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  • IMPressions

    News and views from the Island Medical Program


    Meet IMP Graduate JC Cheng

    May 16, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    IMP Class of 2018 Graduate: JC Cheng


    jccWhat attracted you to your field?

    We had little exposure to radiation oncology prior to clerkship, and the idea of using radiation to treat cancer totally blew my mind! In addition, the resilience and the positive outlooks you encounter in radiation oncology is a source of constant inspiration. Besides, name another field that blast cancer with highly precise x-rays!

    What’s next for you?

    I will be heading to Winnipeg (winter is coming) to pursue my residency in radiation oncology. Life has never ceased to surprise me, and I look forward to the adventures that ensue over the next years.

    As you look ahead, what (or who) inspires you?

    Love and encouragement so kindly given by our mentors, teachers, classmates, and patients. Of course, my dearest family and friends, who’ve never stopped supporting me through my journey. As for additional motivations looking ahead, I can finally start paying off my debt!

    Name one thing on your bucket list.

    Sky diving! That’ll take the “step-our-of-your-comfort-zone” idea up a notch for me.


    Meet IMP Graduate Sam Brophy

    May 16, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    IMP Class of 2018 Graduate: Sam Brophy


    sbWhat attracted you to your field?

    I’ve had some experience with emergency care before med school, when I worked as a paramedic and taught first-aid. It’s an unparalleled experience – the perfect balance of diagnostic and procedural medicine. It’s also exciting, and immensely satisfying, to treat and comfort people in critical situations.

    In 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?

    Despite crazy medical stories and unbelievable adventures with my colleagues, I'll never forget the IMP's janitor (or as I call him: the master of maintenance). After studying myself to sleep one night in the Medical Sciences Building, I awoke to him at around 5am. He handed me a freshly brewed coffee, patted me on the back, said nothing, then proceeded to start his work day. A great example of how everyone at the IMP was a cut above.

    What’s next for you?

    I look forward to pursuing and enriching emergency medicine across Vancouver Island. I want to focus on enhancing interdisciplinary practice and communication in the emergency department. I’m also excited to find ways to get involved with the IMP, specifically with teaching. I look forward to giving back to the program and to the community, both of which have given so much to me.

    As you look ahead, what (or who) inspires you?

    My dad has always been an amazing mentor. He does not work in medicine, but he’s always been successful in his business pursuits. He’s a smart guy, but I don't think that's why he is successful. The way he interacts with colleagues and acquaintances, at all levels and positions, consistently leads to meaningful connection. That’s what I want to do in my career, too.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.

    Set a world record in something completely useless.


    Meet IMP Graduate Zaakir Jiwa

    May 16, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    IMP Class of 2018 Graduate: Zaakir Jiwa


    zjWhat attracted you to your field?

    I was attracted to family medicine because of its flexibility. It allows me to pursue further training, which I plan on doing, in sports medicine and palliative care. And it gives me the freedom to start my own practice. My ultimate goal is to have a mixed practice, with significant variability in my day-to-day schedule, where I can travel with a sports team, say, or provide care in under-serviced areas.

    In 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?

    I will always have fond memories of times with my classmates. Whether it was discussing our hockey pool or designing a logo for our class jerseys, we had a lot of fun together. In addition, I will always remember the kindness that the IMP faculty and staff showed us. Kurt McBurney, for instance, made our anatomy session that much better because of his compassion and care.

    What’s next for you?

    I’ll be moving to Toronto for residency. I’m very excited to be closer to friends and family on the east coast. My brother Aalim, also a family practice resident, is in Toronto, too. We hope to come back to British Columbia and start a multidisciplinary family and sports medicine clinic.

    As you look ahead, what (or who) inspires you?

    I am inspired by the emphasis that Canadians, and specifically British Columbians, place on their health. In today’s society, it’s easy to let other priorities take precedent. But in BC, individuals are committed to investing in their own health, and do their best to lead an active lifestyle. I want to help people in this process by not only providing healthcare, but also motivating my patients to reach their full potential.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.

    To see a high-level professional soccer game. Either a World Cup Final, Champions League Final, or an El-Classico Match.


    Meet IMP Graduate Talveen Gill

    May 16, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    IMP Class of 2018 Graduate: Talveen Gill


    tgWhat attracted you to your field?

    I've always wanted a career that allowed me to work one-on-one with people, to impact their lives in a meaningful way. This, combined with my love of human physiology and life-long learning, led me to a career in medicine.

    In 10 years, what UBC moment will you still be talking about?

    Simple moments with my classmates, like walking to class together from our residence building, and celebrating each other's milestones, like birthdays and weddings.

