on disciplines important to rural practice (e.g. Aboriginal health)
    • involvement with local or national rural or remote health groups (e.g. SRPC)
    • promotion of rural PR remote health initiatives at a local or national level
    • involvement in volunteer or community based projects in rural or remote areas
    • published work relating to rural or remote issues

    The SRPC is holding its 21st Annual Rural and Remote Medicine Course "Sea To Sea To Sea" April 4th through 6th in Victoria.  Andrew will be presented with his award at a reception on Friday evening.

    Congratulations Andrew!


    Q&A with student Barbara Lelj

    Feb 16, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Over the next few weeks, several UBC MD undergraduate students will be featured across the program. Today, we are featuring Barbara enrolled in the Island Medical Program here in Victoria.

    barblelj--------------------------------------------------------

    Name: Barbara Lelj Garolla Di Bard         
    Year: 2018        
    Hometown: Naples, Italy
    Program: IMP    

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    

    

    
    What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in medicine?
    I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and I was involved in cancer research at the Vancouver Prostate Centre for a number of years. Although I was (and still am part-time!) working on highly translational research I missed the contact with patients. So despite being older than the average medical student, I realized that the only way to be able to work with patient was to go back to school. Until I started working in and around hospitals I didn’t know much about medicine as nobody in my family is a physician.

    What excites you the most about your site location?
    Definitely the small group learning. I think Victoria is the best site to be at! I have the feeling that we will get a lot of clinical exposure and everyone seems very excited to have us here on the island. Moreover, I am married and I have two young kids so we decided that Victoria was a nice place for our kids to grow up. It seems a bit less hectic and more community based than Vancouver. I also look forward to discovering all the hidden gems on the island.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    I’m interested in primary care and I would love to remain in Victoria, so hopefully I will still be here doing a residency in ?????

    Scrubs or Suit?
    Scrubs

    Stay in or Go Out?
    Stay in (hopefully with a bunch of friend, chatting around a table full of home cooked food… you can take the girl out of Italy but not Italy out of the girl!)

    Mac or PC?
    PC

    Cook or Take Out?
    Cook. Definitively. See above.

    Students were asked to answer the above rapid-fire questions in only a few sentences in their own words. If you know of a student who might like to participate, please email Eryn Rizzoli at erizzoli@uvic.ca. We know every student has a fascinating story and we would love to hear from you!


    REMINDER: IMP Class of 2015 Run for Rural Medicine on April 7th

    Apr 2, 2013 | Posted by: Lisa Weger (IMP'15)

    The IMP class of 2015 will be holding the annual Run for Rural Medicine on April 7, 2013.  This is a 5km or 10km run around the UVic Chip trail. There will also be a kids fun run. 

    Proceeds from the event will help to fund the rural family practice clerkship that second year students complete during the summer after second year.  Find out more and register here

    Please join us for this fun and worthwhile event!


    Let's Talk Science with medical students on February 26: Antibiotic Resistance

    Feb 20, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Join Island Medical Program students Leah Ellingwood and Lauren Whittaker for a talk on "Antibiotic Resistance: Rise of the superbug".  Find out what it is, how it affects you,  and what you can do to fight against it.


    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    12:00 - 1:00 PM

    Medical Sciences Building, Room 150


    Matters of the Heart: Special lectures by IMP clinical scientists March 6

    Feb 27, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    As part of the upcoming Ideafest 2013 at UVic, the Island Medical Program and Division of Medical Sciences will be hosting two consecutive evening lectures featuring work by clinical scientists Dr. Laura Arbour and Dr. Anthony Tang:

    March 6

    6:30 - 8:30pm

    Medical Sciences Building Room 150

    The lectures will focus on heart-related research: Dr. Tang will speak about his work on atrial fibrillation and Dr. Arbour will speak on Long QT syndrome. Both will demonstrate the interconnection of their research and daily clinical work.

    Please join us for these stimulating and relevant presentations!


    Attention high school students and parents - special info session just for you!

    Feb 5, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Interested in finding out more about the Island Medical Program?  Want to find out about what it takes to get into the UBC MD Undergraduate Program/IMP?  Want to hear from medical students about their experiences in applying to medical school?  Then plan to attend the upcoming information session:

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    7:00  to 8:30 pm

    UVic Campus, Medical Sciences Building, Room 150


    Congratulations to recent CIHR grant recipients in the Division of Medical Sciences

    Feb 8, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Maloney Wood

    Two faculty members in the Division of Medical Sciences are recent recipients of significant Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) operating grants. 

