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


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.

Laura Kosakoski is one of four third-year UBC med students helping to pilot the Kamloops  rotation.

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

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.”

Dr. Trent Smith

“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.”

Premier Christy Clark, Professor Stephen Toope, and Professor Deborah Buszard join SMP students and Dr. Allan Jones to celebrate the official opening of the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Premier Christy Clark officially opened the new home of the Southern Medical Program that will see doctors completing their medical training for the first time in the Okanagan -benefiting B.C. students and families.

“Our government is focused on investing and expanding post-secondary programs to educate health-care professionals so that all families all across B.C. have access to quality health care,” said Premier Clark. “Students tend to practice where they’re trained, and now student doctors can complete their entire medical undergraduate program right here in the Okanagan.”

The Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus was constructed with a $32.7-million investment by the B.C. government. It accommodates 32 first-year, medical students, bringing the number of first-year medical students in the province to 288, more than doubling the number of spaces since 2001.

“With the start of the Southern Medical Program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, we’ve more than doubled the number of first-year spaces for student doctors in B.C.,” said John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology. “In addition to the Northern Medical Program in partnership with UNBC and the Island Medical Program in partnership with UVic, UBC’s distributed medical education program is resulting in more doctors practising, in all of the regions of British Columbia.”

“The UBC faculty of medicine’s Southern Medical Program, housed in the beautiful Reichwald Health Sciences Centre, is teaching students using the best technology and learning resources available,” said UBC president Stephen Toope. “Just as importantly, it will enable collaborative learning and interdisciplinary teaching opportunities for all of the health sciences.”

Deborah Buszard, deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus said, “This innovative and purpose-built facility provides state-of-the-art teaching and research space for our faculty and students studying in the Southern Medical Program and the school of health and exercise sciences, and will ultimately enable them to make meaningful contributions to the health and medical fields.”

The 4,266-square-metre facility includes high-tech classrooms and lecture theatres networked with the other three medical program locations in Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George. It also includes small-group teaching rooms, teaching and research labs, administration and faculty offices and a human kinetics lab, part of the school of health and exercise sciences.

“The journey to becoming a doctor is an incredible one and I wish students and facility members alike every success in what is bound to be an exciting future!” said Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid. “Increasing the number of B.C. educated doctors through the expansion and distribution of UBC’s medical school is one of the ways we are ensuring there are sufficient physicians across the province to provide quality patient care.”

“This stunning building is the culmination of the Province’s commitment to ensuring that all parts of British Columbia share in the tremendous bounty of talent and ambition that flourishes in the province,” Dr. Gavin Stuart, dean, UBC faculty of medicine and vice provost, health, UBC. “The UBC faculty of medicine is proud to be part of that effort – through the learning taking place within these walls, and the knowledge that students will take with them as health professionals to surrounding communities.”

Robyn Buna, a second-year student in the SMP, said, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to complete my medical education in the Interior. It’s exciting to be a part of a new program and to learn alongside a medical community that is truly enthusiastic about teaching students.”

As part of UBC faculty of medicine’s distributed medical doctor (MD) undergraduate program, SMP students will spend the balance of the four-year MD program studying and training in communities throughout the B.C. Interior, having spent their first term in classes in Vancouver.

Quick Facts:

  • The Reichwald Health Sciences Centre features a green roof and several strategies for energy and water conservation.
  • Students will divide their study and classroom time between the new Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus for academic courses and the Clinical Academic Campus, next to Kelowna General Hospital, for clinical skills training.
  • The SMP clinical training is delivered at Kelowna General Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, and other hospitals and health centres in 22 Interior communities.

Third year students attend orientation workshop at the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital

Starting in the fall of 2013, the UBC Southern Medical Program’s (SMP) inaugural class will begin their third year clinical training rotations at either Royal Inland Hospital, Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Kelowna General Hospital, or Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.

To help prepare for the steady influx of SMP students, 20 third year UBC medical students from across the distributed MD Undergraduate program are beginning full-year rotations at these hospitals this September. Rotations at these sites are a direct result of the successful partnership between the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Interior Health, helping to deliver medical education in communities throughout the BC Interior.