    What’s next for you?

    I feel very fortunate to be starting my residency in family medicine in Victoria, my hometown. I’m excited to give back to the community that has given me so much.

    As you look ahead, what (or who) inspires you?

    I feel inspired by the incredible people who have helped me through this journey. My mother for example, has taught me to be strong and resilient. Her love and kindness has supported me in reaching my goals. I’m also inspired by my peers and mentors in medicine, who remind me every day what an honor it is to be a part of this profession.

    Name one thing on your bucket list.

    Hike the Swiss Alps! My husband and I will be crossing this item off our list this summer!


    IMP and DMSC honor victims of Humboldt Broncos

    Apr 27, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    hb

    On April 12, members of UBC’s Island Medical Program (IMP) and UVic’s Division of Medical Sciences (DMSC) wore jerseys to honor the Humboldt Broncos, a Saskatchewan-based junior hockey team involved in a fatal traffic accident that took the lives of 16 people and injured 13.

    Coordinating the tribute was Kurt McBurney, an Associate Teaching Professor in the DMSC and lifelong lover and player of hockey.

    “Thanks for wearing jerseys today to honor the Humboldt Broncos,” said McBurney in an email to faculty and staff. “After we decided to do this, I thought about what it meant to me to wear a jersey today and why it seemed important.”

    You can read the complete message here.

    In early April, the Humboldt Broncos were traveling by bus to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game when their bus collided with a semi-truck.

    Since the tragic accident – one of the worst in the country’s history – Canadians and people across the world have been wearing jerseys and leaving hockey sticks outside their doors in support of the families and victims of the crash.


    IMP employee nominated for prestigious UVic award

    Apr 25, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    stA member of the Island Medical Program (IMP) is in the running for one of UVic’s most prestigious employee awards – the President’s Extraordinary Service Award (PESA) for Innovation.

    Stacey Taylor is the program administrator for the Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) site in Duncan, B.C., and has been nominated for contributing positive change and progress at the university.  

    “This nomination shows that administrators are recognized as integral to the Faculty of Medicine,” said Taylor, who’s worked for the IMP since 2009 and helped plan and implement the ICC site in Duncan.

    “To know I’ve had a positive, lasting impression on my students means the world to me,” she added.

    Taylor was nominated for the award by Dr. Maggie Watt, the ICC program director for UBC’s MD undergraduate program, and Lynne Fisher, the IMP’s Year 3 & 4 program manager. Both praised Taylor’s unwavering commitment to excellence.

    “Stacey, with her passion and high-quality service, has been a huge contributor to the program’s outstanding reputation,” said Watt. “She’s a big reason why, year after year, students rank Duncan their number one ICC site.”

    The winner of the Innovator Award and other PESA categories will be announced on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 3:00 to 4:30pm at a formal ceremony. All UVic staff and faculty are welcome to participate. For more information and to register, click here.


    The Island Medical Program delivers UBC’s MD undergraduate program in collaboration with the University of Victoria. To learn more about Integrated Community Clerkships, click here.


    Let's Talk Science mini-series to explore medical ethics

    Apr 23, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    img

    Join first-year student Tanner Lohr, plus Dr. Colin Macleod and Assistant Teaching Professor Klaus Jahn
    from UVic's Department of Philosophy, for two talks about medical ethics. They'll examine the following points:

    • What rights do children have over their own healthcare decisions?
    • When can a child’s desires be overridden by care providers or parents?
    • The ethics of Bill-C14: medical assistance in dying
    • Can proxy decision makers be used ethically to make decisions around medical assistance in dying?

    Part 1: Rights of Minors in Healthcare Decisions

    When: Thursday, May 3 @ 6 - 8pm
    Where: Room 150, Medical Sciences Building, UVic (click here to see a map)
    Featuring Dr. Colin Macleod, Chair of Philosophy, UVic

    Part 2: The Role of Suffering and the Right to Die

    When: Thursday, May 10 @ 6 - 8pm
    Where: Room 150, Medical Sciences Building, UVic
    Featuring Klaus Jahn, Assistant Teaching Professor, UVic


    Click here to see the poster. These events are free and open to everyone. Light refreshments will be served.


    Image taken by former research duo wins people's choice award

    Apr 19, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    With spectacular swirls of red, green, and blue, it’s easy to forget that you’re looking at a precise, highly magnified image of a neuron – one of roughly 100 billion in the human brain.

    The image was originally captured for a scientific study. But, more recently, it’s been lauded for its stunning visuals. In February, it won the People’s Choice award from NeuroArt, a website powered by MBF Bioscience that celebrates the beauty of the brain.

