Warren Brock

Communications Manager

Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Southern Medical Program
Office: Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 250.807.8601
Email: warren.brock@ubc.ca


 

The Healthcare Travelling Roadshow is seeking health profession students to help recruit the next generation of rural healthcare professionals.

Join us for a week-long road trip to rural BC to showcase career options to high school students and connect with community stakeholders and local healthcare professionals.

We have three roadshows planned for the spring of 2022:

  • May 1 to 7, 2022:  Okanagan Roadshow (Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos)
  • May 1 to 7, 2022:  Bulkley Nechako Roadshow (Hazelton, Houston, Francois Lake, Grassy Plains, Burns Lake, Fraser Lake)
  • May 15 to 21, 2022:  Peace River Roadshow (Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge)

Application deadline is March 1, 2022. All travel, accommodation, and meal expenses are covered for participants. Interprofessional Education Passport credits are also available.

APPLY ONLINE.

The Healthcare Travelling Roadshow is delivered in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Northern Medical Programs Trust, and Rural Education Action Plan.

Since its inception in 2010, the Healthcare Travelling Roadshow has connected with more than 10,500 high school students in 56 communities throughout BC. For more info, visit https://www.unbc.ca/northern-medical-program/healthcare-travelling-roadshow or contact Warren Brock at warren.brock@ubc.ca.

Dr. Mike Bergunder has been appointed Portfolio Site Lead for the Southern Medical Program (SMP), effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Bergunder is a Kelowna-based emergency physician and a Clinical Instructor with the UBC Department of Family Practice

Dr. Bergunder completed his medical degree at UBC, family medicine residency at the University of Alberta, and a fellowship in emergency medicine at UBC. He currently serves as the Medical Director for Interior Health’s Rural & Remote Framework and works a locum emergency physician primarily in the Okanagan. Since 2019, Dr. Bergunder has supported learning opportunities for UBC medical students as a Case-Based Learning Instructor, Indigenous Cultural Safety Facilitator, and Portfolio Coach. He also serves as a member of the BC Emergency Medicine Network Advisory Committee and UBC 23 24 Indigenous Cultural Safety Advisory Committee.

As Portfolio Site Lead, Dr. Bergunder will provide leadership and general oversight for the SMP Portfolio program. He will help lead the recruitment of Portfolio coaches and foster a supportive learning environment to encourage excellence in teaching and teacher retention. He will also work with SMP Faculty Development to ensure that Portfolio coaches have ongoing professional development opportunities.

Dr. Sarah Purcell has been appointed Assistant Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and UBC Okanagan Faculty of Science, Department of Biology effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Purcell will serve as an Investigator with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) based at UBC Okanagan.

Dr. Purcell completed a BSc in Dietetics and MSc in Clinical Nutrition at Florida State University followed by a PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. For the past two and a half years, she has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Colorado focused primarily on energy intake regulation among breast cancer survivors. Dr. Purcell’s research aims to improve our understanding of the unique dietary requirements of people with chronic diseases and reduce obesity in people with chronic disease by implementing nutrition and exercise interventions. She has authored 23 peer-reviewed publications and served as a Principle Investigator on three pilot grants and two U.S. national fellowships.

In her new role, Dr. Purcell will lead a strong, innovative, and internationally-recognized research program in nutrition and chronic disease prevention and management. She will work collaboratively with faculty and graduate students from both UBC campuses, health professionals and researchers with Interior Health, and communities and health populations across the BC Interior. Dr. Purcell will also serve as a national leader in nutritional interventions to prevent or manage chronic conditions.

Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi has been appointed the Foundations of Scholarship (FoS) and Flexible and Enhanced Learning (FLEX) Site Director for the Southern Medical Program (SMP), effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Golmohammadi is a public health & preventive medicine specialist and a Clinical Associate Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine School of Population and Public Health.

Dr. Golmohammadi completed his medical degree at Bandar Abbas School of Medicine and residency training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Alberta. Additionally, he completed the UBC Sauder School of Business Physician Leadership Program. Dr. Golmohammadi currently works as a Medical Officer with the BC First Nations Authority in Kelowna. Prior to this, he worked as a Medical Officer with Interior Health (IH) for six years. Dr. Golmohammadi has served as the Training Site Director for preventive medicine for IH, Chair of the Academic Advisory Committee for Public Health at IH, FLEX project supervisor for SMP, and a member of Faculty of Medicine Clinical Faculty Affairs Committee.

