Kelowna Regional

Site Director Message

Thanks for your interest in the Kelowna Regional site!

Established in 2020, Kelowna Regional is one of the newer UBC family practice distributed sites, but one built on a long tradition of excellence in training family physicians in Kelowna. ‘Orchard City’ or ‘K-Town’, a city of over 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 full-service family doctors in Kelowna. And, with this newer site, we wanted to build on this impressive tradition and to provide residents 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. 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.

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 16 weeks pursuing elective opportunities (of which 4 weeks will be spent in an acute care setting) chosen by you to meet your own learning or career goals.

If you are looking for a family practice residency program that will let you experience the many facets of family medicine including rural and urban, full-service and focused practice, hospital and community, then we encourage you to apply to 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 opportunity for personal and community growth!

Dr. Jade Dittaro, MD, CCFP, DipABLM- Site Director

Dr. Robert D Sebastian, MD, CCFP – Associate Rural Site Director

Lead Resident Message

The Kelowna Regional Family Medicine program offers five positions for incoming residents (4 CMG and 1 IMG). This program is unique as it offers a mix of both urban and rural training over the course of the two years, creating a strong foundation for those seeking careers in urban, semi-urban, and/or rural environments. In addition to ensuring residents have training in the core aspects of family medicine, residents can also explore their own specific areas of interest and develop skills in these areas. The program truly supports you to create a learning journey that suits your specific needs and goals! Residents will also have ample opportunity to develop responsibility and independence, in part because we are based out of sites with few other learners. With this independence, however, our residents never feel that they are unsupported. Our entire faculty, support staff, and preceptors are approachable and available.

The first year of the Kelowna Regional program is completed at Kelowna General Hospital, alongside the nine residents in the Kelowna Rural program. The year is block based, and residents will rotate through pediatrics, internal medicine, hospitalist, general and orthopedic surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics, mental health, substance use, and emergency medicine. Residents will also be paired with a family medicine preceptor who they will join for a 1/2 day in clinic each week, as well as for 12 consecutive weeks during the year. Additionally, residents can choose to carry out longitudinal electives with family medicine preceptors or specialists in other areas of interest (e.g. substance use, obstetrics) during their first year. There are ample opportunities to tailor the program and it is largely self-directed in terms of learning, allowing you to reach your own learning goals for your future career.

The second year is divided into 3x 16 week blocks. One block is dedicated entirely to elective time, where residents have the freedom to choose electives that suit their learning needs best, either locally, elsewhere in Canada, or even abroad! Another block is dedicated to a rural family medicine rotation in a community within British Columbia. The last 16-week block is unique to the Kelowna Regional program and sees the resident back within the Kelowna community. This block is dedicated to exposing residents to patient populations that are typically underserved, including addiction medicine, care of Indigenous patients, and care of the elderly. During this block, the weeks will be filled with an inspiring mix of learning experiences both at family practice offices and with outreach clinics in the community. The learning experiences in your second year of the Kelowna Regional program are plentiful, and residents are trained to develop sophisticated management plans for their patients with considerations for both rural and urban settings.

Residents of the Kelowna Regional program are typically drawn to the Kelowna area for their passion of work-life balance. Kelowna offers year-round outdoor activities at your doorstep, including mountain biking, skiing, hiking, wakeboarding, camping, and running. If eating and drinking is more your style, there is also an abundance of world-class wineries and restaurants within the area. While most of the second year sees the residents away from Kelowna on rural rotations or electives, they still connect with their colleagues via monthly video conferences for specific rural teaching as well as tuning into academic ½ day each week. Our annual retreat to Big White ski resort, just outside of Kelowna, is also a highlight of the year where R1s and R2s can socialize outside of the hospital.

To support the residents learning, the following courses are subsidized within our program:  Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM), and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). Residents will also have 10 conference days over the two years which may also be used for conferences or additional coursework.

Whether you’re managing a trauma in a rural hospital, learning how to place a central line, or sipping on a glass of white wine overlooking one of our local vineyards, the opportunities are abundant in the Okanagan, and we’d love the opportunity to have you join our program!

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, and I look forward to meeting you all!

 Kyle Exner

Site Lead Resident

Site Information

Number of Residents: 4 CMG, 1 IMG
Location: Kelowna, BC
Community: 142,000
Hospital: Kelowna General
Distance from Vancouver: 391 km

Curriculum Type: Block / Integrated
R2 Elective Time: 16 Weeks
Phone: 250-862-4014
Contacts: Site Director – Dr. Jade Dittaro, Associate Rural Site Director – Dr. Robert Sebastian, and Site Manager – Ms. Janice Demers 
Lead Resident: Dr. Kyle Exner

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 training in palliative care and 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
PGY1 Ortho/
Substance Use
Peds Mental Health ICU(TBD) Obs Obs Hospitalist CTU Peds FM FM ER Surg
PGY2 Rural rotation(4 months; rural BC town) Electives 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 (