    “It’s exciting to have been selected, especially for an award voted on by our peers,” said Ryan Heron, a graduate from UBC’s Island Medical Program (IMP).



    img

    Drs. Heron and Nahirney captured their award-winning image using immunofluorescence microscopy, which uses antibodies, labelled with a specific fluorescent substances that emit different wavelengths of light, to better see
    the components of a cell – in this case, the nuclei (blue), tubulin (green), and synaptic vesicles (red).

    Synaptic vesicles are made in the cell body, then travel along the tubulin cytoskeletal railway to the ends of the neuron’s outgrowth, where they serve a key role in the communication between neurons. The largest neuron
    (center-right) uses an elaborate network of outgrowths – neurites, which mature to become axons and dendrites
    – to connect with the neurites of other neurons.



    Drs. Heron and Patrick Nahirney, an associate professor in UVic’s Division of Medical Sciences (DMSC), submitted the image earlier this year after capturing it with an advanced fluorescence microscope in 2014. At the time, Heron was a second-year medical student who’d teamed up with Nahirney and Dr. Brian Christie, professor in the DMSC, for the project, which was supported by the Summer Student Research Program (SSRP).

    Heron wanted to study the impact of omega-3 fatty acids supplements on the growth of neurites, branch-like structures that grow from neurons and, via electrochemical signals, communicate with neighboring neurons. (Read more about Heron’s project here.)

    For Heron, who studied cellular biology as an undergraduate student, it was an opportunity to tie together his medical interests with his research acumen.

    “This project was a highlight of medical school – the DMSC, its researchers, and its equipment are all top-notch,” he said. “I hope that more students take advantage of what’s available here.”

    ***

    Dr. Heron graduated from the IMP in 2017. He then took a year off to support the IMP. During that time, he worked as a lab teaching assistant for Dr. Nahirney. He also created online learning modules, and was part of the team who developed the First Patient Program. This July, Dr. Heron will begin his family medicine residency in Edmonton.


    IMP students to talk childhood growth, development in latest Let's Talk Science presentation

    Apr 10, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Let's Talk Science: Determinants of
    Childhood Growth and Development

    lts

    Join second-year IMP students Amy Kim, Kaity Lalonde, and Nick Slater in an open
    conversation about childhood growth and development. They'll cover the following points:

    • What does a child need to grow normally?
    • What does normal growth look like?
    • What happens when growth doesn’t happen?
    • What does all this mean for my kids and grandkids?

    When: Wednesday, April 25, 2018  |  6:00 to 8:00pm
    Where: Room 150, Medical Sciences Building, UVic (click here to see a map)


    Click here to see the poster. This event is free and open to everyone. Light refreshments will be served.


    IMP students celebrate CaRMS Match Day, upcoming residency

    Mar 5, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    c

    On March 1, like hundreds of other medical students across BC, the Island Medical Program's Class of
    2018 celebrated the first-round results of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), which
    pairs medical students with postgraduate training programs across Canada.

    To celebrate this special, emotion-filled day, IMP students gathered at Royal Jubilee Hospital to enjoy a
    catered lunch, take photos, and celebrate the next step in their careers.

    We connected with three of those students – Sam Brophy, Elisabeth Pharo, and Darcy Good – to learn what
    excites them most about their residency program and the community where they'll be training. See below.

    Read more about CaRMS Match Day here.


    sb

    Name: Sam Brophy
    Residency: Emergency Medicine
    City:
    Victoria, BC

    Emergency medicine and acute care have always been very close to my heart. I started by getting my basic first aid, which I then taught before becoming a paramedic with BC Ambulance. I love to comfort people in critical situations – I couldn’t be happier with my placement.

    I was born and raised in Victoria, so it’s a huge privilege to stay here and give back to my community, including the Island Medical Program, which has given me so much. I’m excited to enrich emergency medicine across Vancouver Island and, one day soon, take part in a teaching role with the Faculty of Medicine.

    ep

    Name: Elisabeth Pharo
    Residency:
    Family Medicine
    City: Victoria, BC

    Coming into medical school, I figured family medicine was what I wanted. And every clinical rotation I did solidified that choice for me. I simply like what family medicine has to offer, but it's also what I’m best suited to. It’s hard to explain – like when someone asks what your favorite food is. You don’t know why it’s your favorite; you just know that it is.

