Rural Immersion Site: Valemount


The Town

Surrounded by snowcapped mountains and crystal clear lakes, Valemount is home to 1100 residents.   Valemount is situated closed to the Alberta border and the highway to Kamloops.   Valemount area is the traditional Territory of the Simpcw First Nation.

Situated on a busy highway, with a well-known mountain bike park in the summer and multiple heli-ski operations and an extensive snowmobile network in the winter.

Valemount is a small community that is closely connected to neighbouring community McBride.   The two communities share many services and work together to support residents.

Driving distances

Vancouver – 7 hours
Calgary – 6 hours
Edmonton – 5 hours
Kamloops – 3 hours
Prince George – 3 hours
Jasper – 1 hour

The Clinical Experience

Two communities [Valemount and McBride], the ability to experience two different but connected rural communities. 

Residents will be fully integrated into the clinical team, working with not just multiple preceptors, but alongside all team members. A Resident will enjoy sufficient but appropriate autonomy. The learning environment will be tailored to the specific resident depending on their learning goals.

The two communities have a single on call group that covers the valley, so one of the sites is on virtual call [alternating] every night, [you get to experience both in person and virtual call].

Situated on a busy highway, with a well-known mountain bike park in the summer, and multiple heli ski operations and an extensive snowmobile network in the winter, we are quite busy with various orthopedic and trauma injuries.

All general practitioners, no specialists…with visiting clinics in pediatrics, orthopedics, psychiatry, and rheumatology.

The community is 3 hours from the nearest referral center, CT scan, etc, but with an airport for critical transfers.

You will get to work with a strong interdisciplinary team with everybody working under a single roof, including lab, x-ray, public health, mental health, nursing, physiotherapy, etc. Daily team meetings every morning create strong relationships along with organized social activities.

We have a unique referral pattern as our patients are typically referred to a mix of Alberta [Hinton and Edmonton], Kamloops [interior health], and Prince George [northern health]

The community has long-term physicians who are committed to the community and to rural practice in British Columbia. There are provincial leaders within this group [our physicians lead RCCBC, the provincial joint standing committee on rural issues, extensive UBC connections, etc], and physicians with unique interests [myofascial release, CBT, GP obstetrics]. Strong and unique mentorship opportunities available.

Some of our physicians are new to practice, some are more seasoned. We are a mix of physicians with an international background and physicians who completed residency in British Columbia.

The Community

The community is young and tourist driven. My experience has been that people moved here because they want to be here, and then find a job. This is in contrast to other communities where people move there for the work but don’t enjoy being there.

The Village is no longer simply a forestry town as the large sawmills closed down here in 2008. In fact there is no major heavy industry in town aside from the railway. The primary industries are now agriculture and tourism. The population is made up of an eclectic group of outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

Valemount has a community center with an indoor gym, climbing wall, curling rink, and hockey rink.

In the winter snowmobiling (, backcountry skiing, heli and cat skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, curling, skating (indoor and outdoor) and hockey. There is even a dedicated snowmobile accessed downhill ski area (

In the summer, mountain biking (, hiking (, boating and swimming on Kinbasket Lake, Berg Lake trail, Mount Robson Park [20 minute drive], river rafting and fishing.

The Village hosts specific local events year to year. There is an active mountain bike community here with multiple events [spring bike fest, fall bike fest, enduro races, etc.]

Local arts community hosts concerts/plays, occurring year round! There is also the opportunity to enjoy live music at the legion.

Seasonal community events also occur, such as a community Christmas tree light up celebration, Halloween fireworks and dance, rodeo, racing (Rocky Mountain Race Track), etc.

The scenic views will inspire you along with the friendly vibrant community.


Contact Site Lead Dr. James Card Ask me anything, anytime.