Students are attending a 3-day orientation workshop at the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hosptial and the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus.



Aboriginal Pre-Admissions Workshop participants take a bike tour of the Kettle Valley Railway.

MD Admissions Office hosts three-day workshop for Aboriginal applicants.

By Dan Odenbach, Aboriginal Access Administrator,  Aboriginal Programs and Services

This year’s UBC Aboriginals Into Medicine Pre-Admissions Workshop was hosted by UBC’s Okanagan campus from July 11 to 13 .

For the first time, the annual workshop featured an outdoor adventure which took students away from a university setting and helped punctuate their three-day experience. For several hours prospective medical students enjoyed mountain biking the famous Kettle Valley Railway beds in Myra Canyon.

On the final day of the workshop, UBC Faculty of Medicine Aboriginal Programs Manager James Andrew fielded positive feedback from prospective medical students.

“The students like the campus, the city and thought the weather was nice. It’s the first time we’ve had an outside activity. But we thought it would a good chance to see the area and not be stuck in a classroom,” said Andrew. “Their reaction has been really positive. In future workshops, we may have more outdoor activities.”

Ellie Parton appreciated all aspects of the workshop. “It’s been quite busy. There were a lot of things planned for us and they’ve been valuable,” said the Campbell River resident while overlooking Southeast Kelowna. “I’m outdoorsy, so this was a great way to end it.

“I’ve met some amazing people here,” she added.

This spring marked the highest number of Aboriginal graduates in the history of the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Andrew believes there is a correlation between the Pre-Admissions Workshops and the number of graduating Aboriginal physicians.

“Eight of the 12 (Aboriginal) students who graduated this year attended our Pre-Admissions workshop in the past,” he said.

Workshops included how to prepare for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), preparing for the multi-mini interview, an overview of the admissions process, medical curriculum orientation, small group problem-based learning and a mock Aboriginal panel interview.

“It was very helpful,” said Tarissa French of Prince George. “It provided a lot of information on the application process and dispelled a lot of the myths surrounding the MCAT.”

Helitsuk Nation member Gary Housty works as a registered nurse in the Emergency Room at Vancouver General Hospital. After being out of school for a decade, Housty found the workshops helpful.

“It was really informative. After going through the process, it’s much more manageable,” said the UBC alumni. “I was kind of intimidated about coming here. But I met some new people and it was good.”

Lauren Taylor and Travis Thompson, second and first year medical students, were on hand to answer questions and provide support.

“I believe it was beneficial to them because it cleared up a lot of the misconceptions of what it takes to be admitted,” said Thompson.

According to James, the Aboriginals Into Medicine Pre-Admissions Workshop was based on a model out of the North Dakota University and is slated to move to Prince George next year.

The four pillars of the local Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital’s new third floor library include (from left) Ruth Rochlin, IH library manager for the Okanagan and West Kootenay, Trish Boleen, library technician, Diana Bang, learning services librarian for the UBC Southern Medical Program, and Dr. Cheryl Hume, Integrated Community Clerkships site director for UBC’s SMP. (Credit: Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times)

By Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times

A new library service within the city’s hospital is expected to help Greater Trail attract and retain qualified healthcare professionals.

A result of the partnership between the UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program (SMP) and Interior Health Authority, the library on the third floor of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) will provide full resources for all health disciplines within the hospital, and support third year medical students based at KBRH.

Bringing together 2,000 e-journals, thousands of books (through inter-library loan), e-books and online nursing and medical tools through three computer workstations, the library will buttress the pursuit of healthy knowledge at KBRH.

Ruth Rochlin, IH library manager for the Okanagan and West Kootenay, said although the service is for all Interior Health staff and the students, it will have spin-off benefits for people in Greater Trail who utilize the hospital.

“For the community, this means we can train and attract and recruit people ultimately to the rural areas,” she said. “That’s the whole reason why the distributed education program has been brought down.”

The library allows physicians in remote and rural areas to actually feel like they are able to have the same sort of resources as elsewhere, said Dr. Cheryl Hume, Integrated Community Clerkships site director for UBC’s SMP.

The library supports the doctors but it also supports the local medical and nursing staff and other health care staff to keep current, she added, to keep up-to-date with their medical practice.