    And I’m unbelievably excited to do my residency in Victoria, my top choice. This is where my partner and I are rooted, where we’ve built our community. It’s also an excellent hybrid of small-town feel with high-quality academia, where you get high volumes of patients but also quality interactions with those patients. The IMP is here, too, and that really matters to me – I had such a good experience with the medical residents, and so I want to give back in the same way.

    dg

    Name: Darcy Good
    Residency: Psychiatry
    Location: Victoria, BC

    I am so excited for a career in psychiatry. It’s something that I’ve found a very strong passion for. And I’m ecstatic to have matched in Victoria. I’ve fallen in love with the city, and I’ve found nowhere else on the planet that’s more beautiful, so I can’t wait to build my life and career here.

    My main goal, now, is to give back. I’m the first member of my nation – the Snuneymuxw First Nation, in Nanaimo – to get into medical school, and the opportunity to give back to First Nation communities across Vancouver Island is something that I really look forward to.

     


    IMP students to talk nutrition, smartwatches in upcoming Let's Talk Science presentations

    Mar 1, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    FAD or FACT: Current Controversies in Nutrition

    n

    Join IMP students Amy Kim, Ciaran Galts, and Nick Slater, as well as Marina Parvanova of UVic's Health
    Advocacy Club, in an open conversation about nutrition. They'll cover the following points:

    • The facts on fat: lose it or love it?
    • Getting the to "meat" of the issues: the debate over red meat
    • Hold the gluten: from gluten sensitivity to Celiac Disease
    • Nutritional supplements: "Hey, Doc -- should I be taking this?"

    When: Thursday, March 15, 2018  |  6:00 to 8:00pm
    Where: Room 150, Medical Sciences Building, UVic (click here to see a map)

    Click here to see the poster. This event is free and open to everyone. Light refreshments will be served.


    Watching Your Health: The Use of Smartwatches
    for Personal Health Monitoring

    sw

    Join IMP students Josh Piemontesi, Braden Siempelkamp, and Gordon Minaker in an open conversation
    about using smart watches for health monitoring. They'll cover the following points:

    • How can you use your smartwatch effectively for wellness and fitness monitoring?
    • What are the issues with reliability, accuracy, privacy, and security?
    • What is the future role of smartwatches in the healthcare system?

    When: Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |  6:00 to 8:00pm
    Where: Room 150, Medical Sciences Building, UVic (click here to see a map)

    Click here to see the poster. This event is free and open to everyone. Light refreshments will be served.


    Assistant Dean of Admissions, medical students to give IMP info session

    Feb 22, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah


    Renowned health journalist Andre Picard to give talk on Canadian healthcare in February

    Jan 30, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    apAndré Picard, renowned health columnist for the Globe and Mail, will give a talk on Canadian healthcare later this month at the University of Victoria.

    Titled "Quirky Past, Uncertain Future: The State of Canadian Healthcare," Picard will examine the history that led to the creation of medicare, and the social, financial, and technological challenges of providing universal healthcare in the twenty-first century.

    Below are the details for the talk. Click here for the poster.

    When: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
    Time: 4:30 to 5:15pm (talk); 5:15 to 5:30pm (questions).
    Where: UVic, Bob Wright Centre, Flury Hall (see map)

    Admission is free and open to everyone. RSVP required: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YTSKZK3

    André Picard, besides writing for the Globe and Mail, is the author of five books, most recently Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and has received honorary degrees from six universities.


    IMP Faculty Development announces contest, new website

    Jan 11, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    The IMP’s Office of Faculty Development, which offers training to medical educators across Vancouver Island, has two exciting announcements: a new contest and redesigned website.

    The Catch the Wave contest (see the poster) encourages those who’ve registered for Faculty Development workshops to spread the word. The contest is easy to enter – below are the steps. (Note: only medical educators with UBC's Faculty of Medicine who've attended at least one Faculty Development workshop can participate.)

      • Email a UBC faculty member and tell them why you attend Faculty Development events.
      • Let them know they’ll be entered to win a $100 Indigo gift card if they register for any Faculty Development workshop that runs between now and March 10, 2018. (All workshops are free.)
      • Include facdev@uvic.ca on that email. You’ll be entered to win a $250 gift card of your choice.

    As well, in early November 2017, Faculty Development unveiled their new website. It’s been rewritten and reorganized, so that users can more quickly learn about, and more easily register for, upcoming workshops. See the website here: https://imp.uvic.ca/faculty/faculty-development/index.php.

    ***

    The IMP’s Office of Faculty Development is dedicated to, and passionate about, enhancing the skills of the Island’s medical educators – the faculty and residents who teach in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.

