UBC and the provincial government have launched a new pediatric training site on Vancouver Island, marking the first time doctors in UBC’s Pediatric Residency Program can train at a site outside of Vancouver.
The new pediatric training site means that families on Vancouver Island will have access to doctors in training who specialize in caring for children and youth who are sick or living with a disease. The doctors will have the opportunity to treat children in communities across Vancouver Island early in their careers.
Residents will train at Victoria General Hospital and other health care facilities in the region. There are currently two pediatric residents at the new site with a total of eight residents expected by July 2018. Overall, there are about 60 residents in UBC’s Pediatric Residency Program.
“We are very excited by the launch of the new training site, which will not only enable pediatric residents to build lasting community connections on Vancouver Island, but increase access to physician services and help meet the health care needs of communities across the region,” said Dr. Roger Wong, associate dean of Postgraduate Medical Education in the UBC Faculty of Medicine.
Over the next several years, residents will work alongside local pediatricians and physicians, gaining experience with acute and outpatient care, as well as a wide range of specialties, like pediatric orthopedics and cardiology.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be part of the new pediatrics residency site,” said Dr. Matthew Harding, one of the two residents based on Vancouver Island. “It’s exciting to think of ourselves as the pioneers of the site. We have the opportunity, and responsibility, to make an impact and help steer the site’s development for future residents.”
The opening of the new site is part of an effort to support the recruitment and retention of physicians throughout the province.
“Offering training opportunities outside of large city centres is a great way to open up our residents’ eyes to the possibility of practicing in other communities, including those on Vancouver Island,” said UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Dr. Jennifer Balfour, the director of the new site.
In addition to the new pediatric site on Vancouver Island, UBC and the Province established a rural family medicine residency site in the Kootenay-Boundary region this year. The Kootenay-Boundary site welcomed its first four family doctors-in-training in July, for a total of eight overall residents across the two-year residency program by July 2016.
Read more about Drs. Matthew Harding and Steven Leung, the first two pediatric residents at the new Vancouver Island site here.