Taking action on the Kootenay doctor shortage

There is a solution to the rural doctor shortage in the West Kootenay-Boundary.

There is a solution to the rural doctor shortage in the West Kootenay-Boundary.

After nearly two years of study and preparation, Selkirk College has launched its Rural Pre-Medicine Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree Program.

Based out of the Castlegar Campus, the program will offer students wanting to pursue a career in medicine a three-year opportunity to learn in the intimate setting of a rural college.

Research suggests there are many factors that contribute to the ongoing and increasingly severe shortage of rural doctors in Canada. Medical schools and various levels of government have developed a wide range of programs and strategies to address some of these contributing factors.

A unique touch to the Selkirk program will be non-credit course work that weaves into Selkirk College’s current strengths. In conjunction with the Mir Centre for Peace, students will receive mediation training, cultural sensitivity training, mindfulness training and contemplative practices to enrich and cultivate skills around attention and emotional balance, altruism, empathy, critical thinking and decision making.

The college also hopes to offer directed service opportunities such as partnering with Selkirk’s BSc Nursing Program in its successful Street Nursing Initiative and the International Nursing Practice Experience in Guatemala.

Students enrolled in the program will complete all of the requirements including the writing of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and will be eligible to apply for entrance to the undergraduate MD program at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.

The start date of the program is Fall, 2014 with an initial cohort of 24 students admitted to the program.

For more information on the Rural Pre-Medicine Program at Selkirk College please contact David Feldman, School Chair for University Arts & Sciences at 250.365.1331 or via email at dfeldman@selkirk.ca.

 

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