In his new role, Dr. Golmohammadi will provide leadership and organizational responsibilities for the MEDD 419, MEDD 429, and MEDD 449 courses at the SMP. He will work in collaboration with the SMP leadership team and Directors from the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program, Island Medical Program, and Northern Medical Program.

UBC Southern Medical Program student Brayden Fishbook was en route to Chilliwack for a family practice elective when he found himself stranded due to the province’s catastrophic atmospheric river event.

Leaving Kelowna Sunday afternoon on November 14th, he opted for the Hope-Princeton route of Highway 3 as the Coquihalla Highway had been closed due a landslide.

When he arrived in Hope four hours later, traffic crawled through town as torrential rain poured down.

“I came across a hotel that was completely dark and quickly realized the entire town was without power,” says Fishbook. “Cars were parked at gas stations waiting for power to return and traffic was being diverted across the Fraser River as Highway 1 was now closed.”

Fishbook followed rerouted traffic towards Highway 7 and eventually came to a standstill due to another landslide. With Highway 3 also blocked, all routes in and out of the small rural community were closed indefinitely.

Southern Medical Program student Brayden Fishbook

Exhausted and resigned to his situation, Fishbook pulled over to the side of the road and spent the night in his car. “Fortunately, I had my sleeping bag, a pillow and some food I had packed for my stay in Chilliwack,” he says. “It wasn’t too cold overnight and I actually managed to get some sleep.”

“Wanting to make the most of my educational experience, I headed to the local hospital on Tuesday morning and offered to help wherever I could.”

In the morning, Fishbook returned to Hope and attended an emergency shelter at a local church to figure out his next move. Through family connections and a few social media callouts, he found a place to stay with a couple from Hope who opened their home and neighbouring cabins to stranded travelers seeking a place to stay and a warm meal.

“There was a lot of speculation and uncertainty about which roads would open and when people might be able to leave,” says Fishbook. “Wanting to make the most of my educational experience, I headed to the local hospital on Tuesday morning and offered to help wherever I could.”

The Fraser Health staff at Fraser Canyon Hospital connected Fishbook with Dr. Beth Watt, a Langley-based family physician and UBC clinical instructor, who was also stranded in Hope. Together, they were tasked with assisting non-urgent medical needs for travellers temporarily housed at the local high school shelter.

Throughout the day, Fishbook distinctly remembered the thunderous and almost constant sound of helicopters flying in supplies to the local airport and surveying roadways. Many evacuated travellers opted to abandon their vehicles in favour of privately chartered flights back to their homes.

On Wednesday morning, Watt and Fishbook worked out of a make-shift medical clinic that had been organized at the high school and spent the day assessing and assisting patients. An unusual learning environment from his fourth-year of training with the SMP based at UBC Okanagan.

“Dr. Watt used pieces of blank papers to write prescriptions and we worked with the local pharmacy to ensure patients could access an emergency supply of their medications,” says Fishbook. “For the most part, patients just needed to talk about their experience and trauma to help calm their nerves. But, we were also able to collaborate with local emergency response operations personnel to have more urgent cases flown out.”

“Brayden is an amazing student and really showed up to help people in need,” says Dr. Watt. “It was great to be able to work together to support the community in a time of uncertainty.”

By late Wednesday afternoon, Fishbook received word from family that Highway 7 was reopening. He jumped in his car and joined a line of cars waiting for any signs of movement. Around 6 o’clock, the line started trickling passed emergency road personnel and the cleared landslide area.

“I was extremely relieved to be moving and to have a definite travel plan,” says Fishbook. “When I finally arrived in Chilliwack, I realized how much tension I’d been carrying from the past few days and needed to decompress.”

Fishbook finally started his four-week elective on the Thursday, a few days late. His ordeal not only solidified his plans to pursue family medicine as a career, but gave him new perspectives.

“I certainly gained a deeper appreciation for rural medicine and disaster response management,” he adds. “I’m also truly thankful to my hosts who provided me and others food and shelter during a stressful and uncertain time.”

