Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) was proud to host the provincial Family Medicine Residents’ Retreat, which took place in Brandon on September 23-24, 2022. The in-person event had been on hold for the past few years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
PMH CEO Brian Schoonbaert was pleased with the event and was confident participants would leave with a much better understanding of the many physician practice opportunities available in rural Manitoba.
“We believe that the lifestyle choices new physicians seek can be found in our rural settings. Our landscapes offer open prairies, serene and bustling communities, many lakes, small ‘mountains,’ numerous walking, hiking and biking trails, and close access to both provincial and national parks. We hope that recruits recognize what we already know; living and working in rural settings can be very rewarding!
Over 90 family medicine residents attended the weekend gathering, which featured information sessions on breastfeeding, geriatric frailty, Medical Assistance in Dying, point of care ultrasound and physician billing and finance information. An interactive job fair allowed many recruiters, including Regional Health Authorities and physician clinics throughout the province, to showcase their areas to prospective doctors.
Schoonbaert says PMH will stay in touch with those interested in rural medicine.
“Within our health region alone, there’s lots to look forward to, including the construction of a new $127-million hospital in Neepawa and larger renovations planned for Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) that will add a new ICU, more medical beds, and an expansion to the neonatal ICU. There are also enhancements planned for the Westman Cancer Centre so that when paired with the BRHC upgrades, Brandon will become the intermediate care hub for western Manitoba.”
Some other smaller capital projects are planned for hospitals in Dauphin, Souris, Killarney and Virden, which will help enhance localized service delivery and improve access to quality patient care. There are other exciting developments and expansions which have been announced by Manitoba Health and Shared Health, including the construction of a new hospital in Portage and additions to hospitals in Steinbach, the Boundary Trails Health Centre in Morden/Winkler and Selkirk, to name a few.
Schoonbaert sincerely thanks all of those from PMH that helped to organize the event and represent the health region at various functions.
The last Residents’ Retreat was held in 2019 and hosted by Interlake/Eastern RHA.
“Dauphin will always be home,” said Dr. Lauren Baker. “To provide care to a community that means so much to me is rewarding and also fulfilling. I absolutely love it here.”
From a young age, Dr. Lauren Baker admired the doctors in her hometown of Dauphin and credits their compassion and kindness for inspiring her career in medicine. Today, as a first-year resident in the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Program working out of the Dauphin Regional Health Centre, Dr. Baker is experiencing this support and kindness firsthand, from doctors who are now her colleagues.
“It’s such a strong teamwork environment here between all the health-care providers,” said Dr. Baker. “Everyone helps each other out and each doctor brings a unique set of skills to the community. From obstetrics to geriatric care, it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to learn alongside them.”
Dr. Baker’s first real experience in clinical medicine was through a program called Home for the Summer; an educational work placement to help medical students gain interprofessional skills and practical experience. While participating in the program, Dr. Baker quickly realized the support and opportunity available in rural health care settings, including in her home town of Dauphin.
“Throughout my journey I’m thankful to have had a variety of experiences and a lot of hands on learning,” said Dr. Baker. “Today in the residency program and as a new mom, I also feel lucky to be able to say it has been very supportive and the instructors are there for you every step of the way.”
The Parkland Family Medicine Residency Program is well-established in Dauphin, known for its resident support and educational opportunities. Each month, residents gather for two days of learning from local physicians. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, from emergency simulations to farm safety, each intended to prepare them for what they’ll see on the job, especially in a rural community.
“I truly believe that learning family medicine in rural Manitoba is the best place to prepare you for whichever path you want to pursue in the future. You get it all here.” said Dr. Baker. “In rural programs, you really build up the skills and confidence to work independently. This means working through situations where you might feel unsure of how to get started.”
Rural Family Medicine Programs are offered in both small and larger health facilities across rural Manitoba, providing medical students with diverse training opportunities that are unique to the health needs of the populations they serve.
