UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site

UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 02 | Jan. 25, 2001

Plan aims to train more rural doctors

UBC builds partnerships with hospitals, other universities and clinics

by Hilary Thomson staff writer

A plan for increased medical student enrolment and decentralized curriculum to address issues of education, supply and retention of doctors in B.C., including rural and underserved areas, has been proposed by UBC.

The Provincial Medical Education Plan (PMEP) -- which would be unique in Canada -- is contained in a discussion paper that calls for partnerships with other B.C. universities to increase education opportunities throughout the province for students in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, B.C.'s medical school.

The plan also seeks to address a demographically driven doctor shortage.

Students would have the opportunity to spend as much as half of their medical education at other B.C. Universities in conjunction with regional hospitals, clinical and medical practices, while obtaining their medical degree from UBC.

These sites would offer education and experiences relevant to health practice issues in rural and underserved areas.

"This plan brings together medical education and health resources throughout the province to improve access to health care," says Barry McBride, UBC's vice-president, Academic.

"Creating teaching partnerships with B.C.'s other universities and community health services is both a cost-effective and educationally effective way to address the province's health-care needs."

According to the plan, student enrolment at UBC's medical school would increase from the current 128 students to 200 students registered annually by 2006, with a corresponding increase in the number of residency or specialist training positions.

"This plan is a major step forward as B.C. takes responsibility for educating a greater proportion of the physicians needed by British Columbia. The community partnerships will ensure that graduates gain the skills and build the relationships that will suit them for practice in currently underserved areas," says Medicine Dean John Cairns.

As a first concrete step in carrying forward the vision, UBC and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) announced a plan for a Northern Medical Program that will offer education to 15-20 medical students annually.

The northern program is designed to attract rural, northern and aboriginal students to complete part of their education at UNBC. The program also envisions an opportunity for all medical students to enrol in a rural medical education stream.

"The Northern Medical Program is a significant step forward in medical education in B.C. It creates the opportunity to train physicians in the North for practice in northern and rural communities," says Charles Jago, UNBC's president.

"UVic is strongly supportive of this system-wide approach," says Dr. David Turpin, president of the University of Victoria. "Our community's significant population of seniors provides some insight into the issues that Canada and its aging population will face. That, combined with UVic's research and teaching strengths in health-related fields, its involvement with the new cancer research program on Vancouver Island and our Centre on Aging, will create 20 more spaces for medical education and provide those students with a solid grounding in some of the key issues of the future."

For more information on UBC's program, visit www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/media/releases/2001/mr-01-08a.html. Information on the Northern Medical Program may be found at www.unbc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.