“Every day, through the support of our health authorities partners and the dedication of clinical faculty like Dr. Watt, UBC medical students are gaining exposure and skills in rural and remote medicine,” says Dr. Sarah Brears, Regional Associate Dean, Interior. “ These rich training experiences encourage our students to stay and practice in communities throughout B.C and respond in crisis when there is need.”

2021 Michal Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar: Dr. Christine Voss

Dr. Christine Voss

Dr. Christine Voss has received a 2021 Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) in partnership with Interior Health (IH) and the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM).

The CCDPM has partnered with IH and the MSFHR, as part of a new funding venture, to help advance clinical health science collaborations between IH and UBC Okanagan.

Dr. Voss’s work will focus on physical activity and the clinical management of chronic diseases in children living in rural and remote communities across the Interior Health region.

“The award allows me to pursue excellence in all aspects of my clinical research endeavors, ranging from partnership building with clinicians and patients, to training the next generation of health researchers,” says Voss, assistant professor with the UBC Department of Pediatrics and investigator with the CCDPM. “I am thrilled to receive a MSFHR Scholar Award and to partner with Interior Health for my clinical research going forward.”

The MSFHR Scholar Program supports early career researchers to establish independent research careers, develop research teams, and advance cutting-edge health solutions.

“Interior Health is extremely pleased to be a partner in funding for Dr. Christine Voss,” says Dr. Devin Harris, Medical Director, Quality, Patient Safety and Research, Interior Health. “In partnership with IH physicians and staff, her research will impact health and wellness for children and families in our region, and strengthen our research collaboration with the Southern Medical Program. Congratulations to Dr. Voss on this award for her achievements in research to advance health care.”

Voss and her research team will examine current practices and attitudes towards physical activity promotion and ultimately develop and implement new approaches to help children with chronic conditions lead more active lives.

For more information about the award and other award recipients, visit the MSFHR website.

The Southern Medical Program is excited to officially welcome the Class of 2025 to the Okanagan and our current students back to school for the fall semester. Check out some Q&As with our new and returning students.

Name: Julie Zhao
Hometown: Nanaimo, BC
Program Year: 1

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
My inspiration to pursue medicine comes from a combination of a few things. I’ve always been interested in sciences and passionate about health and wellness. My interactions with many physicians not only through personal/family illness but also through many, many sports injuries have helped me better understand the huge impact a good physician can have on someone’s health outcomes. Medicine also combines so much of what I love including continuous learning, problem solving, teamwork, building connections with others and advocating for health. At the end of the day, I just want to support, encourage, and stand up for others and be a part of their journey towards improved quality of life and wellness.

Why did you choose UBC?
Moving to Canada at a young age, I was very lucky to have grown up in our beautiful province of BC. Part of the reason why I chose UBC is because I wanted to stay in the province and be able to live in and contribute back to the communities I grew up in. I also appreciate how UBC has distributed sites for the medical program which allows student more flexibility in which location they want to study.

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
Everyone at SMP is so supportive and I’m very excited to meet and connect with all my classmates as well as the faculty, staff and other students. Coming from the Island, I haven’t spent much time in the Okanagan so I’m also looking forward to exploring Kelowna and the surrounding areas.

What’s top on your bucket list?
A big reason I wanted to be in Kelowna was the proximity to so many good ski resorts. I’m really into snowboarding so I’m excited to hit up the mountains in Interior BC. I’ve been told it’s the best powder in BC and I’m sure it will hold up to expectation.


Name: Roshan Behrouzi
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Program Year: 1

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
I love being at the heart of any action and feeling like I’ve been able to make some sort of positive contribution. Having the opportunity to help someone feel comfortable and taken care of in some of their hardest moments has been something I’ve always wanted to pursue. I felt that the medical field would offer the opportunity to feel intimately involved with the well-being of my community while always being presented with an interesting challenge!

Why did you choose UBC?
I chose UBC Okanagan because of all the amazing fishing/outdoor activities nearby and the beautiful newer building!

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
Getting to know all my classmates and learning some hands-on clinical skills! Although it’s still quite early in my medical journey, I’m excited to see what areas of medicine peak my interest the most.

