University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Kootenay Boundary
This residency program is for 2 years.
Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.
The Kootenay Boundary Program is ideal for a highly motivated and independent resident who is comfortable living and working in rural, isolated sites. It is located 630 km from Vancouver. Travel between several of the training locations and communities is required, and so experience in mountain winter driving conditions and having a 4-wheel drive vehicle is essential. The area is remote and often difficult to access by air, especially in the winter, so an understanding of the difficulties in traveling to and from the site must be appreciated. The site attracts residents who are motivated to practice in isolated areas, who enjoy what rural life has to offer, and who seek the challenges of experiential, independent, self-directed learning. Our residents thrive on trying new things and being flexible and willing to adapt. While the area excels in offering premier recreational and outdoor activities, as well as artistic and musical events, it may not suit those who are more comfortable with greater cultural opportunities and more diverse social networks.
The first year of the program delivers the majority of the curriculum in the two communities of Trail and Nelson (70 km distance), and so significant driving is involved. This involves having to stay away from a primary residence to participate in on-call responsibilities. The residents are attached to family practice clinics clustered around Nelson and Trail but must travel between the two sites for structured learning opportunities delivered in both Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and Kootenay Lake Hospital. At the end of the first year, a two-month remote rural rotation is undertaken in the communities of Grand Forks and Nakusp, and residents will need to live in these communities during this time. The second year gives residents the opportunity to customize their learning opportunities to each site, but realistically significant travel will still be involved.
Residents who do well in our program enjoy self-directed learning, meaning they are comfortable working in a hospital where they need to take the initiative to get involved with patient care to meet their personal learning needs. In the R1 year, because we are not a full service-based hospital, the level of responsibility may be less on some rotations compared to other programs, but in the R2 year, responsibility is closer to the level of a practicing rural physician, with the support of preceptors. Residents need to be able to motivate themselves in the R1 year so that they are not overwhelmed in the R2 year.
Residents who struggle in our program tend to be those who have difficulty being away from their partner or family. Travel to and from a larger center is often arduous and complicated by weather conditions, and so weekend trips away are difficult to arrange. Due to the remote locations and travel involved, it is preferable that a resident’s partner or family be mobile and able to move with them.
Our program delivers curriculum in a longitudinal and integrated manner over two years with the first year involving more structured learning in acute presentations and management and the second year allowing more flexibility for electives and focuses on individual learning requirements for competency.
Family physicians primarily deliver the program in their private offices, and in several rural, community and regional hospital settings and a variety of other outpatient community healthcare clinics and facilities, e.g., Primary Maternity Care, Mental Health and Chronic Pain Clinics, and Geriatrics in residential care centers. The specialty core content is delivered by a supportive contingent of specialists who work directly with family physicians.
The resident will be based in a family practice clinic with two preceptors for the full two years and will be rotated through more rural family practice clinics during scheduled rural elective blocks to broaden their experience. After an initial two months based in family practice, on a weekly basis, the resident will spend a half day per week in the family practice office and will be encouraged to develop their own “mini-practice.” The remainder of the week is allocated to specialty exposure or tailored learning needs.
Purpose / Objectives
As reflected in the Department's Mission Statement, we welcome applicants who are committed to meeting the rural medical needs of British Columbia and Canada. We train residents to be prepared for full-service family practice including obstetrics and inpatient care. This site specifically trains residents to practice in rural areas, utilizing experienced and community-based faculty as mentors.
- We provide community-based training.
- We encourage experiential learning in an academically monitored environment.
- We foster self-confidence and skills necessary to allow graduates to function effectively in a rural practice setting.
- We encourage residents to learn how to balance their personal needs with the demands of rural practice.
- We are committed to ongoing evaluation of the outcome and effectiveness of a rural training program.
Rural Training Program
A rural training program is ideal for you if you have:
- Motivation to practice in rural, remote locations;
- Commitment to meet the medical needs of these types of communities;
- Understanding of and an interest in family medicine;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and also the ability to be self-directed;
- Reference letters which attest to your ability and interest in family medicine, as well as your specific interest in rural medicine;
- A willingness to live in a geographically isolated region of the province and to travel to several remote rural sites for training;
- The ability to adapt to learning in a non-traditional non-academic center;
- The ability to function psychologically and socially in remote settings;
- The ability to take rational risks ('Rational Risk Takers'), while maintaining a sense of professionalism; and
- A strong sense of social justice and accountability.
Residents attend mandatory academic activities — usually a half day per week. This includes academic teaching which is a mix of clinical case discussions and core topics. Residents are also expected to do presentations. Throughout the program, we stress "Evidence-Based Medicine" in both academic and clinical areas.
In June of each year, residents will come together for a mandatory Site specific Scholarship Day.
In the first year, residents will be expected to complete a quality improvement project. Throughout the two years, residents must complete a scholar project and present their work at Scholarship Day.
Residents can do one month of interprovincial or international electives during the second year of their training.
Third year training positions are available in the area of Emergency Medicine, Care of The Elderly, Anesthesia, Palliative Medicine, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Clinician Scholars program and a wide range of other category 2 Enhanced Skills programs.
— Site General Information —
The Kootenay Boundary area has a total population of approximately 80,000 and is located about 650 kms east of Vancouver and 650 Km west of Calgary in the West Kootenay Boundary Region of South Eastern B.C. It is nestled between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges and is close to numerous rivers and lakes.
