Site Director Message

Welcome to the UBC Family Practice Residency program in Kamloops, British Columbia. We are a community with an enthusiastic and diverse medical staff committed to teaching excellence.

Our program is designed to provide you with high quality community based family practice, obstetrical and inpatient experience. We have integrated each element using the best of block and integrated teaching schedules. We focus on the core elements required for Family Practice training, while immersing you in diverse clinical experiences to help you transition into practice after our program. FUN is part of our philosophy.

Kamloops has a wealth of recreational and cultural activities. We have first class skiing and mountain biking at Sun Peaks Resort. Thompson Rivers University is a vibrant university campus including the newest law school in Canada. There is a nightly summer Music in the Park program, and a creative Arts and Theatre community. Kamloops is known as the Tournament Capital of Canada, and we are home to the WHL Kamloops Blazers.

Increasingly, health care is delivered through team based care. Opportunities and knowledge arise when different perspectives are examined and encouraged. We aim to help you make the most of team-based medicine.

Health care systems and information constantly change based on emerging evidence. Our site faculty and preceptors will help you develop the skills you need to manage change and foster personal development in the process. A goal of our program is to help you prepare for an enjoyable life as a Family Physician, knowing that you have solid skills practicing in the broad field of Family Medicine.

Kamloops is a community that will embrace and support you in your clinical, academic and personal pursuits. We look forward to meeting you in July!

Dr. Selena Lawrie

Chief Resident Message

Welcome to Kamloops!

We are established in 2014 and have been expanding and making positive changes ever since! Some of our graduated residents have stayed and now have taken on leadership roles in our program. Our site is looking for eight individuals who will be hard working and independent but also enjoy life outside of medicine in this amazing community.



Unique Program Features 

  • We have a mainly block-based model blended with some longitudinal features. Typically, we spend four days per week on a specialist rotation and one Academic Day or Family Medicine Clinic day on alternate weeks.
  • For the longitudinal part, we have long term care facility patients and obstetric patients whom we take care of throughout our two years of training. For the obstetric patients, we are involved in their prenatal, intra-partum and postpartum care, providing seamless continuous care.
  • Many of our primary preceptors have hospital privileges and care for their own inpatients, and many do OB, long-term care/geriatrics and palliative care as well.
  • We get to work with 2 or more family medicine preceptors to give us a good scope of exposure to different clinical practices.
  • Well-kept new resident lounge and 5 call rooms built in 2016!

Centred in Family Medicine

One of the great strengths of this program is that your family medicine exposure is continuous over two years. This ensures that you have ample opportunity to apply concepts learned on specialty rotations back to your home practice.  We have full day clinics every other week to allow you to build your own cohort of patients to follow. In addition, many of the specialty rotations are focused on family medicine learning. For example, there is a pediatric clinic that is run by the family medicine residents weekly.

Little Competition for Learning Opportunities

There are six UBC medical students who are doing their clerkship in Kamloops, and 14 total residents with a few elective clerks and residents throughout the year. This means that you are usually the only learner on any given rotation.  There are some exceptions, with Pediatrics and Gen Surg often having residents but on these rotations it’s usually nice to have a little company. This means that for the most part, the experiences that you want to partake in are not shared among learners—you’re it! You work directly with staff and are first in line for consults, procedures, deliveries, surgical assists… you name it.

Emphasis on Your Learning

Our program is relatively new and there is very little dependency on resident servitude to keep a service running.  As such, the majority of rotations and preceptors are keen to facilitate your learning and we have been trying to build rotations around FM centered learning.  Preceptors respect and appreciate that you are here to learn and their expectations are scaled accordingly (meaning minimal scut).  Call is variable but often scheduled by yourself with holidays being easy to book because services still run without residents.

Strong Academic Curriculum

Our curriculum director and behavioural medicine faculty have put blood, sweat, and tears into coming up with a really solid academic schedule. We have faculty who provide lectures on the 99 key topics for our CCFP exam. We have excellent and interesting behavioural medicine lectures on topics like end of life ethics, mindfulness for patients, and reflective practice. We have a brand new SIM lab built with high fidelity models and dedicated staff who have been amazing for teaching.  Ask anyone at our site to do a bougie guided cricothyrotomy and they will give you an eyes shut demo! Most importantly, whenever we come up with a topic that we are interested in that is not on the agenda, all we have to do is ask and it’s added to the schedule.

Collegial Medical Community

The residency program has been very well received in Kamloops so we are well known amongst the medical community, and everyone is extremely excited to see the fruits of their labours (AKA us). The enthusiasm amongst preceptors here is unparalleled. Consultants on other services in the hospital will page you/come find you to see their interesting case or to perform their cool procedures. The wonderful thing is that it’s not just the physician community who are keen to have you here and to teach: the whole allied health community, from nurses to PTs and beyond are thrilled that you are here and excited to share their expertise with you.

