Supporting the Selkirk College Rural Pre-Medicine Program: Empowering the Next Generation of Rural Health Professionals
KBdoctors.ca is proud to bring you this guest blog post from Jonathan Vanderhoek, Rural Pre-Medicine Program Coordinator at Selkirk College. The article spotlights the transformative impact of the Selkirk Rural Pre-Medicine Program in fostering the next generation of health professionals dedicated to rural care. The Kootenay Boundary medical community has been a very proud provider of support for the program since 2017.
Located amidst the breathtaking Kootenay mountains, the program offers far more than academic rigor. It combines a robust curriculum with unique opportunities for mentoring and community service, aiming to shape well-rounded professionals suited for a multitude of health science fields. From medicine and pharmacy to optometry, dentistry, and beyond, students in the RPM program are prepared to excel in leadership, resilience, communication, and collaboration. This comprehensive approach ensures they are not just academically prepared but also intrinsically motivated to contribute to the betterment of rural health landscapes.
The Kootenay Boundary medical community has provided enduring support for the Selkirk College RPM program over the years, including consulting on program design, making connections in rural health, and presenting to students. Since 2017, the medical community has funded scholarships of $46,500, supporting twenty-five students on their journey towards a career in the medical field from MD Programs to Pharmacy.
For example, Jocey Terwoord and Sam Keefer (recipients in 2017) are each in their third year of the MD Program at UBC, with Jocey in the Island Medical Program and Sam in the Northern Medical Program. Rebecca Macleod and Kira Stoochnoff (2018) are in their second year at the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program, while Madison Morehouse (2017) is in her final year.
Recipients have also found success on other academic paths. Madia Rehwald (2017) and Gemma van Doesburg (2020) have matriculated into the Doctor of Pharmacy program at UBC. Tia Murdoch (2021) is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Vancouver General Hospital as she finishes her BSc at UBC. Emily Martin (2018) entered the UBC Law School, Megan Cousins (2021) is completing a degree at UNBC before applying to enter the Masters in Physical Therapy Program, Jace Lamoureux (2021) is completing the UBC Honors Biotechnology program, and Sam Zerrath (2018) is practicing paramedicine.
The torch is passed on to this year's deserving recipients: James Lerch, Tayten Dewar (will graduate next spring 2024), and Grace Goodwin, as they embark on their promising journeys in healthcare.
Voices of Gratitude: Testimonials from this year’s scholarship recipients
Grace Goodwin - 2nd Year Rural Pre-Medicine, Nelson Native
"Being born and raised in Nelson has given me a deep appreciation for the healthcare needs of rural communities. Thank you so much for awarding me the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice scholarship. This award is not just financial support; it's a confirmation that I'm on the right path toward serving the healthcare needs of communities like my own."
Tayten Dewar - 3rd Year Rural Pre-Medicine, Kootenays Enthusiast
"Living my entire life in the Kootenays has made me passionate about health and science, especially in rural settings. Your generosity not only provides invaluable financial support but also reaffirms my dedication to pursuing a career in medicine. This scholarship fuels my aspiration to come back and serve communities like the one I call home."
James Lerch - 3rd Year Rural Pre-Medicine, Raised in Passmore B.C.
"Growing up in Passmore and experiencing first-hand the challenges of accessing medical care in rural areas has shaped my career goals. This scholarship is more than just monetary assistance; it's a vote of confidence in my potential to bring change to rural healthcare. Your support brings me one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming a rural emergency physician."