What’s top on your bucket list?
Catching a massive salmon that wins a local fishing derby and then smoking the fish to share with my friends and family. Oh, and practice medicine.


Name: Tushar Dave
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Program Year: 2

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
Growing up I really enjoyed science and math so I knew I wanted to do something in STEM. Then when I was in my early teens my family and I had some run-ins with the healthcare system and this one particular surgeon that we had a good relationship with, really made me think “yeah, I want to be like you.” Seeing as I already liked science, I thought it was a perfect match and since then no other career I’ve ever been exposed to has close to medicine!

Why did you choose UBC?
Two things I was looking for in a medical school were 1) quality of the program and 2) proximity to my family. UBC has a top-notch medical program and I’m a fan of its’ spiral curriculum. Not only that, it also has a distributed site in Kelowna where my family is. I really lucked out with UBC! 

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
Being in-person again! I learned so much more from our optional in-person anatomy sessions than I did online so it’s going to be a really fun time to learn in an environment most conducive to my learning style. I’m also looking forward to seeing my classmates!

What’s top on your bucket list?
There are a few books on my bookshelf that I’ve been meaning to read and a few backpacking trails that I want to do sooner than later. If you mean absolute top of my bucket list, I’d say a photography trip across the landscapes in Iceland!


Name: Rowan Laird
Hometown: Delta, BC
Program Year: 2

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
My grandfather was a physician in the BC Interior. Growing up, I loved his stories of delivering babies and suturing wounds. As an adult, it’s clear to me that his stories were really about the importance of doing what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. These themes of purpose, persistence, and service have informed my entire life.

I didn’t always plan to go into medicine  – I assumed it was for people who were good at chemistry (which I definitely am not). I had a successful career in community services and government for several years instead. But as I saw that medical schools like UBC were changing their admissions criteria to attract less traditional candidates, I started to believe that I could also have something to offer the field of medicine.

My admissions interview with UBC Med coincided with the tenth anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, and I’ve felt his presence every step of the way. Some of life’s journeys manage to be perfectly full circle. 

Why did you choose UBC?
Aside from British Columbia being one of the most incredible places on the planet…it’s also home. After several years of schooling and work spent in Nova Scotia and Ontario, I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to stay in my beloved home province for once!

UBC’s distributed site model was also a major draw for me – as a student at the Southern Medical Program, I benefit from smaller class sizes and incredible opportunities for hands-on experience, while getting to work with students, faculty, and clinicians across the province. 

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
I’m excited to see my fellow classmates outside of a screen more often. We were still able to forge friendships over the past year – I think it takes a special kind of person to start medical school during a global pandemic, and that bond runs deep – but there’s no substitute for sharing the same physical space on a regular basis.

What’s top on your bucket list?
I try to keep my bucket list items as close to zero as possible – if something’s on your mind, you should just go for it! But, the pandemic put some things on hold that I’d like to try over the next year—namely scuba diving, blacksmithing, and French pastry classes.


Name: Tyson Bodor
Hometown: Kamloops, BC
Program Year: 3

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
I have always wanted to pursue a career that focused on hearing the stories of different people, and medicine has always been very interesting to me because of its diversity. It’s such an honor to be entrusted by patients with their health and to get the opportunity to learn about their lives outside of illness. There are also so many different career paths that fall under the umbrella of medicine, so I knew I would find a good fit.

Why did you choose UBC?
I was born and raised in BC and it’s the best place in Canada to live (sorry to all of my out of province colleagues), so UBC was the obvious choice! I have also always been impressed with the reputation and pursuit of excellence that UBC is known for. It’s an added bonus that we have distributed programs here, since the smaller class size of SMP has been a perfect fit for me and my learning style.

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
Continuing to get hands on learning and meeting as many patients as possible! The last year of Zoom-school has been really tough for me, it’s just not the way I learn best and removes the most rewarding aspects of studying medicine. Now that we’re back in the hospital and taking part in patient care, I’m learning so much more than I ever could from my computer desk at home.

What’s top on your bucket list?
My wife and I are expecting our first child this fall, so my bucket list right now is full of all the firsts that come with parenting! The back-half of medical school and life for the next few years are going to be a wild ride, but I’m blessed every day with the experiences I get to have and the amazing people I am surrounded by for them. It feels like I’m adding things to my bucket list every day as they happen, which is a pretty cool spot to be in.