Opportunity to Leave Your Mark

Even though this program has been here a couple of years, we are still working hard to make (or should I say keep) this program as one of the best.  Each resident still has the opportunity to help to shape this program as we move forward. Our program director openly solicits feedback and has been diligently working to improve every aspect of our program, whether it is tuning up lectures, spearheading a resident clinic or just having us over for a BBQ.  Major changes in the past have included adding opportunities for longitudinal long-term care/geriatrics, providing options for additional ER and hospitalist shifts, and adapting the definition of family medicine call to ensure we can see more of what we want to see.

Tertiary Care in a ‘Rural’ Centre

Kamloops is a Level 2 trauma centre located at the junction between three major highways, several major ski hills, and a number of lakes and rivers. The emerg here is busy both summer and winter and there is a lot of opportunity for exposure to some very interesting cases. Kamloops is also a major referral centre for the surrounding communities, meaning that peds, internal medicine, and surgical specialties see a lot of cool stuff. High volume plus low number of learners means that your clinical exposure here will be top notch.

Work-Life Balance

As a grown-up physician you will care about more than just your work. This is the case for Kamloops residents, too. Our program directors strongly encourage that we make time for the things we love outside of medicine: families, hobbies, whatever. Also: from a practical point of view, the mixed longitudinal/block system means that it’s easier to schedule vacations and you don’t end up missing out on too much of any one rotation when you do take time away!

Kamloops Itself

Neither of the chief residents are from Kamloops but we have had a really easy time adjusting to life here. The people are incredibly welcoming and are really thrilled that you are here. For a city of 90 000 people, the amount of cultural opportunities in this town is mind-boggling. There are museums, a symphony, an art gallery, free outdoor concerts every night in July and August, and more. There are also a ton of recreational opportunities in the area. Into hiking? Biking? Skiing? Hanging out at the lake? You can do all of this within 45 minutes of downtown Kamloops. Don’t forget the region’s local wineries and microbreweries, either. There’s a reason that Kamloops is the playground of British Columbia.



Opportunity to Teach

There are six third year students from the UBC Southern Medical Program completing their clerkship here in Kamloops and we do get the occasional elective student. Aside from that, there aren’t many junior learners and so if you’re keen to teach you will have to create additional opportunities for yourself. In the past, residents have done presentations at half day targeted to the medical students or hosted OSCE practices — it’s definitely possible, just requires you to be more proactive.

We Don’t Have Everything

Kamloops is a tertiary care centre, but we don’t have thoracic surgery or cardiac surgery, and our CCU is brand new as of early 2015. If it’s important to you to have exposure to these services during your residency, you’ll have to use your elective time to get it.

We’re confident that the Kamloops program will train you to be great family doctors who will be able to provide comprehensive care for your future patients. We look forward to meeting you on the CaRMS tour. If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us at kamloopschief@gmail.com


Drs. Linda Jiao & Kara Perdue

Number of Residents: 4 CMG, 4 IMG
Location: Kamloops
Community: 91,000
Hospital: Royal Inland Hospital

Curriculum Type: Partial Horizontal
R2 Elective Time: 12 weeks
Contacts: Site Director – Dr. Selena Lawrie – selenalawrie@icloud.com / Site Coordinator – Laurel Thompson – laurel.thompson@interiorhealth.ca
Chief Resident: Linda Jiao & Kara Perdue – kamloopschief@gmail.com


Our community knows the value of family practice. Kamloops has a tradition of strong care and leadership from our family doctors. Our specialist colleagues and allied health professionals support us immeasurably in the work we do. With this rich background, we have created a curriculum committed to excellence in teaching and care for our patients and community.

Program Highlights

  • Beautiful city with many sports, recreational and cultural opportunities
  • Collegial and supportive medical community
  • Enthusiastic group of family practice preceptors
  • Longitudinal experience in family medicine with exposure to different practice styles, every second Friday throughout the 2 years
  • New UBC Family Practice Learning Centre, co-located with a new Urgent Primary Care Centre and providing team based care
  • Very busy ER (regional trauma centre)
  • Longitudinal obstetrical experience
  • Specialists in almost every field yielding high breadth of exposure and elective options
  • Several specialty residents to learn from and medical students to teach, but not so many as to take away learning opportunities
  • Comprehensive academic day curriculum including SIM, ultrasound, dermoscopy, suturing and casting sessions, every second Friday. 7:30 – 2:30 J with 2 half hour break.
  • A site faculty committed to your well-being, skill development, and excellence in Family Medicine.

Sample Rotation

Please note:

  • Each resident will be matched with 2 community Family Physicians and will also have rotations in our new Family Practice Learning Center (FPLC) – dark green on our sample rotation below
  • Every second Friday will be our Academic Day
  • Every second Friday is back with a community Family Physicians for most residents. 1-2 residents per year will do longitudinal family medicine in the FPLC.
  • We also have longitudinal experiences in obstetrics and care of the elderly/residential care
Blocks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
R1 Family FP Emergency Surgery Orthopedics Addictions Pediatrics Family Hospitalist Family FP Elective OB
OB Anesthesiology LC GYN


Blocks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
R2 Internal Medicine Electives Family Emergency Psychiatry FP Elective or Rural FP Family Elective or Rural Family

What made you choose Kamloops?

