Construction begins for med school space at VJH

Image Credit: VJHF

VERNON - Doctors in training have another incentive to learn and practice in the Interior with 3,123 square feet of Polson Tower set aside for students, physicians and administrators. The project expands work space for the UBC Faculty of Medicine's Southern Medical Program.

The new facility is being constructed in the previously empty west end of the fifth floor. The medical school space includes a centralized education area, clinical skills room, two video conference rooms and an on-call sleep, lounge and locker area for students. Building and equipment for the UBC space will cost approximately $983,000 and is funded by the Ministry of Health.

Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree says the mid-sized hospital has the infrastructure and training opportunties students require and will help train more doctors for the region.

Medical students entering the Southern Medical Program complete two years of academic training at UBC Okanagan and the newly-built clinical teaching campus at Kelowna General Hospital. They then transition to the hospitals and clinics for their third and fourth year gaining essential hands-on clinical experience on their path to becoming a doctor.

The program is in its fourth year this fall, hosting six third-year mdeidal studnts over the past three years. Vernon Jubilee and Vernon family practice clinics supports the Southern Medical Program's Integrated Community Clerkship program and more learners and residents are expected with the possible expansion of the Vernon ICC program in the near future as well as the introduction of new residency programs.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a strong community of over 60 health professionals in Vernon teaching and supporting our students,” says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior. “The new space will not only enhance the learning environment for our students, but provide an excellent resource for our valued teachers. Additionally, it will provide continuing professional development opportunities for family physicians and specialists within Vernon and surrounding communities.”

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