UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 5 | Mar.
Improved delivery of inner-city health care focus of research
by Hilary Thomson staff writer
A research career in the question phase is how an inner-city doctor
in UBCs Dept. of Family Practice describes his spot on the
"There are so many questions to be pursued here -- both as qualitative
and quantitative research," says Dr. Trevor Corneil, assistant clinical
professor of Family Practice who is also the lead faculty for curriculum
development for the departments post-graduate programs.
He works at Three Bridges Community Health Centre, a multi-disciplinary
clinic providing primary care to downtown Vancouver residents many
of whom have limited access to private practice physicians.
Patients include people who are poor, homeless, and mentally ill
and street youth involved in the sex trade. Medical concerns range
from addictions and HIV/AIDS to common infections.
The 31-year-old became interested in delivering health care to
under-served communities when he spent time in Guyana as a medical
student and in clinics serving Vancouvers West End gay community
during his residency.
"Theres an underlying paradox in our lives as inner-city
docs -- were haves working in a have-not world," he says.
"By sharing experiences and knowledge with our peers we remember
that what at times seems a huge effort for the smallest of outcomes
is important and relevant."
In addition to faculty and clinical work, he and colleagues have
recently launched a research group focused on inner-city primary
care, under the leadership of Dr. Stefan Grzybowski, UBC associate
professor of Family Practice and head of the departments research
division. Research planning is undertaken in the evenings at Corneils
"The focus of my clinical, research and administrative work is
looking at community health from a primary care, grass-roots perspective,"
says Corneil, who completed his own residency in St. Pauls
Hospital Family Practice Program.
Issues the group wants to investigate include community demography,
primary health-care delivery models for care ranging from alcohol
and drug programming to HIV treatment as well as curriculum development
for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Corneil has also made innovations to residents programming
such as community skills course and the introduction of HIV and
addictions training. He has also contributed to the reorganization
of both clinical and academic experiences for residents. Other teaching
initiatives include primary care addiction management at St. Pauls
Family Practice Program and HIV/AIDS management through UBCs
Family Practice program.
A consultant at both St. Pauls Hospital and Childrens
and Womens Hospital, Corneil helped to develop medical guidelines
for managing substance use in pregnancy and was a major contributor
to a study on the street value of prescription drugs. He is now
completing a strategic analysis of Three Bridges methadone