OKANAGAN - Two major milestones in health sciences are being celebrated with Convocation 2015.
The first class of 30 physicians will have graduated from UBC’s Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program, based in the Okanagan.
The Okanagan School of Nursing sees the first cohort of its “2+2 BSN program” of collaborative nursing graduates. These students streamed into UBC from Okanagan College to complete their final two years of study for bachelor of science in nursing degrees.
Fostering academic proficiency in health care has been a focus of UBC Okanagan since the beginning, says Deputy-Vice Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard. “Our School of Nursing is a cornerstone of UBC that has built upon a foundation of educating health professionals to provide quality care for a growing population,” says Buszard. “At the same time, more nurses are continuing in graduate studies to increase understanding in vital areas of health research that will benefit both their chosen field and the communities we serve.”
“We are so proud of our nursing graduates every year, but 2015 is extra special as our first group of 2+2 BSN students joins the rest of our four year BSN graduating class,” says UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing Director Patricia Marck. “We expect them to contribute to our health system as new registered nurses, and we hope to see many of them back for further education over the coming years in our Master of Nursing program.”
The first graduating class of physicians is a significant development for UBC, says Buszard. “The Southern Medical Program makes an important contribution to solving the need for more doctors to diagnose and treat human health. As part of UBC’s largest medical class ever, these new practitioners will train as residents in family medicine or specialize in areas that will improve the lives of people across British Columbia.”
SMP students did most of their academic work — lectures, labs and small-group workshops — at UBC Okanagan, and received their clinical training at various hospitals and clinics throughout the Interior, says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Interior.
“We are incredibly proud of what our inaugural class has achieved during their studies with us in the B.C. Interior,” says Jones. “They have played an instrumental role in shaping the educational experience for future doctors who will study and train with the Southern Medical Program.”
Buszard, Jones and Marck are also pleased to note the inter-professional collaborations between the medicine and nursing programs, including joint simulation exercises, community clinics, and new shared ethics education modules. “The more our health professional students learn together, the better the teamwork when they graduate and the better for patient care,” says Buszard.
UBC is also conferring honorary degrees on two distinguished scientists. Philip Currie is an internationally renowned palaeontologist whose scientific accomplishments have led to a greater understanding of dinosaurs and their scientific significance. Currie is currently professor and Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Paleobiology at the University of Alberta.
Sara Seager is a Canadian-American astrophysicist, planetary scientist and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is known for her work and research focusing on theory, computation, and data analysis of planets orbiting stars far from our own solar system.