    “We want to help our medical educators be the very best they can be,” said Dr. Sarah Buydens, the IMP’s Regional Director for Faculty Development. “Our training opportunities are focused on the win-win-win: what they learn will not only benefit their teaching, but also their practice and patients.”

    Educators have access to training opportunities throughout the year, including those that focus on, for example, clinical reasoning skills and communication. You can see, and register for, upcoming workshops here. Workshops are open to all UBC teaching faculty and residents on Vancouver Island.


    Meet the IMP's Class of 2021, who've arrived on the Island to complete their MD degrees

    Jan 8, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Meet the IMP's Class of 2021


    The Island Medical Program's Class of 2021 has finally arrived in Victoria. We reached out to learn more about them and their first semester of medical school. See below for their responses.

    The UBC MD Undergraduate Program features four geographically distinct sites – the Island Medical Program, in Victoria; the Northern Medical Program, in Prince George; the Southern Medical Program, in Kelowna; and the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program, in Vancouver.

    All students begin their first semester in Vancouver, specifically at the UBC Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program. They then disperse to the sites they matched with during the application process, where they'll complete their MD degree.

    Join us in welcoming our newest cohort – we're excited they're here.


    Manjot Burk

    mbWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    I thought a career in medicine would be interesting and an opportunity to wake up each day excited for work.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    My first semester was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    I would travel to Mars with Elon Musk.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the IMP?

    I'm excited about all the opportunities available on the Island, including recreational activities like intramurals.


    Karol Borchung

    kbWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    Medicine is something that I sort of stumbled into. I completed a degree in Philosophy during my undergraduate years, with some vague intentions of perhaps studying theology afterwards, or something of that sort. Once I graduated, however, I found that I no longer wanted to pursue this path. After some reflection and research, I discovered that I was eligible to apply to medicine after a little extra work. The idea wormed itself into my head, and soon enough, with the support of my wonderful wife, I decided to make a go of it. Some months of work later, and lo and behold! To my great relief, and much to my surprise, I was let in! I've been thrilled with my decision ever since.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    My first semester of med school was been great – lots of work, but very enjoyable. Looking back, I am thrilled to see how much ground we've covered in such a comparatively short amount of time; and looking forward, it is both exciting and daunting to see how much we there is left to learn!

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    If I could travel anywhere, I'd love to spend some more time in the United Kingdom – there is so much beauty and history there to appreciate! I'd also like to tour the great cathedrals in continental Europe.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the IMP?

    I am most looking forward to being in a smaller program, where I can focus on things I’m really interested in and get loads of hands-on experience with.


    Mackenzie Carnes

    mcWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    I wanted a career that enabled me to form meaningful connections with people and help elevate the wellbeing of my community.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    Exciting, overwhelming, daunting, and fun.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    Zanzibar, so I could wander through the streets of Stone Town and look for shell treasures on the beach.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the IMP?

    Having the support of a medical community that embraces teaching so enthusiastically.


    Chantell Cleversey

    ccWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    To help others every day in a field that I am fascinated by.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    Amazing! I enjoyed everything. I learned so much and constantly felt excited to learn the next thing on the list.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    Europe! I have never been and I have European heritage.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the Island Medical Program?

    Getting to know the Island and enjoying the small class size.


    Cai Long

    clWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    As a kid, I spent days and nights in hospitals observing physicians come and go as they cared for my mom. I grew to admire their abilities, engagement, and responsibility. Moreover, the patients I encountered intrigued me – what was going on in their bodies and how had it happened? I longed to help them directly, to interact with them, to hear their stories.

    Equipped with biomedical engineering training and invaluable experience confronting challenges in local and global health care systems, I aim to become a doctor who stands at the intersection of medicine and cutting-edge technologies. Technology offers novel solutions to problems facing medicine. It would be my privilege to bring this perspective as a doctor, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to do so.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    It has been a fantastic adventure. I have met amazing classmates from very diverse backgrounds whom I’ve grown close to, learned from fabulous teachers whom I look up to, and interacted with patients who put tremendous trust in me. Every minute I cherish these precious opportunities, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of being here in medical school.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    The answer would be no place else but Mars. The space odyssey would be unparalleled. Imagine standing on the red sands of Mars, looking at Earth, our blue planet in the dark sky, while the sun slowly sets. How marvelous it would be!

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the IMP?

    Less commute, more time to spend with classmates and my dog!


