As the Director of the Medical Teaching Unit (MTU) at the Kelowna General Hospital, Dr. Gary Victor oversees the teaching and evaluations for countless residents and students completing internal medicine rotations at the hospital.
The 10-bed MTU at Kelowna General is a prime example of medical education and patient care delivered in unison. Patients usually are admitted from the Emergency Department with undifferentiated diagnoses often involving multiple organ systems. The education team is then tasked with working through a number of possible scenarios and developing an action plan for each patient. On most days, the education team consists of a second or third year Internal Medicine resident, a first year family medicine resident, and one or two medical students – all being supervised by an Attending general internist or sub-specialist.
Students are given responsibility for 3 to 4 patients and learn how to take a thorough history, perform a complete physical exam, present cases, develop a management/treatment plan, and follow-up with their patients on a daily basis. The patient’s length of stay can be a few days, weeks or even longer. Specialists are often called upon to consult on these patients and provide recommendations, but ultimately the team decides the priorities and next steps. The MTU also provides educational opportunities for nursing and pharmacy students creating an interprofessional learning environment.
“The key is to maintaining a stimulating environment for all levels of learners,” says Dr. Victor. “Sometimes teaching is done better as a group and sometimes on a one-on-one basis. We really try to emphasize that the approach to problem solving can be different, but the goal remains the same – to care for the patient in the best way possible.”
Starting in the fall of 2013, approximately 24 students from Southern Medical Program’s inaugural class will complete a full year of clinical rotations at KGH in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, emergency medicine, orthopedics, anesthesiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. The internal medicine rotation consists of eight weeks with students dividing their time between the MTU and ambulatory care clinics.