SMP Partners with Interior Health for Innovative Pilot Program at KBRH

For Immediate Release – February 21, 2011

Faculty of Medicine interior-health

TRAIL – A new partnership between the UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program (SMP) and Interior Health will bring health professional training to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH).

Starting in September 2011, the Greater Trail community will host one of SMP’s Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) pilot programs. The ICC provides Year 3 medical students with an exceptional opportunity to gain clinical training while experiencing the benefits of practicing medicine in a smaller, rural community setting. Unlike traditional clerkships held in larger city centres, the ICC exposes students to a model of patient care whereby Family Physicians work in close collaboration with an extensive network of specialists within the context of a community. Medical students follow patients through the cycle of care, from diagnosis to treatment to follow-up. ICC students will spend an entire year in Trail and care for patients in both hospital and ambulatory settings.

As an integral component of UBC’s distributed medical program, the ICC supports the overall goal to increase the number of practicing physicians in smaller and rural communities throughout the province.

“The doctors and nurses in Trail are extremely busy with their patient care responsibilities and we are very pleased the medical community has embraced our program and its students,” says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior. “Hopefully in the long term, our presence will lighten the pressure on physician recruitment and retention in the Southern Interior.”

The Trail pilot program is a direct result of strong collaboration between the SMP, Interior Health, KBRH medical staff, and the Greater Trail community.

“Research shows that medical students who train in a site like Trail are more inclined to return to that site when they complete their studies. Interior Health is excited to welcome the UBC Faculty of Medicine to Trail and we look forward to building a lasting partnership that benefits UBC medical students, our local clinicians, and, most importantly, the patients who access care at our sites,” says Norman Embree, IH Board Chair.

On February 26 and 27, eleven UBC medical students will visit Trail to determine whether they plan to apply for one of two positions available for the pilot program. Their visit will include a tour of KBRH and the community combined with meetings with representatives from the SMP, Interior Health, and KBRH.

Based in the Interior of BC, the SMP is the fourth site in UBC’s distributed MD undergraduate program, with 32 students starting in 2011. The program will expand to 128 students across all four years in 2014. Trail is one of two locations for the SMP pilot program, along with Vernon, another ICC site in the Interior.


For more information, contact:
Warren Brock
Admissions & Communications Coordinator
Southern Medical Program – University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
Phone: (250) 980-1330 Email:


UBC Distributed Medical Program

Since expansion began in 2004, the UBC Faculty of Medicine, in partnership with the Provincial government, academic partners University of Victoria (UVic) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and all six provincial health authorities, has more than doubled enrolment and bolstered clinical training, health sciences research and teaching across British Columbia. Distributed medical education aims to increase the number of physicians in British Columbia, including more rural and aboriginal students seeking medical careers. Medical education opportunities outside of urban centres allow students to complete their training in rural and underserved communities, where, as studies suggest, they are more likely to return to practise once their training is complete.

Medical education and training for students and residents is provided at more than 80 hospitals and clinical sites around BC as well as at the three affiliated universities. The first distributed class of 195 students graduated in 2008, with 60 percent matching to residency training programs in British Columbia, and 40 percent choosing to train as family doctors.

Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC)

The UBC Faculty of Medicine MD undergraduate program offers Integrated Community Clerkships in Chilliwack, Duncan, Terrace, and Fort St. John. In 2011, two pilot ICCs in Vernon and Trail, located within the SMP region, will receive their first students. The ICC programs in Trail and Vernon follow a similar clinical and teaching model. The ICC student support systems in Vernon and Trail are identical.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH)

KBRH preceptors have a strong track record in medical education. There have been over 80 medical students at KBRH during the past 3 years including UBC students completing their Year 3 Rural Family Practice rotation and Year 4 students doing Family Practice and Speciality electives. Students have given excellent feedback about the quality of their clinical experiences and teaching at KBRH.