    Arielle Roberts

    arWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    My mom is a kinesiologist, so I grew up surrounded by science and the human body, and those have always been my main area of interest. As I get more involved with the healthcare system, not only did I learn more about what I had to offer, but I discovered how much more support is needed in rural areas. Eventually, my family physician – who’s a fantastic role mode – told me that I should do this, that I’d be great at it. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    It was exactly like I expected and nothing like it at the same time. I was busier than I thought I would be – and I expected to be busy – but I really enjoyed it all.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    I’ve been overseas a few times, but there are parts of Canada I’ve never seen. So my plan, in the future, is to explore more of this beautiful country. In particular, I’ve always wanted to take the train across Canada – my grandparents and great-grandparents emigrated from Europe, landed on the east coast, and took the train all the way over here. Growing up, I’ve heard many stories about how beautiful it is!

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the Island Medical Program?

    The Island has been my home for the last few years, so I’m really looking forwards to coming home and having my friends, extracurriculars, and fresh air back. I’ve always been a small-town girl, too, so I’m looking forwards to being in a smaller group and getting to know everyone better!


    Braden Siempelkamp

    bsWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    I began to consider a career in medicine only recently. After finishing my biochemistry degree, I considered pursuing a Ph.D. in the field. However, I was unsure of exactly which direction to go, so I opted to take one year and work as a research assistant while I figured out my plan. During that year, I realized that medicine incorporated many values that I desire in a career, so I applied. I like how medicine combines high-level academics and research with the ability to interact with many different people.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    So much fun. Med school has been a great time so far, and I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many wonderful people. It’s bittersweet to leave all our new friends from the other sites behind, but I am excited to be back in Victoria.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    Southeast Asia. I have wanted to travel there for a long time. Many of my friends have been and had an awesome time. I look forward to experiencing the beaches, food, and culture.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the Island Medical Program?

    I am looking forward to the small size of the program. I am excited to get to know all of the students and faculty in the IMP, both in our year and above. I also love Victoria and consider it my second home, so I am excited to be back.


    Cassia Tremblay

    ctWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    Medicine had always seemed like a natural choice because I love science. For a long time, I wanted to be a doctor “when I grew up.” I discovered that my love of both people and problem solving are perfectly combined in medicine.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    I spent much of my first semester being amazed by my classmates. I am grateful to be among such a large group of kind and interesting people.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    If I could truly travel anywhere I would go to the International Space Station – an intersection of science, international collaboration, and a unique opportunity for reflection.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the Island Medical Program?

    I look forward to benefitting from a medical community that is passionate about teaching and to living in a location that allows me to spend more time with my family.


    Natasha Young

    nyWhy did you choose a career in medicine?

    I decided to pursue medicine to satisfy my long-standing desire to know more about the human body and people, in all their complexities, and to provide a much-needed community service.

    How was your first semester of med school?

    I was absolutely enthralled with the quality of the facilities and lecturers as well as the level of organization provided by the staff.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

    Port Alice, the Taj Mahal – my wish list of destinations is very long, because I don’t ever want to stop exploring.

    What are you most looking forward to about training with the Island Medical Program?

    Learning and working within my Vancouver Island community, where I intend to practice.


    Professor recognized for contributions to IMP and medical education

    Jan 5, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah


    Second-year IMP students to talk mental health in latest Let's Talk Science presentation

    Jan 2, 2018 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    Four second-year IMP students – Amy Kim, Laila Drabkin, Kaity Lalonde, and Brianna Crighton – will talk about mental health in the latest Let's Talk Science seminar.

    “Mental health is a reality for everyone, whether it affects you or someone you know," said Kaity Lalonde. "Despite this, it still carries a social stigma – people don’t like talking about their issues. But that’s exactly what we need to do. And we’re promoting that by having an open, informative, non-judgmental talk about mental health in general.”


    When: Monday, January 15, 2018
    Where: Medical Sciences Building, Room 150, UVic
    Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm


    You'll learn about the past, present, and future of mental health and delve into important questions, including:

    • What are the myths and truths about depression?
    • What are the differences between schizophrenia, psychosis, and bipolar disorder?
    • What is a personality disorder?

    This event is open to everyone. Refreshments are included. Click here for the event poster.

    The Let's Talk Science seminar series is overseen by Dr. Jane Gair, Associate Teaching Professor in both the UVic Division of Medical Sciences and the UBC Island Medical Program.


    Second-year student Max Moor-Smith talks about his Summer Student Research project in India

    Oct 31, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Each summer, students from across the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s MD Undergraduate Program have the opportunity to pursue their passion for medical research and work closely with faculty members from across the province through the Faculty of Medicine's Summer Student Research Program (FoM SSRP).

    From exploring the benefits of exercise for stroke recovery to understanding how to provide culturally safe care, students in the FoM's SSRP take a deeper look into a wide variety of research topics.

