Warren Brock

Communications Manager

Southern Medical Program
Office: Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 250.807.8601
Email: warren.brock@ubc.ca


The Southern Medical Program is hosting an evening information session for prospective applicants to the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s MD Undergraduate Program. Learn about the admission requirements, application process, and how the program is training the next generation of physicians for our province.

The event will be held on Wednesday, November 27th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Presenters include Dr. Shahin Shirzad, Assistant Dean, Admissions, UBC Faculty of Medicine and current Southern Medical Program students.

Click here to register. Space is limited.

For more information, please contact Carri Folk, Student Affairs and Admissions Coordinator, Southern Medical Program at carri.folk@ubc.ca or 250.807.9576.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine has recognized two Southern Medical Program (SMP) faculty for their contributions to medical education in the BC Interior.

Dr. Elizabeth McCoid, Clinical Instructor with the UBC Department of Family Practice is the recipient of the 2019 Clinical Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Practice Teaching. As Site Director for the Trail Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) program, Dr. McCoid is a positive force for the SMP in the Kootenay Boundary region. Over her expansive career, she is known for her compassionate patient care and availability to students and residents.

Dr. Josh Williams, Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine is the recipient of the 2019 Clinical Faculty Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. Dr. Williams is highly regarded for his innovative teaching style and genuine commitment to medical education. Dr. Williams played an integral role for the SMP as an inaugural Clinical Skills Course Director and currently serves as the Associate Program Director for the Royal College Emergency Medicine residency program at Kelowna General Hospital.

The Southern Medical Program invites you to attend an Open House to meet Dr. Sarah Brears, Interim Regional Associate Dean, Interior and discover more about the new Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM). Led by Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, the CCDPM is the first Faculty of Medicine Research Centre outside the Lower Mainland.

October 7, 2019 | 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Opening remarks commence at 2:30 p.m.

1088 Discovery Avenue, Kelowna
Reichwald Health Sciences Centre, UBC Okanagan

Please RSVP to kristy.verigin@ubc.ca by October 1, 2019.

The Southern Medical Program is pleased to welcome our newest cohort to the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Meet some of our new students from the SMP Class of 2023.

Samantha Erron Gibbon

Hometown: Edmonton

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
I decided to pursue medicine after years of fascination and love for the human body and the birth of my siblings inspired me to improve birth outcomes for Indigenous women and children. I’ve been interested in science and knew I wanted to be a scientist since kindergarten, but my early undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta were formative of my passion for medicine and specifically for mitigating the social determinants of health in Indigenous communities.

What are you looking forward to most this upcoming year?
I’m most looking forward to exploring the beautiful territory that UBCO occupies, and I’m excited to get to know and become a part of the SMP family. I also especially look forward to learning more about fetal development, pregnancy, and birth.

Best piece of advice
Be the change you want to see in the world. Waiting for others to initiate solutions to the problems you face in your community only results in wasted opportunity and contempt; if you feel the passion and motivation to improve your community, act on in! Just ensure your respect, consideration, thoroughness, and safety never waver.

First job
I was a pottery teacher!

What’s next on your BC bucket list?
The next items on my BC bucket list are to swim in the Okanagan and to ski Big White.

Kyra Huston

Hometown: Cranbrook, BC

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
Many experiences and people have inspired me to pursue medicine. Mostly, the experiences my family members and I have had with healthcare in a smaller center and seeing the impact that one family doctor can have on an entire community.

What are you looking forward to most this upcoming year?
I am most looking forward to exploring the new cities I’ll be living in and being able to look back and see how much I have learned during my first year of medical school.

Best piece of advice
Stop comparing yourself to others and start recognizing what you bring to the table.

First job
My first job was in the pro shop of a golf course between Cranbrook and Kimberley.

What’s next on your BC bucket list?
Next on my BC bucket list is finding the best fishing spots in the Okanagan.

Greg Nixon

Hometown: Summerland

What inspired you to pursue your program?
My pursuit of medicine started when I was young with a fascination of anatomy and science. Having a father that was a veterinarian allowed me to see these things up close. This coupled with the opportunity for continued learning and to help people in various ways cemented my desire to pursue medicine.

What are you looking forward to most this upcoming year?
I’m most looking forward to starting to learn about content that really interests me and I enjoy learning about.

Best piece of advice
My best advice for premeds – or anyone pursuing any goal – is to detach yourself from the competition. Being a premedical student was very stressful for me in my first couple years of university until I detached myself from the competition and just focused on myself. Volunteer in areas that you enjoy and have a passion for, not just because you think they will look good on an application.

