University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Rural Fort St. John


Program Director

Dr. Mike Wright


Site Coordinator

Kim Furlong


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 North East Health Services Delivery Area (NEHSDA) provides health care to a population of approximately 70,000 in the North East of British Columbia, with the two largest communities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John accounting for the bulk of the care. The NEHSDA provide per annum 91,000 ER visits, 900 deliveries, 35, 000 inpatient days, and 5000 surgeries. There are over 60 physicians working in the North East providing these services. The residency program is based in the community of Fort St. John for the majority of the time however travel to the other communities in the region (Dawson Creek and Chetwynd) is required for some clinical experiences, so a vehicle is required.


The vision of the Rural Fort St. John Family Practice Residency Site is to offer high quality medical education in a rural community providing a broad spectrum of general and specialist medical care. The majority of this general and specialist care is provided by family practitioners, thus this site provides the opportunity to learn in a truly generalist, broad-based milieu, grounded in the three principles of the Triple C Curriculum: Comprehensive, focused on Continuity and Centered in Family Medicine.

Our Mission is to provide a community-based postgraduate family practice residency program and undergraduate family medicine education in a regional centre affiliated with UBC, the Northern Medical Program, and the Northern Health Authority.

Program Objectives

  • The Rural Fort St. John Site will provide a northern BC residency program that is designed as an integrated 24-month competency based curriculum.

  • The learning environment will be focused on family practice problem solving skills and based on principles of effective adult education.

  • The residents will be part of a community network of health care providers and will become skilled at collaborating as team members and team leaders.

  • The graduating residents will have expert knowledge of the wide range of common problems of patients in this community and of the less common but life-threatening and treatable emergencies in patients of all stages of the life cycle.

  • The excellent training will be a cooperative venture between the Department of Family Practice and this community-based training site.

  • Family Medicine will be taught by family physicians whose philosophy and practice are consistent with the aims and aspirations of Family Medicine, as defined by the four principles.

PGY 1 Overview

This two-year program is designed to train physicians interested in practicing in rural Canada. However, the program also suits physicians interested in acquiring a broad skill set useful in any community. The curriculum has been created to maximize the integration of the hospital, the office and the community work of the doctor. The curriculum will provide longitudinal, integrated learning and is organized into Domains of Care.

The first year curriculum consists of 2 blocks each of OB/GYNE, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery and 3 blocks of Family Practice with one block of Palliative Care and one block of Psychiatry. While in the blocks you will still do half a day Family Practice every week or a full day two times a month.

PGY 2 Overview

The second year curriculum consists of 6 blocks for Individual learning plan Electives. Examples for electives include non-mandatory rotations in inpatient pediatrics and ICU as well as a trauma elective in South Africa. The rest of the blocks would be at the Fort St John site spreading across other disciplines as per Individual learning plans with the last 4 months being part of the “Transition into Practice.”

To complement the required Domain experiences, visiting specialty services and local expertise is available with some limitations in ENT, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Family Practice Anesthesia, Cardiology, Geriatrics, Sports Medicine, Women's Health, Palliative Care, Chronic Pain, Methadone Management and Travel Medicine and First Nation community’s clinics.

Academic Days and Research

To complement the clinical experience, residents participate in mandatory academic sessions that includes family practice and specialty seminars, case presentations and workshops. These will be provided both locally in Fort St John and by electronic link between Fort St. John and distant sites as opportunities arise. Residents are also invited to attend all medical staff educational rounds. All residents are funded to attend the ALARM (Advances in Labour and Risk Management) course, ATLS (Advance Trauma Life Support) or equivalent (e.g. CARE: Comprehensive Approach to Rural Emergencies and the Essential Surgical Skills Course coordinated by the Kelowna Rural Program. Local Ultrasound education is provided in Emergency Department and in the Obstetrical and Prenatal ward.

This includes academic teaching which is a mix of clinical case discussions and core topics. Residents are also expected to do presentations.

In the first year, residents will be expected to complete a practice improvement project. Throughout the two years, residents must complete a scholar project and present their work at our local Scholarship Day which allows for the attendance of faculty and community members.

International Electives

Residents can do one month of interprovincial or international electives during their training.

Further 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 communities of the northeast of BC offer a range of outdoor activities including cycling, hiking, tennis, golf, climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing. Many indoor sports are available: swimming, soccer, gymnastics, archery, ice hockey, speed skating, curling, squash, and martial arts. There are a number of arts groups in the community: choirs, bands, dance, theatre companies, as well as visiting performing artists. Long-term commitment to the northeast BC rural community lifestyle is an important quality, and we encourage direct contact from interested qualified applicants.

The North East Health Services Delivery Area (NEHSDA) provides health care to a population of approximately 70,000 in the northeast of British Columbia. The majority of this care is centered around the two largest communities of Fort St John and Dawson Creek but medical services are also provided in the smaller communities of Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Hudson's Hope and Fort Nelson. Fort St John, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson and Chetwynd have community hospitals; Hudson's Hope and Tumbler have diagnostic and treatment centers. These facilities provide, per annum 91,000 ER visits, 900 deliveries, 35,000 inpatient days, and 5000 surgeries. There are over 60 physicians working in the northeast of BC providing over 1000 services per day.

The family practice resident will be based in Fort St. John for the majority of their time, but will need to travel to other communities for some experiences which may include family practice exposure, so a vehicle is required. The program recognizes that winter travel in the north can be challenging, so a strength of the program is that most of the learning can be done while immersed in one community, and travel can be kept to a minimum.

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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

  • Abbotsford-Mission

  • Coastal (North Vancouver, Lion’s Gate Hospital)

  • Chilliwack

  • 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)

Interior Region

  • Kootenay Boundary (Trail, Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar)

  • Kelowna Rural (Kelowna R1 year; rural communities across BC in R2 year)

  • Kelowna Regional

  • Okanagan South (Penticton)

  • Kamloops

Vancouver Island

  • Indigenous (Victoria, Duncan, Ladysmith and rural Indigenous communities)

  • Nanaimo

  • Strathcona (Comox, Campbell River and Courtenay)

  • Victoria


  • 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:

  • Abbotsford-Mission

  • Chilliwack

  • Coastal

  • Fort St. John

  • Kamloops

  • Kootenay Boundary

  • Nanaimo

  • Okanagan South

  • Kelowna Rural

  • Kelowna Regional

  • Prince George

  • Strathcona

  • St. Paul’s

  • Surrey South Fraser

  • Vancouver Fraser

  • Victoria

Resident Support

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.

The program information on this website is in the language that the program is offered in.