“It means we will take an active role in training medical students that will come back to practice in the rural areas, and that’s part of the initiative here,” Hume said about the pilot project.

Rochlin concurred.

“People in the more outlying areas need more access to the electronic information because they have fewer professional colleagues to discuss things with.”

The Integrated Community Clerkships (ICC) provides experience for students who are interested in practicing family and specialty medicine in a smaller community like Greater Trail.

The ICC program uses an interdisciplinary team approach to medicine, with students exposed to a model of patient care “whereby family physicians work in close collaboration” with a network of specialists.

In addition to caring for patients in a hospital setting, ICC students in Trail look after patients in various ambulatory settings and gain clinical and procedural experience.

The costs of the library are embedded in the IHA’s budget for the four regional hospitals — including Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops — but the KBRH day-to-day maintenance will now be handled by health records staff.

Local physicians who have joined UBC clinical faculty and the medical students can also access UBC library e-resources, supported by UBC librarian Diana Bang.

Colin and Lois Pritchard help open the Pritchard Simulation Centre at the Clinical Academic Campus.

Medical students and health professionals get realistic, hands-on training

A new state-of-the-art patient simulation centre opens today at the Clinical Academic Campus of UBC’s Southern Medical Program at Kelowna General Hospital. The facility is supported by a $500,000 donation from The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation.

The Pritchard Simulation Centre – a joint venture between the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Interior Health – will replicate a variety of high-risk / low-probability medical scenarios to provide hands-on training experience.

The centre will be used extensively for medicine and nursing education and continuing professional development particularly for cardiac and critical-care personnel.

“Patient simulation is highly advantageous to medical education and health professional training,” says Dr. Allan Jones, regional associate dean, Interior. “It helps promote patient safety, benefits clinical skills teaching, and provides opportunities for inter-professional team training. This centre will be an invaluable resource for both Southern Medical Program students and countless health professionals in our region.”

“The generosity of the Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundation as well as the anonymous donor will benefit the health professionals – including Southern Medical program students – being trained here in Kelowna,” said Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson.

“The contribution announced today builds on the dollars being invested in health care in the region.”

The centre’s two primary features are SimMan 3G and Harvey. SimMan is a portable, high-fidelity patient simulator that mimics the physiological reactions of a live human being. For example, SimMan bleeds, sweats, blinks, breathes, and talks as a real person does. It is designed to respond to numerous medical procedures including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), intubation, resuscitation and defibrillation.

Harvey is a stationary patient simulator that replicates cardio and pulmonary sounds, allowing students and health-care professionals to identify and discuss the sound or medical condition.

The Pritchard family has also created an endowment fund to support student awards in the Southern Medical Program. Their gift of $50,000 has been matched by an anonymous donor. The fund will provide bursaries to medical students in the Southern Medical Program.

“Our family values health care and education,” says Colin Pritchard. Our hope is that this centre will advance training for both medical students and health professionals in our region, and contribute to the quality of health care in the Southern Interior.”

Norman Embree, board chair of Interior Health, says the health authority places a high value on its partnership with UBC.

“The simulation centre provides more training opportunities for our physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals,” says Embree. “For example, the simulators will be used for training in cardiac-arrest management and diagnosing heart conditions and diseases.”

Good medicine involves good team work, says Jones. The Pritchard Simulation Centre will also be valuable for team training particularly in emergency and trauma scenarios where the need to work well together under intense conditions is paramount to good patient outcomes.

CHBC News Feature on Southern Medical Program Students working with Volunteer Patients at the UBC Clinical Academic Campus next to Kelowna General Hospital.

Watch video

To date, over 220 members of the community who have registered to become Volunteer Patients — helping to train the next generation of doctors.

The Southern Medical Program is currently recruiting patients with specific health findings/symptoms for clinical skills sessions in the fall in the following areas: Neurology, Dermatology, Gastrointestinal (GI). For more information, visit our Volunteer Patient Section.

Dr. Michael Hayden at the Health Sciences Centre.