First job
My first job was working at a boat rentals and teaching people how to wakeboard. I enjoyed this job so much I worked there until the summer before I got into medical school.

What’s next on your BC bucket list?
The next thing on my BC bucket list is to do a road trip to Northern BC to see the Northern lights.

Peter Singh

Hometown: Surrey

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
With initial aspirations of becoming a math teacher in my freshman year, I took time away from school due to my father’s battle with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). His progression through the disease was rapid and unrelenting. Just two months after his death, my mother had her own cancer scare, which meant over a period of 18 months I was exposed to many facets of the healthcare system. These included those that worked well and those that didn’t, wonderful assistance programs and those that gave us grief, and most importantly, the doctors who valued what my father said even when he couldn’t speak. Having returned to school and proven myself academically, I believed I also possessed the charisma to pursue medicine as a way of righting the wrongs that were bestowed upon my parents, and furthering social and environmental advocacy. I believe SMP gives me the smaller group setting, more intimate relationships with faculty, along with a family network in the Okanagan to support me in my endeavors.

What are you looking forward to most this upcoming year?
I look forward to a new challenge. Not just moving to a new city after 7 years in Vancouver, but finding new hiking trails and winding roads for cycling.

Best piece of advice
Not my words, but they have stuck with me ever since I saw this speech as a kid on YTV. Knee surgery means I don’t run either now but any sort of cardiovascular exercise will do!
“The keys to life are running and reading. When you’re running, there’s a little person that talks to you and says, “Oh I’m tired. My lung’s about to pop. I’m so hurt. There’s no way I can possibly continue.” You want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running. You will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. For reading: there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.” ― Will Smith

First job
In the summer before grade 12, I was 1 week into volunteering at a summer soccer camp for kids when one of the camp counsellors had a breakdown and quit on the spot. A few minutes later, I got a call from the regional coordinator asking if I was interested in joining. When I asked for my starting date, he said in 5 minutes and to email my resume that night as a formality. Turns out there wasn’t much soccer, it was mostly just a glorified daycare but it taught me that a Monday to Friday 9-5 is not a joke. I think I got Staff of the Year the following summer because of genuine shock I actually returned!

What’s next on your BC bucket list?
Not strictly BC, but my next goal is to drive/camp in my SUV all the way to the Arctic Ocean. This involves traversing much of BC before dipping my toes in the frigid Northern waters.

Stacy Dikareva

Southern Medical Program (SMP) students Stacy Dikareva and Daria Hutchinson are the 2019 recipients of the Reichwald Family Foundation Southern Medical Program award. The annual award acknowledges two SMP students for excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.

Born in the Ukraine and raised in Vancouver, Dikareva completed a BSc in Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University and MSc in Kinesiology at McGill University prior to entering medical school. As a SMP student, Dikareva has volunteered with the Sexual Assault Response Team at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and served as co-chair for the Women’s Health Initiative. Additionally, she has led a Walk n’ Talk for Life program for people with mental illness in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Kelowna.

Daria Hutchinson

Originally from Tsawwassen, Hutchinson completed a BSc in Food Nutrition and Health at UBC and worked as a research assistant at BC Women’s Hospital prior to joining the SMP. During her medical studies, she has volunteered with HOPE Outreach in Kelowna providing naloxone kits and served as a member with the Sexual Assault Response Team. Additionally, Hutchinson helped organize the 2019 Pre-medical Diversity Symposium, which encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to pursue medicine as a career.


The Southern Medical Program (SMP) Class of 2022 hosts the eighth annual SMP Student Golf Tournament on September 29, 2019 at Sunset Ranch Golf Course in Kelowna.

Join SMP students, local physicians, and community members for a fun nine-hole golf tournament in support of Hope Air. This year, SMP students continue to fundraise for Hope Air, a charity that helps pay for transportation costs for people receiving medical care away from their hometowns.

Tee time: 3:30 pm. Dinner at 6:30 pm. Silent auction, raffles, and tons of prizes.

Register for golf and/or dinner by September 21, 2019. If you are unable to attend, you can still support the Hope Air fundraising efforts with an online donation.

Dr. Amy Kluftinger has been appointed as Family Practice Lead for the Southern Medical Program (SMP). Dr. Kluftinger is a Kelowna-based family physician and Clinical Instructor with the UBC Department of Family Practice.