The very scenic West Kootenay is renowned for being an outstanding outdoor recreational area and is a destination site for all types of skiing with two well-known Ski Resorts (Red Mountain and Whitewater), extensive cross country ski trails and it is a mountain biking mecca. Road cycling, kayaking, fishing and a water sports are also major recreational sporting activities as is backcountry hiking –e.g. The Seven Summits Hike is listed as one of the top ten things to do in BC. This vacation paradise is appreciated for a multitude of other recreational activities such as paddling, fishing, rafting, hockey, softball, hiking, golfing, or simply relaxing at the lake or soaking in natural hot springs and attending many popular music festivals.
The Family Practice Residency Program is supported by all the of The Kootenay Boundary, 4 hospitals, one being a regional referral hospital, three community hospitals, and three community health care centers with ED facilities. There are several extended care and long term care facilities. Primary care is delivered in Family Practice Clinics, Primary OB Clinics and there are Mental Health and Addictions Clinics and a variety of Chronic Disease Management Clinics. The Site and program is supported and endorsed by the local Divisions of Family Practice.
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH — Greater Trail Area — population 19,000)
- 75 acute care beds and the regional referral hospital with 25,000 inpatient visits per year
- Six bed ICU/CCU,
- 50 medical/surgical beds and 5 active ORs
- 12-bed Psychiatric Unit, 4 Pediatric, and 3 Birthing rooms with 4-bed special care nursery, regional 6-bed Renal Dialysis Unit
Kootenay Lake General Hospital (KLH — Nelson — population 26,000)
- 36 acute care beds with 1700 inpatient visits per year.
- Maternity Unit with three delivery suits and birthing tub, and 24/7 obstetrical and anesthesia consultation support with more than 320 births a year.
- Emergency Department with two resuscitation bays, four fast-track chairs, eight assessment beds, one seclusion room, one reverse isolation room, one ENT room, and one gyne room with 11,000 visits per year
Boundary & District Hospital (BDH — Grand Forks — population 8,791)
- 12 acute care beds with 600 in patient visits per year
- A busy emergency department with 8,500 visits per year
- A community hospital staffed by family physicians with advanced skill
Arrows Lake Hospital (ALH — Nakusp — population 4,866)
- Six acute care beds with 240 in patient visits per year
- An emergency department located in an isolated rural area that provides urgent care and often stabilization for transfer of critically ill patients with 2500 visits per year.
Castlegar Community Health Centre (Castlegar — population 13,725)
- A busy emergency department with over 11,000 visits per year
- Services provided by family physicians with advanced skills
UBC Family Medicine
Family Medicine training in BC presents you with many unique opportunities. We are a fully accredited distributed program with 20 training sites. In an effort to meet the evolving needs of our society, each site provides a solid foundation in the knowledge and clinical skills of Family Medicine so that our graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of settings. While our program offers diversity of training, it is based on common goals, learning objectives, and assessment standards.
All residents are required to do a mandatory 2-month rural rotation in Family Medicine in their second year. Residents in the Coastal, or rural programs in the Okanagan or the North complete longer rural placements. Residents can also apply to participate in Enhanced Rural training for a total of 4-6 months in rural communities.
There is extensive academic and administrative support for the entire residency program. Our central program administrative team is based in Vancouver on UBC campus. At the site level, leadership teams are made up of a Site Director, Site Faculty, Chief Residents and administrators. Lead Program Faculty provide provincial education support in the areas of curriculum, assessment, faculty development, scholarship and behavioral medicine.
The Family Practice Postgraduate Education Committee has representation from all sites to ensure a connected, distributed program that fully meets accreditation standards. Residents are represented at all levels of governance.
A wide range of amazing recreational and cultural opportunities are at your doorstep, as well as a collegial community of residents and physicians with whom you can learn, grow, and play. We want your experience to be in BC to be a positive and enjoyable one.
Training Sites: Overview
Visit the UBC Family Medicine Postgraduate website for a detailed overview of each of the 20 sites and their surrounding communities. Each site provides opportunities to experience Family Medicine in their unique context, offering special opportunities to gain experience and skills unique to the area where you are training.
The following is a list of our sites and their base community/hospital. Each site serves the surrounding community (see training sites for full details)
Greater Vancouver / Lower Mainland
- Coastal (North Vancouver, Lion’s Gate Hospital)
- Indigenous (Greater Vancouver and rural Indigenous communities)
- St. Paul's (Downtown Vancouver, Inner City)
- Surrey South Fraser (Surrey Memorial Hospital)
- Vancouver Fraser (New Westminster, Royal Columbian)
- Kootenay Boundary (Trail, Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar)
- Kelowna Rural (Kelowna R1 year; rural communities across BC in R2 year)
- Kelowna Regional
- Okanagan South (Penticton)
- Indigenous (Victoria, Duncan, Ladysmith and rural Indigenous communities)
- Strathcona (Comox, Campbell River and Courtenay)
- Fort St. John (Northeast)
- Northern Rural (Prince George R1 year; rural communities across BC in R2 year)
- Prince George
- Terrace (Rural Northwest)
IMG positions are offered at the following sites:
- Fort St. John
- Kootenay Boundary
- Okanagan South
- Kelowna Rural
- Kelowna Regional
- Prince George
- St. Paul’s
- Surrey South Fraser
- Vancouver Fraser
Resident resilience and wellness is our top priority. Important resources have been developed by our program to support our residents throughout the course of the training.
All UBC programs are allocated a fixed amount of funding per resident for Resident Activities. This funding is used to provide educational support to residents during their 2 years of training. This includes funding for residents to attend program-wide courses and events. Additionally, residents may identify conferences and educational materials that would supplement their training experience. A discretionary, per resident funding will also be allocated to the sites for a similar purpose at the site level.