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) today honoured renowned British Columbia scientist Dr. Michael Hayden for his outstanding contributions to genetic research at a special presentation hosted by UBC’s Okanagan campus.Hayden was presented with MSFHR’s Aubrey J. Tingle Prize in recognition of a career that places him among the world’s most respected authorities in the study of genetic diseases. The $10,000 prize, created in honour of MSFHR’s founding president and CEO, is given annually to a British Columbia clinician scientist or scholar practitioner whose work in health research is internationally recognized and has significant impact on advancing clinical or health services and policy research.

“Dr. Hayden’s many contributions to genetic research have positioned BC as a global leader in this field and demonstrated our province’s capacity to produce world-class research.” said Dr. Bruce Clayman, MSFHR interim president and CEO. “MSFHR is proud of the role we play in supporting researchers across BC to continue the tradition of excellence started by scientists such as Dr. Hayden. We’ve invested nearly $2 million in building the Interior’s capacity for health research, funding 13 awards to individual researchers and research teams with an Interior focus.”

Hayden’s acclaimed breakthroughs in medical genetics include the development of a predictive genetic test for Huntington’s disease and the discovery of the role played by genes in coronary artery disease and adverse drug reactions. He has also conducted innovative work into predictive and personalized medicine and recently provided the first evidence of a potential cure for Huntington’s disease.

“I am very grateful to MSFHR for this award,” said Hayden. “British Columbia’s health research community is internationally respected, and I am truly honoured to be recognized as a contributor to this success.”

Following the award presentation, Hayden delivered a lecture to students in UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program on the subject of clinical phenotyping in gene and drug discovery.

“Dr. Hayden’s accomplishments offer a prime example of the exceptional calibre of health research occurring right here in BC,” said Dr. Allan Jones, regional associate dean of the Southern Medical Program at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We are very pleased for Dr. Hayden to share his acclaimed work with our students who will be among the health leaders of tomorrow.”

Hayden is director and senior scientist at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (based at the Child and Family Research Institute) and University Killam Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Among his many awards and recognitions, he has received the prestigious Canada Gairdner Wightman Award and was recently invested into the Order of Canada.

Hayden is the second BC researcher to be honoured with the Aubrey J. Tingle Prize. The inaugural prize was presented to HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Julio Montaner.

Dr. Gavin Stuart, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior welcome the inaugural class.

First 32 students pioneer Faculty of Medicine’s distributed MD program in Interior

The Southern Medical Program’s (SMP) inaugural class of 32 students has arrived at UBC’s Okanagan campus. As part of UBC Faculty of Medicine’s distributed MD (medical doctor) Undergraduate Program, SMP students spend the balance of the four-year MD program studying and training in communities throughout the BC Interior (having spent their first term in classes in Vancouver).

“The arrival of our inaugural class is a momentous occasion,” says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior. “A remarkable amount of work and collaboration has taken place to launch the SMP and expand the reach of the MD Undergraduate Program to all areas of the province. Ultimately, our program will help lay the groundwork for increasing the number of practicing physicians in communities throughout the BC Interior.”

SMP students will divide their study and classroom time between the new Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus for academic courses and the Clinical Academic Campus (next to Kelowna General Hospital) for clinical skills training, such as taking a patient’s medical history, conducting a physical exam, and effective communications skills. Volunteer patients and patient actors are frequently used to simulate realistic training experiences.

Students also work with real patients at family practice offices in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, and Winfield during weekly mentoring sessions. Patients who participate play a key role in training future physicians by exposing students to the diversity and rewards of family practice.

In their third and fourth years, students begin their clinical training in a variety of rotations such as surgery, emergency medicine, and rural family medicine. The SMP’s clinical training is delivered at KGH, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, and other hospitals and health centres in 22 BC Interior communities.

Graduates of the MD Undergraduate Program must then complete residency training to become fully-licensed physicians. This training, ranging between two to seven years depending on the speciality, is completed with either UBC or other medical education institutions across Canada, North America, and abroad.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine offers undergraduate medical education in four regions across BC. The Southern Medical Program – launched in September 2011 – is based at UBC’s Okanagan campus and delivered in collaboration with clinical teaching sites throughout the Interior Health region. For more information, visit www.smp.med.ubc.ca.