Dr. Kluftinger completed her medical degree at UBC and residency training at Queen’s University, where she served as Chief Resident for the Belleville-Quite site. She then completed further training in Obstetrics and Women’s Health with the UBC Family Medicine Enhanced Skills Program. Dr. Kluftinger has been a strong advocate for medical education throughout her career. Presently, she serves as a preceptor for the Family Practice, Clinical Skills, and Transition to Clinical Education courses in addition to serving as OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) examiner.

Dr. Kluftinger will work closely with the Regional Associate Dean, Interior and Years 1 & 2 team to optimize learning environments for SMP students and faculty. She will also work in conjunction with Family Practice Leads from the Island Medical Program, Northern Medical Program and Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program for the Faculty of Medicine.

A new Faculty of Medicine Research Centre has been established at UBC Okanagan. The Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) will serve as a provincial leader for research, knowledge translation and exchange in the urgent research field of chronic diseases.

Led by Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, Professor with the Southern Medical Program and UBC Okanagan Faculty of Health and Social Development, the CCDPM is the Faculty of Medicine’s first research centre located outside of the Lower Mainland.

“We are excited for the opportunity to create new research excellence for the Faculty of Medicine in the BC Interior,” says Martin Ginis, CCDPM Director. “Our expanding research team is poised to leverage the diverse strengths of researchers and healthcare professionals to advance chronic disease research across the province and nationally.”

The Centre will focus primarily on the prevention and self-management of diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary diseases, and neurological disorders. In addition, researchers will help advance medical care, health behaviours, and resources to improve self-management of chronic disease.

Martin Ginis highlighted the expansion of collaborative partnerships with UBC Okanagan, Interior Health, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and healthcare professionals as a key catalyst to the Centre’s growth and impact.

“It’s imperative that our research be responsive to healthcare delivery on the front lines,” adds Martin Ginis. “The results need to be highly adaptable and help improve the lives of patients across British Columbia.”

For more information, visit http://ccdpm.med.ubc.ca.

Southern Medical Program (SMP) clinical faculty and UBC resident physicians from across the BC Interior are invited to register for 2019/2020 Teacher Certificate Program.

The program is designed for physicians teaching medical students or residents in clinical or didactic environments. It includes five workshops focused on improving teaching skills and creating an optimal learning environment for teachers and learners.

Each monthly session will be 1.5-2 hours and eligible for MOC Section 1 / MainPro+ credits. Participants who complete all five sessions will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Sessions will be at the Clinical Academic Campus in Kelowna and videoconferenced to our distributed education sites.

Session 1: Learning Relationships

Optimize the learner and teacher relationship, integrate a learner’s educational history and goals, support learners in difficulty. Discuss student mistreatment and the learning environment.

September 26, 2019

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Cheryl Holmes

Session 2: Active Learning 

Learn how to facilitate active learning environments appropriate to the learner’s stage.

October 24, 2019

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Bill Upward

Session 3: Learning Context

Effectively maximize learning opportunities specific to the context and teach in a manner best aligned with teaching and learning goals.

November 21, 2019

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Mike Purdon

Session 4: Assessment

Discuss differences between formative and summative assessment tools, review utility of direct observation, discuss programmatic assessment.
Discuss assessment in our own practices, regulatory bodies and dealing with complaints.

January 23, 2020

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Vince Arockiasamy
& Dr. Marjorie Docherty

Session 5: Feedback & Reflection

Establish conditions for effective feedback and reflection, discuss principles and tools to facilitate provision of feedback to learners, discuss generational differences in providing and receiving feedback.

February 27, 2020

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Glenn Regehr

To register, please email Jessica Russo by September 13, 2019 and include your name, contact information, current area of practice and location. Videoconference will be available in Kamloops, Vernon, and Trail. We ask that participants make every effort to attend at their local site to support group discussions.

The Southern Medial Program is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Christine Voss to the Chronic Disease Prevention Program (CDPP). Dr. Voss is an accomplished research scientist and Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Voss earned a BSc in Biochemistry from Royal Holloway, University of London and a MSc in Sports Sciences from Brunel University, UK. She then completed her PhD in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Essex, UK where she examined the association between cardiovascular health and modifiable health behaviours in children. Dr. Voss then trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Hip Health & Mobility at UBC between 2011-2015, before joining the Children’s Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital and UBC’s Department of Pediatrics as a Research Associate in 2015. Her research is focused on physical activity and health in children and youth in both clinical and community-based settings, and in particular the use of state-of-the-art technologies to objectively assess complex physical activity behaviours.

Dr. Voss will work closely with Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis and the growing research team. She will collaborate with faculty and key research stakeholders from UBC Okanagan, Interior Health, and other community-based health organizations.