    Dr. Craig Brown will receive $623,900 over the next 5 years to investigate the impact of diabetes on brain function and recovery from ischemic stroke.

    Dr. Brian Christie will receive $826,290 over the next 5 years identifying the role of Fragile-X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) in hippocampal learning and memory processes.


    Attention High School Students: IMP Info session just for you!

    Feb 13, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    High school students, parents and educators are invited to an Island Medical Program Information Night:

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
    UVic Campus,  Medical Sciences Building, Room 150
    7:00 to 8:30 pm

    Find out what it takes to get into the UBC MD program and what it's like to study medicine at the IMP!


    IMP and Nursing students talk about food insecurity

    Jan 21, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    IMP and UVic Nursing students have joined forces to bring a panel of researchers and community members together for a panel discussion about food insecurity.  Find out just what the term "food insecurity" means, its implications and impact on health and the community, and how to increase local food security.  This event is part of the Let's Talk Science lecture series.

    When: 7 - 8:30pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Where: Medical Sciences Building, Univeristy of Victoria

    The event is free and open to the public.  Attendees are asked to bring a food donation for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

    This event has been organized by uVIP: UVic Medical and Nursing Student Interprofessional Partnership

    poster for LTS


    2014 Year 3 Teaching Awards

    Jan 20, 2015 | Posted by: Eryn Rizzoli

    Congratulations to the following top groups and individuals for receiving the Year 3 Teaching Awards for 2014. These awards are made on the recommendation of the fourth year students of the Island Medical Program, based on teaching done during their third year.

    Dr. Heather Robertson, 2014 Vancouver Island Clerkship Preceptors Teaching Excellence
    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect a clerkship preceptor demonstrates in teaching the third year students of the Island Medical Program.

    Emergency Medicine clerkship, 2014 Medical Program Excellence in Clinical Teaching
    This award acknowledges the rotation that provides the most efficient, supportive, and engaging learning environment for third year clinical clerk medical students of the Island Medical Program.

    Dr. Ashley Jewett and Dr. Shelly Mark, 2014 Resident Teaching Excellence
    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm and respect that Vancouver Island residents demonstrate in teaching the third year students of the Island Medical Program.

    Please join us in congratulating these individuals for all of their hard work.  The awards will be presented during the Victoria Medical Society Welcome Dinner for the Class of 2018 on January 24, 2015.

    Dr. Marjon Blouw is IMP's newest CAME Certificate of Merit Award recipient

    Jan 31, 2014 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    Dr. BlouwDr. Marjon Blouw is a recipient of the 2014 Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME) Certificate of Merit.  This award promotes, recognizes and rewards faculty who have made a valuable contribution to medical education within their medical school, in areas such as teaching, evaluation, educational leadership and course coordination.

    Dr. Blouw has been a medical educator with the IMP and UBC MD Undergraduate Program since 2005, as a tutor, lecturer, clinical instructor and focused family practice instructor, and was appointed as the IMP Course Director - Doctor, Patient and Society in November 2009.  She is a keen promoter of the DPAS Community Service Learning Option, which provides medical students with an opportunity to serve the community in a volunteer capacity with a not-for-profit agency, and has been heavily involved in the UBC MD Undergraduate Program curriculum renewal process.  Dr. Blouw also provides support, mentoring and development for students experiencing academic difficulty and has had great success in this area. 

    Congratulations to Dr. Blouw on this well-deserved recogntion!


    Winter 2013 newsletter now available

    Jan 10, 2013 | Posted by: Christine Wood

    The latest edition of the bi-annual Island Medical Program/Division of Medical Sciences newsletter is now online.  Please read to gather some insights about our programs and find out more about our students and faculty.

    Our newest IMP cohort has arrived

    Posted by: Christine Wood

    Thirty-two new medical students arrived at the Medical Sciences Building bright and early January 7!  They are members of the IMP Class of 2016, and will be spending the next 3 1/2 years on Vancouver Island learning the art of medicine. 

    We are very pleased to report that 72% of this class has a connection to Vancouver Island, having attended either a Vancouver Island high school or the University of Victoria, or both. This is by far the largest group of IMP students in one cohort with ties to the island, and we are happy to welcome them back, while at the same time warmly welcome those who are making the Island their home for the first time!



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