Memorial University of Newfoundland - Family Medicine - Goose Bay


Program Director

Dr. Russell Dawe


Intermediate Secretary

Tiffany Dormody

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Streams and Training Templates

Goose Bay

Stream Lead: Dr. Robert Forsey

Follow us on Instagram @mun.norfam

The Goose Bay Stream is the perfect match for candidates who wish to pursue rural and remote training!

A core of dedicated teachers is almost entirely made up of former residents — we have 11 NorFam graduates practicing here and teaching.

Six residents in the Goose Bay Stream will complete the majority of their longitudinal integrated training in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL. There is good exposure to office-based family practice, emergency medicine and pediatrics. Goose Bay gives an excellent exposure to Indigenous health and rural and remote medicine. Residents also have the opportunity to enhance these experiences by completing some rotations in NL and/or NB (e.g. Internal medicine, ICU, obstetrics and gynecology).

Typical Goose Bay learning includes

  • prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care

  • emergency room shifts

  • fly in clinics and Telehealth to First Nations and Inuit community clinics on the coast of Labrador; outreach clinics in North West River and Sheshatshiu

  • hospitalist week

  • inpatient care (critically ill patients must be cared for locally or stabilized before transport out can be arranged).

  • Some exposure to flight medicine/medevacs — transportation of sick patients from coastal Labrador to the health center in Goose Bay, or from Goose Bay to a tertiary referral center

  • Seniors home/Long term care facility

  • Interdisciplinary work with a wide variety of health professionals — including coastal nurses, nurse practitioners

Over an extended period of time residents can provide continuity of care for patients and their families in a wide variety of settings (for example from emergency room to inpatient unit, followed up with care in the patients’ home community). Residents can experience the provision of care to patients who are sick and help them maintain health when they are well . They look after patients at birth, provide end of life care, and cover all points in between.

The residency training program in Family Medicine at Memorial is an accredited residency training program through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. It leads to eligibility to sit the certification exams of the CFPC. This program uses the unique medical, geographic and cultural characteristics of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nunavut to train family physicians for rural/remote practice. Memorial University — Family Medicine

Why Memorial?

There are many reasons to come to Memorial for Family Medicine training! To name a few:

  • Urban, rural and remote training opportunities

  • Often you are the only resident on service

  • Tailored teaching given low learner to preceptor numbers

  • Excellent learning opportunities

  • Travel to and from training sites for core training is covered

  • Dedicated preceptors

  • 4 weeks of vacation per year

  • $1000 towards conference leave or ATLS course completion.

What Are Our Unique Learning Opportunities?

  • Training is offered in urban, rural and remote communities

  • Remote opportunities in Goose Bay, NL or Iqaluit, NU

  • Flight medicine in Goose Bay or Iqaluit

  • Transfer medicine across many training sites

  • Point of Care Ultrasound Training (PoCUS)

  • Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training is offered, when possible. ACLS is offered through Eastern Health at a reduced rate. The Family Medicine Residency Training Program covers the cost of ALARM & NRP. Residents are provided with $1000 towards conference leave or ATLS course completion.

  • Stunning landscape

  • Outdoor activities across all training sites

  • Vibrant arts scene — culture, music, dance, film

  • Follow us on Instagram @mun.norfam

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Please refer to the Curriculum and Information sections.

"It's a privilege to be training residents who can work anywhere in Canada — residents who are able to work in the most difficult and trying conditions in the Canadian North. [NorFam] exposes residents to a variety of clinical situations where they have to practice to the upper limit of their ability; it challenges them while at the same time providing sufficient supervision and back-up."

— Yordan Karaivanov, NorFam teacher

"NorFam is a combination of acuity and continuity — you see someone when they're sick, you admit them to hospital under yourself, and then — the most rewarding part — you get to follow them up in your clinic. You follow them through that whole process, build that relationship, get to know their family, and get to see them be well again."

— Nora Purcell, NorFam PGY2 resident (2020 grad)

"NorFam is a stronghold of rural generalism, and that's something that's kind of dying out elsewhere... This is a place where you can learn to be a true generalist; where nothing is outside the realm of possibility."

— Kathryn Versteeg, NorFam teacher (and NorFam resident 2013-15)

"Where else can you be where you start the day delivering a baby, you work in clinic and see a few patients, and then finish the day on a helicopter trip to an isolated community to pick up a critically ill patient?"

— Mike Curran, NorFam PGY2 resident (2020 grad)

"At my MUN interview I met Kathryn Versteeg, and I asked her a question my mom had told me to ask: "What do all of the residents that choose to come to Goose Bay have in common?" — And she looked dramatically off into the distance, and then said "Courage." And at the time I was like 'Ok, cool answer' and then as I thought about it later, I realized that I want to do that — I want to be challenged, I want to have to think creatively, in a difficult but really stimulating environment, and I want to be a clinician and person with courage. And I can say, being a year and a half in, that it is absolutely true. Being around people that emulate that and having staff that are not only phenomenal doctors but really phenomenal humans; demonstrating how to give care in a courageous and very kind way has been an awesome experience."

— Caroline Patterson, NorFam PGY2 (2020 grad)


Do we have an urban stream?

While we don’t have an ‘urban’ stream, our Eastern training stream provides the vast majority of training in our urban center — St. John’s, NL. Please see the Eastern Stream information.

Training Templates?

  • Once matched into a training stream, residents receive a list of choices that are centered around that stream.

  • All residents matched to the stream rank their template preferences and indicate any special considerations that should be taken into account.

  • The training streams allow residents to move to an area of the province and complete the vast majority of their training locally.

  • Residents will travel outside of their training stream if a learning experience is not available locally.

  • Templates that are based around program streams have resulted in much less resident travel!

Do we have any Enhanced Skills programs?

Residency positions are contingent on funding, but normally the following positions are available within the Enhanced Skills programs:

  • Emergency Medicine – 4-6 residents per year

  • Care of the Elderly – 1 x 12 month position per year

  • Care of Underserved Populations – 1 x 12 month position per year