UBC enhances training for medical students in the Fraser

This month, the UBC Faculty of Medicine introduced a new opportunity for medical students to further dedicate their learning and clinical training in the Fraser.

Known as the Fraser Medical Cohort (FMC) — which is part of the larger Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP) that continues to train in the Fraser — students in the FMC will enhance their learning about the unique health care needs of the region through small group learning, mentorships and clinical visits throughout the area in their first and second years.

They will also devote their clinical training primarily throughout the Fraser during their third year.

“Building on the foundation that students tend to practise where they train, it is so important that we provide excellent educational experiences and foster that sense of belonging and connectedness early on,” said Dr. Cary Cuncic, Regional Associate Dean for Vancouver Fraser, UBC Faculty of Medicine.

For more than a decade, UBC’s distributed medical education program has been successfully training the next generation of doctors through the Northern Medical Program, Island Medical Program, Southern Medical Program and the VFMP.

As one of the fastest growing regions in British Columbia (B.C.), the Fraser provides medical students with invaluable learning experiences in urban, rural and remote areas.

Rajan Bola, first-year FMC student

For first-year FMC student Rajan Bola, who was born and raised in Surrey, being able to train in his own community was important.

“Surrey is a multicultural city. Many of those close to me were affected by complex health challenges yet struggled to obtain culturally sensitive, longitudinal and community-oriented care,” he said. “Through the FMC, I hope to gain the education and training I need to inspire change and serve the health care needs of my community as a physician and health advocate in the Fraser.”

Chenille Wong, first-year FMC student

His classmate Chenille Wong is excited by the opportunity to train alongside some of the hundreds of outstanding UBC clinical teachers and specialists working in the region.

“I live in Coquitlam, so I want to learn first-hand about the needs of my rapidly growing community from the doctors and patients who live and work here,” she said. “I hope to become a physician that can provide a patient-centered environment where people feel safe to share their stories and health concerns.”

Each year, close to 5,000 UBC medical student and resident doctor rotations take place in hospitals, primary care settings and clinics across the Fraser every year. The students will have the opportunity to train alongside UBC clinical faculty in high-demand fields such as family medicine, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Dr. Dean Jones, Associate Dean, Fraser

Dr. Roger Wong, Vice Dean, Education

“These students are truly inspiring. Many of them grew up in the region and they now have more opportunities to practice medicine here,” said Dr. Dean Jones, Associate Dean, Fraser, UBC Faculty of Medicine. “This is the first cohort of many to come and another major step forward for medical education across the region.”

The FMC will welcome a new group of medical students each year – helping to build a network of future doctors who will serve the healthcare needs of the Fraser for generations to come.

“The Fraser Medical Cohort offers an excellent opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the unique and diverse health care needs of local communities,” said Dr. Roger Wong, Vice Dean of Education, UBC Faculty of Medicine. “Many will go on to practice in the region, providing greater access to care for the people and families who live here.”

The FMC is the latest initiative launched by the UBC Faculty of Medicine to further improve the health and wellbeing of communities across the Fraser region. This summer, UBC expanded the Master of Physical Therapy Program in Surrey, paving the way for future expansion of other UBC health professional programs.

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Published: September 16, 2022