Name: Marisa Levesque
Hometown:  Vernon, BC
Program Year: 3

What inspired you to pursue medicine?
Medicine has always been my dream. I loved science, particularly biology and physiology, and I wanted to pursue a career that involves caring for others.  Medicine seemed like a great way to bring these passions together!

Why did you choose UBC?
UBC was my first choice for medical school because I wanted to stick close to home – being around your support system and having a strong sense of community are both huge positives when facing the challenges of medical school.

What are you most looking forward to for the coming school year?
Finally getting lots of hands-on experience during clerkship! Excited for all the new experiences coming up during clinical training.

What’s top on your bucket list?
Travel! Looking forward to eventually getting around to a Europe trip that COVID has cancelled a few times now.

The annual Reichwald Family Foundation Southern Medical Program (SMP) awards are provided to two second-year medical students who demonstrate excellence in academics, leadership, and community service. Congratulations to this year’s recipients Marisa Levesque and Hannah Young.

Marisa Levesque

Originally from Vernon, Levesque earned a BSc from UBC Okanagan. During her studies with the SMP, she has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross as a Personal Disaster Assistance volunteer and as Certification Manager for the Companion Paws program run by The LifeLine Canada Foundation. She is the SMP representative for the MUS Oncology Interest Group, a student representative for the Internal Medicine Undergraduate Education Committee, member of the SMP Municipal Political Advocacy Committee, and volunteers for the AccessBC campaign which advocates for universal prescription coverage for contraceptives under the Medical Services Plan.

“I am truly grateful to be one of this year’s recipients of the Reichwald Family Foundation award,” says Levesque.  “It will go a long way in alleviating some of the stress associated with the financial burden of medical education, and allow me to focus more on my studies.”

Hannah Young

Prior to joining the SMP, Young moved from her hometown of Quesnel to complete a BSc at UBC Okanagan. She is a member of the SMP Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and participates in community outreach through the BC Brain Wellness Program which aims to decrease the isolation of individuals with neurological conditions. She also works with the Peer Mentorship in Medical Education team at the SMP, a member of the Wilderness Medicine Club, and co-chair of the SMP Wellness Initiative Network that promotes healthy activities and social engagement for SMP students.

“I am extremely honoured and grateful to receive this award and would like to express my appreciation for the outstanding support the Reichwald family has provided for the Southern Medical Program,” says Young. “I look forward to supporting our community in the future.”

Southern Medical Program (SMP) faculty and staff from across the Interior Health region have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to medical education. The nomination and selection process for the annual awards program is completed solely by SMP students. Congratulations to our 2021 honourees.

Year 1 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award
Year 2 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award
Mr. Emmett Campbell, Gross Anatomy Laboratory Assistant
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Kamloops
Dr. Dayne Ortved, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Medicine
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Kelowna
Dr. Sumathi McGregor, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Trail
Dr. Tara Gill, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Family Practice
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Vernon
Dr. Kathryn MacKinlay, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Pediatrics
Southern Medical Program Graduating Class Award Winner
Dr. Sarah Brears, Regional Associate Dean, Interior, Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Family Practice
Southern Medical Program Graduating Class Award Winner
Dr.  Olusegun Oyedele, Associate Professor, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences

 

Congratulations to the Southern Medical Program Class of 2021! Meet some of our newest graduates and hear about where they’re headed next.

Name: Gabby Levesque
Hometown: Penticton, BC

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
Ever since my Grade 12 Biology class, I was fascinated to learn about the intricacies of the human body. I also knew that I wanted to work with people, so medicine seemed like the perfect fit! I am so honoured to be a part of the medical community, providing comprehensive and compassionate care to the population of BC.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
It is very difficult choosing just one moment from my time at UBC. I loved playing intramurals, our lunchtime workouts, going on a helicopter ride on my rural family medicine rotation and delivering my first baby. I will cherish all these memories and everyone who was a part of them – especially winning gold against the other SMP soccer team!

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
I think it’s important to remember that medicine is a career with lifelong learning. It can get very overwhelming and stressful, so it is important to remember to take care of yourself and have a good support network. Take that evening off to watch your favourite movie or go to your favourite restaurant. As cliché as it is, medicine really is a marathon, so take it one step at a time.