I wanted a residency program in which I would be able to experience the scope of a rural/suburban family doctor but would get a good foundation in specialty medicine. Kamloops fit the bill perfectly: it is a great small city (population is around 90 000) but has a 244-bed tertiary care hospital which has all specialties except for cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery, and there are almost no other residents to compete for experiences with. Many family physicians care for their own inpatients (either as part of a hospitalist group or a separate call group) and many practice in one or more other family medicine specialties (like OB, palliative, etc) as well.

As for Kamloops itself, I was amazed at how many cultural and recreational opportunities Kamloops has to offer. It’s got way more than you would expect of a town of 90 000, from museums to an art gallery to a symphony! It’s also a very welcoming community—people will be thrilled to have you, whether you plan to stay after your residency or not.

Describe a week in the life of a Kamloops resident.

Two days of our week are spent working with specialists and two days are spent on family medicine rotations (either in clinic or on family medicine specialties like OB, hospitalist, palliative care, and long term care). Wednesday mornings we have our academic half day in the morning and we spend the afternoon at our primary preceptor’s clinic. As described above, there is also the flexibility on some rotations to flip your schedule to a week on FM/week on specialty format to individualize it to your learning needs.

The call schedule is mostly up to you! There is a minimum number of call shifts required on each rotation, but residents are allowed to choose when they want to schedule them (with the exceptions of paeds and ortho) and are at liberty to add more as they wish. Call is 24 hours for all rotations except for ortho, which is call until midnight. Most of the time you will be able to do home call and have the option of converting to in-house call if you do have a busy night.

What are some of the things that make Kamloops unique compared with other FM residency sites?

Kamloops has a palliative rotation for one month which is uncommon among family medicine residency programs. We also have two weeks of anesthesia built into our program. The most unique thing about the Kamloops site is our longitudinal rotations. We are on two blocks at once, which does make our blocks longer but allows you to really enforce everything that you have learned and apply it back to a family medicine practice. And unlike some other rural programs at UBC and in other provinces, your entire residency (with the exception of your rural rotation +/- electives) is in Kamloops—no need to move in year two!

Is there a large service component to your residency?

Royal Inland Hospital has been working without residents up until 2014. Consultants are used to working without us and see us as learners rather than “scut monkeys”. Though the residency program in Kamloops is new, many preceptors have had experience with elective residents over the years and so they are generally great teachers, too. We are constantly encouraged to tailor our experience to our own needs and to see the more interesting cases. We are really able to make the most of our residency experience according to our learning needs.

Does it get fairly competitive with the other residents?

There are very few residents at this site: twelve family medicine residents and a few specialty residents around the hospital on their rural rotations. The more senior residents from specialties are always willing to teach and have you do some procedures with them. The residents from the Kamloops program are very collegial and share their knowledge and interesting cases with each other. Faculty will seek out residents and any other learners when an interesting case comes into the hospital and encourage you follow the case.

What are the weaknesses of the Kamloops site?

It’s a new site, so there are some kinks that are in the process of being ironed out—our site faculty are pretty receptive to our concerns and keen to make a great program. The first year residents are constantly working with faculty members for any problems or concerns found within our rotations and some of that responsibility would fall upon our new residents in 2015. Electives are all in the second year and some of them fall after the CaRMS deadline for R3 programs. We are currently working to have at least some electives before CaRMS applications. There are also not a lot of built-in opportunities to teach as we only have six medical students per year; so far residents have been able to work around this but it is something to consider depending on where your interests lie.

What kind of learner would do well in Kamloops?

As we are a new site, we are looking for people who want to be leaders to help improve our program as well as our community. We are looking for learners who are keen to learn and like to be independent. You do have to be organized to keep track of scheduling two different call schedules and our complementary learning half days. Most importantly, people who are very laid back and active will get along perfectly with the local physicians and the rest of the staff!

Is there anything to do outside of work?

In a word, yes! If you like winter activities, Sun Peaks is 40 minutes away. If music is your thing, there are free daily concerts in the park throughout July and August and several free concerts year-round at Sun Peaks. The city and surrounding area are full of beautiful hikes. There are also two golf courses close by in case you manage to get off work early. Kamloops is known as “Canada’s Tournament Capital” and we live up to it by using our large (and new!) recreation facility—and there’s a discount for hospital employees. There is also Thompson Rivers University which attracts a young and diverse population to the city. If you’re a foodie then Kamloops has some of great restaurants with many different cuisines. Of course we are also the gateway to the Okanagan, so who could forget the beautiful lakes, rivers and vineyards? Even if you somehow manage to get bored on a weekend, Kelowna is a short 2 hour drive away, Vancouver is 3.5 hours away, and Calgary is only 6 hours to the east!