Prince George

Prince George

Site Information

Number of Residents: 6 CMG, 4 IMG, and 5 Northern Rural
Location: Prince George, BC
Community: 72,000
Hospital: The University Hospital of Northern British Columbia
Curriculum Type: Block
R2 Elective Time: 12 Weeks

Site Director Message

Welcome to the Prince George site!

Hi, welcome to the Prince George site. We are passionate about rural medicine with a northern context. If you are interested in the north, and in full service rural practice, please read on…

Our site is for you if:

  • You are interested in full-service (urban or rural) Family Practice which includes office, hospital care, ER, and/or obstetrics.
  • You are interested in rural medicine
  • You are interested in rural locums
  • You want to develop a solid foundation of acute care and ER Family Practice skills to apply for an R3 ER or GPA program (we have 12 weeks of ER and 4 weeks of ICU and 12 weeks of R2 elective time)
  • You want a rigorous, diverse, and relevant clinical experience with lots of rural influence.

This site is probably not for you if:

  • You want to work in an urban-based Family Practice office only setting
  • You want to sub-specialize into a narrow scope of urban Family Practice
  • You want to be a hospitalist
  • You enjoy traffic and unaffordable housing

So what makes us unique?


  • We have a strong focus on northern and rural medicine. This involves heavy on call responsibility and lots of training in emergency and acute care medicine to have you ready to run that rural ER and hospital once you are done.
  • We believe in resident autonomy. Whenever possible, we try and tailor the rotations and experiences to meet the needs of our residents. Autonomy = wellness!
  • We offer optional rural experiences during some of our core R1 and R2 rotations. This will take advantage of smaller communities with more one-on-one time with specialists and Family Physicians in an enthusiastic atmosphere. This will be balanced with the volume and experience of the preceptors in Prince George, one of UBC’s most established residency sites.
  • We are currently offering mentorship in rural committee work and policy development for those interested in involvement with provincial rural networks.
  • We are incorporating frequent SIM lab sessions and ultrasound teaching (COVID restrictions depending) throughout the residency.
  • We are also piloting the use of SIM sessions in our local site orientation. This is being driven by our current residents.

Who am I?

I am James Card, the site director for the Prince George and the Northern Rural Family Practice Programs. I am a UBC Northern Medical Program graduate and a graduate of the Prince George Family Practice Residency Program. I am currently a rural physician with my clinical practice in Valemount. I am passionate about full-service family practice and Rural medicine. It is my goal to create a program that excels in transitioning residents into competent and confident physicians for Northern and Rural British Columbia and Canada.

Who are we?

The Prince George site is one of the largest and most established of the UBC Family Practice residency sites. We have been training residents in Prince George since 1995.

Our hospital is unique for a community this size as most inpatients are still managed by their family physician. We do not have a hospitalist model here. The focus is on full-service Family Practice. Numerous community-based Family Physicians also work in emergency, including many of our graduates.

Historically we are known for extensive hands-on training from enthusiastic preceptors. There is also ample opportunity for teaching as Prince George is home to the Northern Medical Program.

I’ll be honest, our site has also been known for hard work. The call here is heavy, with diverse experiences. We are paying close attention to the volume and diversity of clinical experiences to ensure that our residents are appropriately prepared for independent practice. We produce strong residents (…and strong physicians)! I have heard this from numerous other rural Physicians and I have seen this personally as a rural preceptor, working with residents from all over the province.

The community:

There’s a frequent saying in Prince George, “I came here on a 2-year plan”. As a transplant from the Vancouver area myself, my 2-year plan is now going on 20. There are many reasons for this. This is truly a multicultural and diverse community of friendly people and ample opportunities.

  • Medical community – most of the family physicians here are graduates of our program, there is a reason they stick around!
  • Housing – affordable. Many residents buy. Enough said.
  • Amenities – the community is just big enough for a Costco, two indoor swimming pools and multiple other recreational facilities
  • Opportunity – many opportunities for spouses, children and family including a community college and a university.
  • The outdoors – truly amazing. I could go on for hours, please ask. If you are into it, chances are you can do it here. This includes things you would not expect. Sailing? I had a boat here for six years. Diving? Yes, that too. Really, anything!
  • Student loan forgiveness! – yes, you get that too as a resident here.

As is probably obvious by now, I believe Prince George and our program has much to offer the Resident who is interested in hands on hard work with the goal of becoming an excellent, independent, full service, fulfilled Family Physician who can practice competently anywhere.

If you are interested, please reach out to either myself or our residents.

Lead Residents –

R1 Reps –

I hope to chat with you soon!

Dr. James Card MD, CCFP


Lead Resident Message

You may be wondering what resident life will be like, and how to choose the right program. We think that choosing the right path depends as much on the people as the place.

Prince George is a welcoming, family-friendly and affordable community which will make the transition to residency that much more manageable. It is a small city that feels more like a small town. It is easy to get around and accomplish quite a lot in any given day–you could get off work, go to Costco, go snowshoeing or mountain biking, then head home. There is very little traffic, and there are seldom lines at the stores, making each commute and errand more manageable.

The medical community is well connected, and you get to know your staff as well as your colleagues very well throughout the residency. Although, with about 30 residents between the two years, Prince George is one of the larger UBC sites, the resident group here is quite tightly knit, often socializing during “call-free Fridays” which allow us to have a guaranteed night each week to spend time together and socialize with each other. Historically, we have had two retreats every year–one is with just the residents, and one is in Jasper with the hospital physicians. The location of our retreat changes from year to year; in recent years, the residents have greatly enjoyed skiing at Powder King Mountain Resort as their retreat.

We have a local resident resiliency committee that holds events for us, and arranges optional wellness check-ins. The warm and welcoming medical community is one of the highlights of resident life in Prince George.  In fact, the community advocated for its own medical school, leading to the development of the Northern Medical Program, which highlights its passion for medical education. This represents itself when you see that your patients are appreciative to have you training in their community. There is a low learner to staff ratio so it allows the staff to get to know you well, allowing them to work with you on your strengths and weaknesses. You will get to know your family practice office well and will be able to develop a patient panel of your own as you will be with them throughout the two-year program. Lastly, if your interested in gaining a great deal of hands-on experience and formulating care plans for unique complex cases while not being a spectator to senior residents or fellows, then the program at Prince George would be a great fit for you.

In your free time, Prince George is considered the Capital of the North; offering picturesque wilderness and outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, golfing and camping. Lakes and rivers abound with opportunities to kayak, canoe, fish or swim. There is an extensive network of trails for running and mountain biking. Winter activities include a range from cross country skiing, hockey, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, sledding and ice skating. The surrounding area affords easy access to the mountains for camping, backpacking or backcountry skiing. Prince George is home to the Cougars (a WHL hockey team), a symphony and an excellent semi-professional theater. There are two local breweries, both offering great venues to socialize, and many restaurants and chains to satisfy nearly every culinary craving. The local parks also accommodate for great impromptu spike ball sessions or rounds of frisbee golf.

We hope you will consider Prince George and come live the Northern BC experience!


Dr. Graham Shaw & Dr. Jérôme Williams