Kawartha Lakes approved as training site for would-be doctors

By Lindsay Advocate

Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) announced that, in conjunction with Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH), City of Kawartha Lakes family doctors and the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP), the City of Kawartha Lakes (CKL) has been approved as a University of Toronto (UofT) Family Medicine Clerkship training site.

Training to become a doctor includes four years of medical school, prior to completing a specialty residency. The third and fourth years of medical school are known as ‘clerkship’. During these years, 5 to 6 weeks of training in many specialties, including family medicine, are completed by the students. In October 2019, KLHCI is slated to welcome the first two UofT medical students into CKL’s Family Medicine Clerkship training program.

“This initiative would not be possible without our local family physicians taking on the role of preceptors (trainers). Their experience and enthusiasm to teach is integral to the clerks’ knowledge base, on which all further learning is founded. The continuing support from the City of Kawartha Lakes and Ross Memorial Hospital is also a shining example of our forwardthinking community as KLHCI continues its efforts to become a full-time Family Medicine Residency training site,” states Barbara van der Veen, KLHCI President.

“The more opportunities we can provide medical students to experience life in the City of Kawartha Lakes, the more young doctors will be encouraged to practice here,” said Dr. Bharat Chawla, RMH Chief of Medical Staff. “We’re proud to support efforts to mentor these talented young people, and to showcase this community and this hospital as welcoming places to build a career and a home.”

“We’re pleased to now include the community of Kawartha Lakes as one of our clerkship locations,” says Dr. Azadeh Moaveni, Undergraduate Program Director at the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine.

“Our students will learn from the talented doctors and health professionals in Kawartha Lakes while gaining experience in practicing family medicine in a small community. Kawartha Lakes will benefit from gaining trainees who are eager to learn about their community and patients and who will hopefully consider coming back to practice there one day.”

“The Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) has been developing experiences for medical students and residents in rural and regional communities in partnership with the Ontario medical schools. We are pleased to announce, and financially support, a site expansion with the City of Kawartha Lakes and the Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative,” states Dr. Peter Wells, Executive Director, Rural Ontario Medical Program.

“The University of Toronto and ROMP have enabled a mandatory family medicine experience for medical students. For many learners participating, this will be their first experience in a community with a family physician. As our program statistics show, rural medical education in a community is a key factor in choice for location to practice. We look forward to welcoming the students to Kawartha Lakes.”

The KLHCI Board of Directors has representation from throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. The board is interested in adding new members. Being a member of KLHCI’s Board of Directors is an excellent opportunity to volunteer and be part of this vital component of our community health care, the recruitment and retention of family doctors.

Anyone wishing to be part of this community effort by either volunteering or donating financially to support the ongoing family doctor recruitment and retention programs should contact Cindy Snider, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator at 705-328-6098 or visit the KLHCI website.

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