    We connected with Max Moor-Smith, a second-year student in the Island Medical Program, to learn more about his work on sustainable health education in Spiti Valley, India.

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    Can you briefly describe your project?

    The India Spiti Health Project, established in 2006 in partnership with the Munsel-ling Boarding School, in Spiti Valley, India, is part of the UBC Global Health Initiative. Each year, a multidisciplinary team of UBC students travel to the school and assist with health promotion projects.

    This year, our team focused on providing sustainable health education for students. We met with the Student Health Council, a group of senior students responsible for promoting healthy behaviors to younger students. Together, we decided on the medium we’d use (video) and the health messages we’d share: handwashing before eating and after using the toilet, how to use the toilet properly, and brushing teeth at least once per day. We based our film’s storyline on Ghostbusters; our version was called Germbusters.

    We recruited members of the Student Health Council as actors, who, in turn, recruited many of their younger friends to participate. Over fifty children were involved in the making of the movie.

    On our last day at the school, with over 500 students in attendance, as well as school administration and teaching staff, we unveiled Germbusters. Before this assembly, I conducted a small focus group to evaluate the children’s perceptions of what healthy behaviours are and which of those they incorporated in their day-to-day lives. The responses revolved mostly around diet and bathing. After the film, I did a second focus group and asked the same questions. This time, the group’s responses also included handwashing, tooth-brushing, and using the toilet properly.

    A copy of the film was left with the school administration. Plans were discussed to show it to the school on a semi-regular basis, as well as put it up on YouTube and possibly on local cable television.

    Why were you interested in working on this project?

    I’ve been interested in global health since well before medical school. The disparities in health between urban Canadians and much of the global population is something that I am keen to help improve. This project allowed me the opportunity to contribute to a successful longitudinal global health project that does a good job of addressing those disparities. Not only that, but the video project was meaningful for the kids involved. It’s my hope that the messages in the film will be more widely accepted due to the creative way they were presented.

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

    How much fun it was! It was neat to participate in research that was so involved with the population it studies. I really enjoyed connecting with the kids and seeing them take ownership of the project themselves.

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

    Participating in the project makes me even more enthused about taking on more global health research projects in the future. With this experience, I feel I have gained a new perspective on how to address global health challenges, and that I’m well situated to continue with this type of work.

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

    The importance of the context in patient care. Patients do not live in isolation from their environment. I have a better understanding, now, that medicine deals with a person’s health in the context of their life; the care that person receives should reflect that.

    Is there anything else you’d like to share?

    Go to Spiti Valley – you will not regret it!

    ***

    See our SSRP profile of Ashley Yip, who travelled to Spiti Valley, India, to promote health education to children.

    Support undergraduate students who want to explore their interests in medical research. The program is funded through the generous contributions of our donors and partners. Click here for more information on how to contribute.


    Fourth-year student Ashely Yip talks about her Summer Student Research Project

    Oct 26, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    Each summer, students from across the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s MD Undergraduate Program have the opportunity to pursue their passion for medical research and work closely with faculty members from across the province through the Faculty of Medicine's Summer Student Research Program (FoM SSRP).

    ayFrom exploring the benefits of exercise for stroke recovery to understanding how to provide culturally safe care, students in the FoM's SSRP take a deeper look into a wide variety of research topics.

    We connected with Ashley Yip, a fourth-year student in the Island Medical Program, to learn more about her work on breast cancer and anxiety.

    Can you briefly describe your project?

    More women diagnosed with breast cancer are choosing to have both breasts removed (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM), rather than just the one with cancer. My study is examining the psychosocial benefit of CPM compared to unilateral mastectomy and lumpectomy. I am particularly interested in whether CPM reduces rates of anxiety around the time of post-surgical follow-up mammography, which can be a very stressful moment for women as they worry about cancer recurrence.

    Why were you interested in working on this project?

    Prior to medical school, I worked at the B.C. Cancer Agency on research projects in the early detection of breast cancer. I also attended survivor support groups and was involved with organizing the Run for the Cure. It’s empowering to work with women who face cancer and watch how they persevere through the diagnosis. This project allowed me to engage this population, learn from their experiences, and contribute to the scant literature on this topic.

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

    The support from the women and how excited they are about the study. I had a phone call with one woman who was very enthusiastic about the project and the work we are doing, and couldn’t wait to be involved. That was very encouraging!

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

    I’ve expanded my knowledge of statistics and study design. My goal is to continue to engage in clinical research, and this experience with the FoM SSRP has taught me valuable lessons to take into future projects.

