The Southern Medical Program provides training in our primary education sites in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, and Trail and 26 other communities across the BC Interior.
First and second year students divide their time between the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC Okanagan, the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital, and the family physician offices from West Kelowna to Vernon.
In third year, 20 to 24 students complete a Traditional Clerkship at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). KGH is a Tertiary Referral Hospital responsible for providing core medical and surgical specialty services, in addition to offering high-level, specialty medical care. It is the Central Okanagan’s primary acute care health facility.
Kelowna is located in the Central Okanagan with a population of approx. 116,000. The Okanagan region is known for its hot summers and temperate winters. The region has an endless list of outdoor recreational activities.
The Okanagan is home to numerous award-winning wineries; Kelowna alone has 20 different wineries. There are three world-class ski resorts within a one-hour including Big White, Silver Star and Apex Mountain Resort. There are over 40 golf courses in the Okanagan Valley. Kelowna offers great shopping, dining, and downtown core.
Cyclists can enjoy over 600 km of trails on the Kettle Valley Rail System. Kelowna also hosts various festivals, concerts, and cultural events throughout the year. For more info, visit www.tourismkelowna.com.
In third year, six students complete a Traditional Clerkship at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops. RIH is a tertiary referral hospital responsible for providing core medical and surgical specialty services, in addition to offering high-level, specialty medical care.
Kamloops is located in the Thompson Region with a population over 85,000. Kamloops offers a great diversity of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. The city also host various festivals, concerts, and cultural events throughout the year.
The area provides an endless amount of outdoor recreational activities including: mountain biking, swimming, waterskiing, rock climbing, hiking, camping, river rafting, horseback riding. 100+ lakes to fish within a one-hour drive. Golfing from March to October on 13 remarkable golf courses.
Sun Peaks Resort has 3,678 acres of ski terrain, the second largest ski area in British Columbia, and the third largest in Canada. The region is full of great locations for snowmobiling and snowshoeing. For more information, visit www.tourismkamloops.com.
Vernon is one of two Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) sites for the SMP. The Vernon ICC program optimizes continuity of teaching and patient care. Student support is personalized to fit the needs of students to maximize learning opportunities and build connections within the local medical community.
The Vernon ICC first launched in 2011 and provides three positions for third year students. Previous students have given exceptional feedback on the quality of their educational experiences and preceptors in the Vernon program. Some have returned to the Okanagan for their residency and practice.
Each student is teamed with two family medicine (FM) preceptors for two half days per week for the entire year. The FM preceptors act as primary preceptors, providing timely and consistent supervision and feedback. Students track patients through multiple clinical settings to maximize understanding and learning of the natural history of disease and patient care. This can include following patients from the FM clinic to specialty consultations, community referrals, the emergency department, a hospital admission, the operating room, and subsequent FM office follow-up. An ample patient volume and case mix ensures students see all required clinical encounters and perform all required procedures to meet third year learning objectives.
The student schedule consists of “mini-rotations” (one to three weeks in duration) in all of the core specialties: anesthesia, emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry. All of these “mini-rotations” are repeated throughout the year. This step-wise learning allows students to build on past experiences and enhances learning and performance. Students are given graduated responsibility over the course of the year.
Students participate in an inter-professional experience one half-day per week. Students have the opportunity to choose from a diversity of experiences in the community including Aboriginal health, chronic disease management, drug/addictions programs, home care nursing, emergency department triage, industrial/occupational health, and residential care.
Throughout the year, flex weeks provide students time to pursue additional study, remediation time, and research opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to gain additional experience in areas outside core disciplines during flex weeks (e.g. pathology/lab medicine, radiology)
Academic Half Days (AHD)
Students participate in one AHD per week. AHD sessions are led by local faculty or provided via videoconference and address curriculum-defined learning topics. Students take turns doing weekly case presentations to improve this critical skill of a Medical Expert/Communicator.
Vernon Jubilee Hospital
Vernon Jubliee Hospital (VJH) is a 180 bed hospital and the largest diagnostic and acute care facility in the region. It serves as a major referral centre for health care in the North Okanagan, serving a catchment area of 86,000 people. The hospital offers core physician specialties, 24-hour emergency and trauma services, acute and obstetrical care. A dedicated UBC education space includes centralized education areas, a clinical skills room, two video conferencing rooms, on-call sleep area, and lounge.
The vibrant community of Vernon is the largest city in the North Okanagan with a population of 55,000. It has all the amenities of a major city and enjoys four beautiful seasons. The spring brings blooms to the orchards. The summer is filled with sunshine making our three lakes the perfect place to cool off. The fall is harvest season for food and wine lovers. Mild winters bring powder snow to the surrounding mountains for every outdoor enthusiast.
The list of recreational activity is boundless including skiing at Silver Star Mountain and Sovereign Lake, hiking and biking in our provincial parks, golfing at one of our seven courses, rock climbing in Cougar Canyon, and boating or paddling at our three lakes. Vernon also has a recreational centre that boasts indoor swimming, dancing, lifting weights, fencing, aqua fit classes and much more. Vernon has a lively arts community with many galleries, a jazz club, a performing arts center, two movie theatres and a very active film society. For the sommelier, the Okanagan Valley wineries need no introduction.
