The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine today celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Learning and Development Centre at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George.
Complete with a clinical simulation centre, video conferencing suites, a library, seminar rooms and group study areas, the centre is designed to promote interdisciplinary learning by bringing medical students together with approximately 1,000 students in related health professions. The $9.86-million, 1,365-square-metre addition to the hospital, a partnership between the Faculty of Medicine, UNBC and Northern Health, is funded by the Province and slated to open in early 2015.
“For the past decade, our students, residents and faculty in northern B.C. have been linked with their peers and colleagues through an elaborate videoconferencing system, especially in classes and labs on the UNBC campus,” said Dr. Gavin Stuart, Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost Health. “Soon the Learning and Development Centre will enhance that connectivity at University Hospital, creating new opportunities for learning and research.”
The Northern Medical Program (NMP) educates 128 medical students on the UNBC campus and at the University Hospital. Thirty residents in various specialties are also based at the hospital year-round. The NMP is part of UBC’s Distributed Medical Education Program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary next year.
In addition to distributing medical education and postgraduate training among more than 80 teaching sites around the province, UBC’s Faculty of Medicine has more than doubled the number of medical students and residents. Since expansion began, UBC has graduated over 1,600 new MDs, and 1,157 have completed their post-graduate training to become physicians. More than three-quarters of them are practicing medicine in B.C.