Surgery skills taken to a whole new level

UBC MD grad Stephanie Hiebert presents Dr. Andreas Kluftinger with a cake for his 50th birthday.

UBC MD grad Stephanie Hiebert spent a better part of her third year and several fourth year electives training at Kelowna General Hospital.  During her third year, Hiebert helped pilot rotations for the Southern Medical Program’s traditional clerkship rotations including surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and internal medicine.

“I have had so many wonderful experiences in Kelowna, said Hiebert. “The staff are very willing to teach, and you get much more hands on experience in a smaller centre such as Kelowna. The more time I spent there the more hands on stuff I would be allowed to do which has put me in a place to be very prepared for the beginning of residency training.”

One preceptor who had real impact on her experience was Dr. Andreas Kluftinger, a General Surgeon and Clinical Instructor with the UBC Department of Surgery. “Had I not come to Kelowna and met and been inspired by Dr. Kluftinger I am certain that I would not have chosen general surgery as my future career,” added Hiebert who is now completing her surgery residency at Dalhousie University.

In celebration of Dr. Kluftinger’s 50th birthday earlier this year, Hiebert constructed an elaborate birthday cake with a distinctive surgeon’s touch. A side hobby for Hiebert, she honed her decorating skills as a teenager working at her summer job at the Dairy Queen in Penticton. She noted this cake was the most time-intensive and meaningful one she has crafted to date.

“Stephanie was an excellent student and a pleasure to teach,” said Dr. Kluftinger. “Her medical skills are even better than her cake decorating and that is no small task.”

Hiebert says she would like to return to Kelowna upon completion of her residency in five to seven years and be involved with teaching for the Southern Medical Program.