The Parkland Family Medicine Residency Program Dauphin program is led by Dr. Scott Kish, Site Education Director and Site Medical Lead of the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Kish is well-known in the community, devoting his efforts to the program and his full-time practice, making sure everyone feels supported. Recognized both provincially and nationally, Dr. Kish is a recipient of the Family Physician of the Year Award in Manitoba and the Rural Physicians of Canada Rural Service Award.
“Looking at how programs like this have developed in places like Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, at Boundary Trails Health Centre and in communities in Interlake-Eastern Health Region, I’m excited about the training opportunities that exist in rural communities across Manitoba,” said Dr. Kish. “Each area has started to really grow and it’s encouraging to see how we are able to meet the community needs.”
In Dauphin, the ‘community’s needs’ include care for more than 8,000 Dauphin residents as well as people living in surrounding communities and parts of northern Manitoba.
“Caring for people who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures is a true benefit to us as care providers,” said Dr. Baker. “We serve many different populations here in Dauphin including Indigenous, Ukrainian, German, and Filipino residents to name a few. Learning from those we serve helps us build up knowledge and experience to provide more comprehensive care.”
For Dr. Baker, being part of the residency program in her hometown of Dauphin has been the perfect fit, offering her opportunities to care for her community and become a great doctor close to home while balancing her life as a new mom.
“Being a part of the community, having those connections, there’s a familiarity with patients that I really value,” said Dr. Baker. “They often feel more comfortable around me because of our shared community experiences and networks. This helps to develop trust, making it easier for them to open up and easier for me to provide better care.”
“It’s a great place to learn and practice,” added Dr. Kish. “With a great group of physicians, the incredible geographic location, many opportunities, and outdoor activities like kayaking and cycling, it feels like a world-class destination.”
Looking for a new career challenge that will lead to a position in Critical Care Nursing?
Critical Care nurses treat Manitoba’s sickest patients in our Special Care Units (SCU) and Intensive Care Units (ICU).
The Critical Care Nursing Orientation Program is up to 16 weeks, including theory both online and in person, labs and clinical practicum.
Course length will be dependent on site. The online course is Essentials of Critical Care Orientation from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.
Completion of this course will lead to a position in the Brandon Regional Health Centre Intensive Care Unit or the Dauphin Regional Health Centre Special Care Unit.
This specialty orientation requires a full time commitment up to 16 weeks with pay at current wage for the duration of the course, despite the EFT of the position the person is awarded. The course is rewarding, but the pace of work and learning is demanding. There is limited flexibility for time away. Vacation or LOAs cannot be approved for the duration of the course.
Be supported in the course by department CTMs, CRNs with Critical Care educator (PMH and WRHA) course facilitation.
Receive full-time salary during orientation
Enjoy a supportive learning environment
Learn the newest methods with the latest technology
Pre requisite – Cardiac Rhythms course within the last year. Introduction to Cardiac Rhythms will be offered Week 1 of the course for participants who do not have current training.
Theory is delivered in a blended model approach with online learning and in class sessions. Participants will be provided a schedule with assigned online modules and completion timelines. The scheduled skills labs and in-class application sessions will build on the concepts from the online modules so participants are required to maintain pace with the course outline.
Skills Labs will be held in Brandon.
Phase 2 – Buddied Clinical – 4 weeks – Monday – Friday – mix of 8hr and 12 hours days
Participants will be paired with an experienced nurse on the unit where they will be working a combination of 8 and 12 hours shifts. During this time, the pair will provide 1:1 patient care to gain understanding of and experience in caring for critically ill patients. A Critical Care educator will also provide support to facilitate skills practice, knowledge conversations, seeking out learning opportunities.
Building on the Buddied Clinical experience, Specialized Orientation (SO) will occur on the unit of hire. During SO, participants will care for a patient independently with the mentorship of an assigned preceptor. This portion of the orientation aims to build independence and integration in to the unit of hire.