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


Program Director

Dr. Mike Wright


Site Coordinator

Kim Furlong

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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.

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