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

    This project has stressed to me that psychosocial outcomes are important. Although the recurrence rate for breast cancer is low, the peace of mind afforded by one surgery over another is a major factor to consider.

    ***

    See our SSRP profile of Max Moor-Smith, who travelled to Spiti Valley, India, to promote health education to children.

    Support undergraduate students who want to explore their interests in medical research. The program is funded through the generous contributions of our donors and partners. Click here for more information on how to contribute.


    IMP announces 2017 third-year teaching awards

    Oct 2, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    The UBC Island Medical Program has announced the Year 3 Teaching Awards for 2017.

    These awards are chosen by fourth-year IMP students and are based on students' experience in their third year.


    Vancouver Island Clerkship Preceptors Teaching Excellence Award

    This award acknowledges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm, and respect a clerkship preceptor demonstrates in teaching.

    This year's recepient is Dr. Rebecca Morley.


    IMP Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award

    This award acknowledges the rotation that provides the most efficient, supportive, and engaging learning environment.

    This year's recipient is Obstetrics & Gynecology.


    Resident Teaching Excellence Award

    This award acknolwedges the outstanding dedication, enthusiasm, and respect that Vancouver Island residents demonstrate in teaching.

    This year's recipient is Dr. Kent Comeau.


    Victoria couple makes donation to improve care for patients with cognitive health issues

    Oct 12, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

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    A Victoria couple has pledged $2.5 million to improve care for patients with cognitive health issues.

    The generous donation, made by Neil and Susan Manning, kick-starts The Neil and Susan Manning Cognitive Health Initiative. The initiative features a partnership between Island Health, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia, including UVic's Institute of Lifelong Health and UBC's Island Medical Program, and will aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of dementia on Vancouver Island.

    For more information on the initiative, click here to read Island Health's news release.


    IMP promotes men's health and talks volunteer opportunities at annual Men's Health Day

    Oct 2, 2017 | Posted by: Rhys Mahannah

    On Saturday, September 9, the UBC Island Medical Program (IMP) took part in Men’s Health Day, where members of the island's medical school – including two students, a volunteer patient, and a staff member – talked about men’s health while promoting the medical school’s important volunteer opportunities.

    The event featured a number of booths that offered free health assessments, consultations, and educational materials. The IMP’s booth focused on prostate health and included a hands-on, life-sized prostate model on which participants could conduct their own prostate exams and learn about various prostate pathologies.

    Ashely Ram, a second-year IMP student and one of the event volunteers, was pleased to see men of all ages attend the booth, but noted the ambivalence towards the model.

    “There was a combination of fear and humor,” she said. “Still, many participants were interested in learning and talking more about it – they asked us questions and shared their own prostate health stories, which was very interesting.”

    Men’s Health Day was also an excellent opportunity to highlight the IMP’s volunteer opportunities, which, according to Karen Basi, the IMP’s Volunteer Patient Coordinator, are critical to training medical students.

    “Students work with volunteers to learn clinical skills – how to build patient rapport, how to exercise patience and empathy, how to learn history taking and hands-on physical exams, and more” said Basi. “As volunteers, people can meaningfully contribute to the training of our next generation of physicians.”

    The IMP has several volunteer streams. These include Volunteer Patients, who participate as themselves, offering their real medical history, and who undergo non-invasive physical exams; and Standardized Patients, who are trained to simulate a certain pathology that students must diagnose. 

    For those who love to teach and are comfortable with their bodies, the IMP also offers Clinical Teaching Associate, or CTA, volunteer positions. There are two CTA variants, Female and Male Clinical Teaching Associates, and each guides students through gynecological and urogenitary exams, respectively.

    CTAs receive special training, and these sessions – like all clinical skills session – are supervised by a licensed physician, who shows students how to properly conduct the assessment.

    Most of the IMP’s volunteer opportunities have been around for a while, but last year marked the inauguration of Male Clinical Teaching Associates, otherwise known as MCTAs. Dr. Nathan Hoag, who graduated from the IMP in 2009 and now oversees these sessions, said that the first year was a “huge success.”

    “We had an excellent response from the MCTAs, who found the sessions both interesting and meaningful. And, by all accounts, the students found the experience to be an incredibly informative one. We’re excited to build upon last year.”

    ***

    Do you want to help train medical students? Then volunteer with the Island Medical Program. We’ll pay you to learn new skills and meaningfully contribute to medical students’ education. Check our opportunities here, under “Patient Programs”: https://imp.uvic.ca/community/index.php. You can also contact Karen Basi, the Volunteer Patient Coordinator, at karenpri@uvic.ca or 250-370-8111 ext. 12386.

    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.




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