Royal Inland Hospital is the second largest trauma centre in BC with approximately 55,000 emergency visits per year. As a major tertiary care facility for the Interior, it is home to a depth of physicians across all medical specialities and serves a referral population of over 220,000 people. Combined that with a strong history of medical education, RIH presented a compelling choice for the Southern Medical Program to utilize as a clinical training centre.
RIH will see a steady flow of third-year SMP students starting in the fall of 2013. The hospital is one of the four primary clinical training sites for the program which also offers third-year rotations in Kelowna, Vernon, and Trail. In final preparation for the arrival of students from the SMP’s inaugural class – currently in their second year in Kelowna – four UBC students have recently begun a year-long pilot of the Kamloops rotation.
Laura Kosakoski, a third-year from the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program saw the Kamloops pilot as a great opportunity to learn one-on-one with a lot of different physicians along with the added bonus of returning to her hometown for a year. “Third year is critical to really developing your clinical skills in addition to figuring out which residency program to pursue,” said Kosakoski. “I felt this was a great opportunity to gain a lot of one-on-one interaction with my preceptors which isn’t always an option in a larger centre.”
Brodie Rutherglen, a third-year from the Northern Medical Program also viewed Kamloops as an excellent chance to get hands-on experience while living in smaller community setting. “The uptake here is immense as there’s no competition from other students,” said Rutherglen. “As the only student in your rotation, you get the chance to be paged first and be the first assist on a lot of procedures.”
Students have felt tremendous support from the staff and program administration over the past two months. “Everyone involved in my learning has shown a real investment in my training,” said Kosakoski. “Their willingness to sit down at the end of the day and clear up any questions is refreshing as most medical students don’t get that much attention from their attending.”
“It’s great that students are having the opportunity to train outside of the Lower Mainland and I am happy to be involved with the program,” said Dr. Trent Smith, a Pediatrician and Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Department of Pediatrics who has been teaching residents and undergraduates at RIH for over eight years. Thinking back on his own student experience, Dr. Smith noted “I really appreciated the learning opportunities given to me and feel we owe the effort to the students coming in behind us.”
“Everyone has gone the extra mile and given me the opportunity to be really involved in my learning,” added Rutherglen. “Kamloops is truly giving another aspect to the traditional program model.”