Kelowna Regional

Site Director Message

Thanks for your interest in the Kelowna Regional site!

This is the newest UBC family practice distributed site, but one built on a long tradition of excellence in training family physicians in Kelowna. ‘Orchard City’ or ‘K-Town’, a city of 150,000 in the Southern Interior of BC, has been home to family practice residents for over 30 years and the Kelowna Rural site for the past 15 years.

We have lots of experience training great, full-service family doctors in Kelowna. And, with this new site, we want to build on this impressive tradition and to provide residents of the Kelowna Regional site with an opportunity to explore the many amazing training opportunities available in the Central Okanagan—not to mention the many joys of living in one of Canada’s most beautiful, fun-focused and fastest growing cities.

Residents of the Kelowna Regional site will train alongside the 9 residents in the Kelowna Rural program through the R1 year in a block-based curriculum that will allow you to consolidate skills in a variety of core specialties of medicine (e.g., pediatrics, hospitalist) to bring to full-service family practice. Much of the R1 year is spent at Kelowna General Hospital, a tertiary-centre hospital that has managed to hold on to its tight-knit ‘community hospital’ culture and provide ample learning opportunities for a variety of medical trainees, including Royal College residents and medical students.

In the R2 year, residents spend an additional four months in Kelowna working in primarily community-based family practice with our highly skilled preceptors. You will get to experience full-service family practice while also having the opportunity to seek out additional training experiences in areas of special interest through selectives/electives. Kelowna is home to a rich family medicine community of docs with a range of full service and more focused practices. As a resident at this site, you are essentially a ‘kid in a candy store’ for seeing what family practice is all about—and figuring out where you want to take your own career upon graduating.

And to further ensure you get to see family medicine in all aspects, second-year residents spend four months in a rural community in BC, practicing wide-scope family practice with often limited resources, and then an additional 12 weeks pursuing elective opportunities chosen by you to meet your own learning or career goals.

So, all that said, if you are looking for a family practice residency program that will let you experience the many facets of family medicine—rural and urban, full-service and focused practice, hospital and community—then we encourage you to apply for the Kelowna Regional program. Please reach out if you have questions and we will happily put you in touch with residents and grads of the program to answer your questions.

Thanks for your interest in this exciting new opportunity—for personal and community growth!

Dr.  Jade Dittaro – Co-Site Director –

Dr. Gregory Handrigan – Co-Site Director –

Dr. Robb Sebastian – Associate Rural Site Director –

Lead Resident Message

The Kelowna Regional Family Medicine program offers four positions available for incoming residents (3 CMG, 1 IMG). Our urban/rural training program is unique in its flexibility, breadth of experience, and responsibility. This program provides training in the core aspects of medicine, while allowing residents to enhance their skills in areas of interest, as we are based out of a site with few other learners.

Our entire faculty and support staff are approachable, available and supportive to resident needs, and encourage communication and problem solving at multiple levels.

The first year of the Kelowna Regional program is completed at Kelowna General Hospital. This facility offers rotations in ICU, pediatrics, internal medicine, general and orthopedic surgery, family medicine, obstetrics, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. Residents will have the opportunity to spend additional time throughout the year with family practice preceptors or specialists based on their interests (i.e. longitudinal elective). Residents of the Kelowna Regional site train alongside the 9 residents of the Kelowna Rural program. Our academic half days are well-structured, interactive, and relevant to broad-scope family medicine topics. The learning in this program is largely self-directed, which allows residents to tailor their schedule to suit their learning needs.

The second year is divided into 3 x 16-week blocks. One of these blocks is dedicated to elective time.  Many residents use this as an opportunity to travel across Canada and the globe for trauma and emergency medicine electives.  Another block is dedicated to a rural family medicine rotation and the last to an regional family medicine rotation in Kelowna.  The learning experiences in your second year are plentiful, and residents are trained to develop sophisticated management plans for their patients with considerations for both rural and urban settings.

Typically, the Kelowna residents are keen and ready for a bit of adventure. The first year provides an opportunity to get to know your fellow residents and faculty, including the 9 residents of the Kelowna Rural program, also based in Kelowna. Residents of both sites enjoy extracurricular activities together in their spare time, including skiing, biking, wakeboarding, kite boarding, running, paddling, and more. Each year strong friendships are formed within the resident group, which continue into practice. When in rural communities during the second year, we network with each other through monthly teleconferences and attend an annual retreat at Big White ski resort, near Kelowna. Kelowna Regional residents finish their second year in Kelowna with a family physician and their clinic, rounding out their skills and pursuing areas of interest in an urban center as they prepare for practice.

