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  • Dr. Mike Purdon

Doctors in training at Guisachan Family Medicine

We believe that teaching future doctors is great for patients and for us as family doctors and that teaching makes us better clinicians. Empowering trainees to reach their full potential and watching them grow is joyful. Adding physicians to our region, where they are desperately needed is satisfying. Working hard and reading enough to teach talented young trainees makes us better as doctors. We are grateful that our patients have been so willing to participate in the development of young doctors in training. We are also really excited that two graduates from our program in Kelowna are planning to join us as partners in 2019/2020.

Almost all of the family physicians at Guisachan Family Medicine are involved in teaching and training family doctors and other healthcare professionals. You are likely to see and to meet trainees at the clinic and we thought it might be helpful to understand who is who amongst the trainees at Guisachan Family Medicine.

Medical Students: To enter medical school, students in Canada must be selected from an extremely competitive pool of candidates. Most medical students have completed degrees prior to applying to medical school and some have even completed Masters or Doctorate degrees. The University of British Columbia Medical School enrolls 288 students and trains them across multiple sites around the province. Kelowna hosts the Southern Medical Program and we train 32 students per year of medical school, meaning there are 128 students in our region.

Medical school lasts four years and students begin working with patients in their first year and continue to do so throughout their training. Students are carefully supervised during medical school and they gradually take on more responsibility as they advance in their training. Students cannot write prescriptions but they can record notes in your chart and make recommendations about your care and about testing that you might need.

We train first, second and third year students at Guisachan Family Medicine.

Family Medicine Residents: After graduating from medical school, doctors must complete training in one of the specialties before beginning independent practice. This training period is called a residency and trainees are called residents. Young doctors used to live, or reside, in the hospital during this period. The first year of residency used to be called an internship, but we rarely refer to young doctors as “interns” any more. Nowadays, family medicine residents complete two years of training that takes place in the hospital and in offices like ours. In Kelowna, we are lucky to consistently recruit exceptional doctors to the residency training program and residents rotate through all of the major specialties learning to care for patients of all ages and backgrounds during their training. The residents in the Kelowna program spend a big part of their second year working in rural communities, before coming back to spend their last four weeks in training at clinics like ours.

Resident doctors can write prescriptions, order tests, enter notes in your chart and manage your care, although the supervising doctor is always aware of the care you are receiving at our clinic. Resident doctors gradually take on more and more responsibility for your care as they advance in their program and we make an effort to ensure that they get to know you and follow up with you and monitor your test results. You are likely to get to know our residents well, during the two years that they spend in the program in Kelowna.

International Medical Graduates: we have often been lucky enough to host doctors who have completed their training in other countries. These doctors are training to enter practice in Canada and many of them are very experienced clinicians. Some are retraining in our family medicine residency program and others are working to demonstrate their skills and credentials in a different path to licensure. One of our physicians at Guisachan Family Medicine is trained as an assessor of international medical graduates.

Nurse Practitioner students: we have recently started to help in the training of nurse practitioners. The British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals describes nurse practitioners as: “...registered nurses with experience and advanced nursing education at the master’s level. Nurse practitioners autonomously diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic physical and mental illnesses.” We expect to see more NP students around our clinic in the years ahead.

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Sep 26, 2022

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