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
I love spending time outside. Whether playing soccer, beach volleyball, camping or just sitting in the sun, this is my happy place and where I recharge the most.

What’s next for you?
I’m extremely excited to be moving to Vancouver to start my Orthopaedic Residency program at UBC. I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported me to this point and look forward to the incredible journey ahead!


Name: Parm Khakh
Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
Medicine is a field that allows us to work alongside patients when they’re at their most vulnerable and to educate them and their families on disease pathology. We get to work in compassionate and cohesive team environments, with everyone having a unified goal. The opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life as you provide support, knowledge and care is what made me interested in becoming a physician.

What is your favorite moment from your time at UBC?
One of my favorite memories was getting to celebrate with the class of 2022 during their SMP visit. It was a great weekend to unwind and make some unforgettable memories with the SMP crew.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
Don’t forget to enjoy the little things and to make time for your loved ones! This journey never gets less daunting, but you will become an outstanding physician, so enjoy the process and make it a goal to have fun!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Listening to my favorite comedian’s podcasts while hiking and laughing-out-loud as I struggle up the mountain.

What’s next for you?
I am super stoked and grateful to be joining the Internal Medicine team at Queen’s University! I cannot wait to start this next chapter and I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to train at SMP. Thank you all for helping me become the person I am today!


Name: Lenina Howatt
Hometown: Manitou, MB

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
It’s cliché, but true: helping others. There are few things that people value over their own health and the health of their loved ones. It is an immense privilege to be a physician and I can’t think of a better field to be in the service of others.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
I’ll never forget taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay across Howe Sound, ultimately destined for Sechelt where I completed my Rural Family Medicine rotation. I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the fjord and overcome with gratitude at being able to live, work, and play in such an epic outdoor paradise.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
Throughout your medical training, you will come to know the importance of having compassion for your patients. This importance cannot be overstated. I would just like to remind you to also have compassion for yourself as you navigate the challenges of medical school. It won’t always be easy – be kind to yourself!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Watching my 6-month-old kitten, Nala, rip around the house during her evening “zoomies.” She is hilarious and it is such a joy to have her company.

What’s next for you?
I’m beyond excited to soon move to Victoria to complete residency training in Family Medicine!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Interior, and I can’t wait to continue exploring this amazing province as an Islander. I hope to incorporate Enhanced Rural training into my residency, with a long-term plan of practicing family medicine and growing roots in a small community in BC.


Name:  Lebohang Kolisang
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa (Canadian hometown: Prince George!)

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
I was fortunate to grow up with a physician father who has been one of my biggest role models since I was a child. However, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d pursue medicine until I started my undergraduate degree at UNBC where I was blessed to be part of an incredibly supportive community that really encouraged us to achieve our dreams. During those years I realized medicine would be a wonderful way to combine my love for sciences with my love for people.  I also really enjoyed watching the TV show Scrubs!

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
Oh my goodness, there are far too many. Every single weepers event and celebration after an exam are some of my most precious memories shared with classmates. I also extremely enjoyed our portfolio small group sessions during 3rd and 4th year. They were a wonderful reminder of how we’re all going through this together. Finally, there are countless memories of meaningful interactions with patients during some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives that will stay with me for the rest of mine.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
These next few years are going to fly by. Don’t focus solely on the destination, but be sure to find joy in the journey. Oh, and don’t underestimate the importance of self-care! Be aware of the things that energize and revitalize you and make time for them.

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Playing guitar. I could play for hours and hours and never get bored!

What’s next for you?
Beyond ecstatic to be completing my next chapter of training in Anesthesiology at the University of Calgary.

 


Name: Kelsey Furk
Hometown: Revelstoke, grew up in Vancouver

What attracted you to the field of medicine? 
The opportunity to connect and contribute in a meaningful way.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
I really enjoyed the first two years in Kelowna with the great teaching and support staff and a close group of students.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school? 
Maintain your social connections and the activities that bring you joy. Be prepared to move a lot!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Spending time in the rainforest with friends.

What’s next for you?
I’m off to Rossland for family medicine residency and hope to return back home to Revelstoke when I am finished.