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  • IMPressions

    News and views from the Island Medical Program


    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

    mh

    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.

    mms

    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

    ih

    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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