Kelowna International Airport, located 25 minutes away, is one of the top 11 busiest airports in Canada with 60 daily non-stop flights with nine different airlines.
Students are strongly recommended to have access to their own vehicle to participate in the full extent of learning opportunities and recreational pursuits available during their clerkship.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Carmen Larsen
ICC Site Director, Vernon
Phone: 250.545.2211 ext. 5744
ICC Program Assistant, Vernon
Phone: 250.545.2211 ext.1351
Trail is one of two Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) sites for the SMP. The Trail ICC program optimizes continuity of teaching and patient care. The student support system is tailored to fit the needs of students to help them maximize learning opportunities and engage with the local medical community.
The program provides four positions for third year students. Past students have consistently given excellent feedback on the quality of their educational experiences and preceptors in the Trail program. It is necessary that students have access to their own vehicle to fully participate in the depth of learning opportunities as well as explore the numerous recreational pursuits available outside of their training.
Each student is teamed with two family practice (FP) preceptors for two half days per week for the entire year. The FP preceptors act as primary preceptors, providing timely and consistent supervision and feedback. Students track patients across multiple disciplines to maximize learning experiences. They can follow patients from the FP office through to specialty consultations, community referrals, emergency department, hospital admissions and related in-patient care, operating room, and subsequent FP office follow-up. An ample patient volume and case mix ensures students see all required clinical encounters and perform all required procedures to meet Year 3 learning objectives.
The student schedule consists of “mini-rotations” (one to three weeks in duration) in all of the core specialties: anesthesia, emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry. Some of these rotations will be located in Nelson at Kootenay Lake Hospital. Most of these “mini-rotations” are repeated throughout the year. This step-wise learning allows students to build on past experiences and enhances learning and performance. Students are given graduated responsibility over the course of the year, depending on their abilities.
Students benefit by participating in an interprofessional experience one half-day per week. Students have the opportunity to choose from a diversity of experiences in the community including chronic disease management, drug/addictions programs, industrial/occupational health, residential care and many others, within the hospital setting and in the community. Students also have the opportunity to gain additional experience in areas outside core disciplines (e.g. primary care obstetrics, pathology/lab medicine, radiology)
Academic Half Days (AHD)
Students participate in a minimum of one AHD teaching per week. AHD sessions are provided by local faculty from Vernon or Trail area and the students in Trail and Vernon videoconference for these half-day sessions for the entire year. Some of the teaching sessions are by videoconference whiles are dedicated for directed reading.
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) is a 75 bed hospital, the largest diagnostic and acute care facility in the region. As a major referral centre in the Kootenay Boundary Health Services area, it serves as a catchment area for 75,000 people of the West Kootenay/Boundary communities. The hospital is home to a close-knit medical community with over 50 specialists representing anesthesia, emergency, otolaryngology, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology/lab medicine, pediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry, radiology, and urology. KBRH also has 34 active family physicians and 11 hospitalists. A dedicated UBC education space includes a centralized education area, clinical skills room, video conferencing rooms, on-call sleep area, and lounge.
Kootenay Lake Hospital
Kootenay Lake Hospital (KLH) is the acute care hospital in Nelson and serves patients from the surrounding communities around Kootenay Lake. Students will complete specialist rotations in pediatrics, internal medicine at KLH and some students will complete obstetrics/gynecology rotations at the hospital. Nelson is 70 km from Trail and the drive along the Kootenay river is very picturesque. The road can be a bit challenging in the winter and a good, reliable vehicle and winter tires are necessary. The medical community in Nelson has a long history of educating medical students and the students really enjoy and appreciate their time at KLH and Nelson. There is also dedicated UBC education space with a clinical skills room, study stations, and lounge area.
The Greater Trail area has a population of 30,000 people centered in five communities, each with its own flavour. With a population of 10,000, Trail is the economic hub of the region and boasts wonderful parks and recreational facilities. There is an aquatic centre, baseball stadium, two ice arenas, indoor field house, curling rink, tennis and squash courts, and several soccer pitches. Sport plays an integral role in Trail as evidenced by its ranking as the #1 Sports Town in BC by the Vancouver Province.
The Columbia River runs through the city thus fishing and kayaking are popular activities. Rossland, Canada’s Alpine City, was named one of North America’s “Top 10 Great Adventure Towns to Live and Play” by National Geographic magazine. In the winter, check out Red Mountain or Blackjack cross country ski club. Summertime allows hikers and bikers access to the hundreds of kilometres of maintained trails around town. There are numerous lakes for paddling and swimming. Nelson sits on Kootenay Lake and is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. White Water Ski Resort and numerous cross country and back country skiing opportunities also exist.
The Trail Regional Airport offers daily service to Vancouver (Pacific Coastal Airlines) and the West Kootenay Regional Airport offers daily service to Vancouver and Calgary (Air Canada).
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Tara Gill
ICC Site Director, Trail
ICC Program Assistant, Trail
Students gain valuable exposure to working and living in the BC Interior by complete rotations in regional hospitals, health centres, and family practice clinics. In third year, the rural family practice elective provides a four-week clinical experience working alongside a rural family physician. In fourth year, students complete electives in family medicine and a wide range of specialties throughout the Interior Health region.
View a map of the Interior Health coverage area.