The following courses are subsidized supplementary training courses within our program:  Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM), and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certifications. We have 10 conference days available over 2 years which may be used for conferences or additional coursework.

From air-evacuating medical emergencies above the Arctic Circle to perfecting fish-hook removal techniques in Haida Gwaii, the adventures are plentiful and we’d love the opportunity to welcome you to the Kelowna family!

Looking forward to meeting you all,

Taran Main – Lead Resident of Kelowna Rural and Kelowna Urban Program

Site Information

Number of Residents: 3 CMG, 1 IMG
Location: Kelowna, BC
Community: 127,000
Hospital: Kelowna General
Distance from Vancouver: 391 km

Curriculum Type: Block / Integrated
R2 Elective Time: 16 Weeks
Phone: 250-862-4014
Contacts: Co-Site Directors- Dr. Jade Dittaro & Dr. Gregory Handrigan / Coordinator – Janice Demers
Lead Resident: Dr. Taran Main

The Kelowna Regional  Site is a new training site within UBC Family Practice for trainees entering residency in July 2020. There are four positions in total (3 CMG, 1 IMG).

This is an exciting training opportunity that will offer residents a chance to experience family medicine in a wide variety of settings—rural, urban and international.

Kelowna is a mid-sized city in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. It is home to Kelowna General Hospital, a tertiary-care centre, as well as a rich, integrated community of family physicians, specialists and allied health.

Residents in the Kelowna Regional program will train alongside residents in the Kelowna  Rural program, which was established in Kelowna >30 years ago. The Kelowna Regional Site will build on the tradition of excellence in family medicine training in Kelowna and provide residents with further opportunities to explore the richness of family medicine—full-service as well as focused practice—within the Okanagan Valley.

Residents in this program will receive broad-based training in medicine in their first year by rotating through a variety of foundational specialties (e.g., pediatrics, obstetrics) in both community- and hospital-based environments. All rotations incorporate the resident as a physician and you work as part of a team. Residents experience longitudinal family practice care with weekly half-days spent in community-based FP clinics in addition to an 8-week core family practice block. Additional longitudinal experiences may be sought in ER, anesthesia and obstetrics depending on a resident’s interests.

The R2 year is dynamic with learning in a variety of settings. Residents spend 16 weeks in a rural community in BC/NWT chosen from a list that is updated year-by-year. This rural experience immerses residents in full-service family medicine, often with limited resources, and affords a level of autonomy and independence unlike the rest of residency. Residents also get to see first-hand how a family physician is a resource to his or her community.

During the R2 year, an additional 16-week block is dedicated to practicing family medicine in Kelowna and other communities within the Central Okanagan. Residents are based in a home family practice clinic with dedicated time to pursue elective and selective experiences in the many areas of family medicine available in the rich medical community of Kelowna. Possible elective/selective experiences including addictions, emergency medicine, hospitalist, and aboriginal health. The regional residents will spend additional time (2-4 weeks) training in palliative care and care of the elderly. There will be an additional 16 weeks in which they are encouraged to pursue elective experiences in areas of focused interest or to meet self-identified learning goals. The R2 year finishes in Kelowna with a 4-week ‘Transition to Practice’ block to further prepare trainees for entering practice.

Residents who will do well in Kelowna Regional training experience embody the personality traits of independence, self-direction, adventurousness and self-motivation. This is an incredible opportunity to see family medicine in all of its aspects—and to help shape a new and exciting training experience at UBC.


Sample Rotation

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Block 5 Block 6 Block 7 Block 8 Block 9 Block 10 Block 11 Block 12 Block 13















Rural rotation

(4 months; rural BC town)


Regional rotation

(4 months; Kelowna community)

Transition to Practice

Residents Life

The Kelowna Regional is a new site that will accept its inaugural cohort of residents in July 2020. Stay tuned to this page to learn more about resident experiences at this new site.

In the meantime, you may learn more about the experiences of family practice residents in Kelowna by referring to the ‘Residents Life’ section of the Rural Okanagan site description (