Schulich adds two family medicine training sites

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The University of Western Ontario is expanding its family physician training in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry's rural/regional program. Two new sites, Stratford and Petrolia, are being added to train residents in the Department of Family Medicine starting July 1, 2011. Newly graduated MDs must train for two years as residents before being allowed to set up their own family medicine practices.

In Stratford, the Avon Family Medicine Centre will take responsibility for one family medicine resident per year, with rotations at the Huron Perth Hospital Alliance. The Petrolia Medical Centre will take on two residents with additional training at Bluewater Health. The training program is part of the Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network (SWOMEN).

"These two training programs immerse family medicine residents in communities where exemplary comprehensive family medicine is practiced so that upon graduation, these doctors will be ready to provide broad-based care while potentially being attracted to stay in the communities where they trained," says Dr. Eric Wong, Assistant Professor and Postgraduate Director of Schulich's Department of Family Medicine. "The Department of Family Medicine and SWOMEN are delighted to work with the many excellent family physicians, specialists and hospital staff at these communities in training the best family doctors for Southwestern Ontario."

Dr. Firas Al Dhaher is the lead family doctor for the Petrolia program, "I'm very pleased to be one of the physicians involved in this endeavor. Our objective is to train future family physicians with an interest in rural medicine, and to provide for them opportunities to expand their skill sets while attracting them to practice in rural locales."

"Training residents in Stratford is such a valuable recruiting tool for our area and for small towns in general. It exposes future physicians to the type of exciting, comprehensive care we offer in rural communities that is not always seen in larger centres," says Dr. Erin Heisz, the lead family physician for the Stratford program. "The Avon Family Medicine Centre is looking forward to assisting new grads to grow into their roles as future family physicians. We hope not only to teach them the fundamental medical skills needed to practice competently but also on how to excel at the art of medicine in which one must become a listener, educator and advocate for the patient. We think Stratford is an amazing place to practice medicine and that Schulich residents could benefit from the opportunity to train here."