Vancouver Island- Strathcona

Vancouver Island – Strathcona

Site Information

Number of Residents: 7 CMG, 2 IMG
Community: Campbell River 35,000, Comox Valley 65,000
Hospitals: North Island Hospital: Comox Valley Hospital and Campbell River & District General Hospital
Distance from Vancouver: 190 km, requires ferry travel
Curriculum Type: Partial Integrated
R2 Elective Time: 8 Weeks
Contacts: Site Director – Dr. Peter Gee
Lead Resident: Dr. Conor Barrie & Dr. Madalon Burnett 

Site Director Message

Three Communities, One Site – We are Strathcona!

Strathcona: lax̌a ʔik ʔəwinagʷis (“It’s a beautiful place”)

Strathcona Site wishes to acknowledge the lands on which we work and learn are the traditional unceded territories of the Laich-kwil-Tach Peoples and the K’omoks First Nation.

Welcome to Strathcona, so what are “we”?

We are a UBC Family Medicine Residency Site on the East Coast of Vancouver Island.

We are One Site embracing three teaching communities of Campbell River, Courtenay & Comox.

We are a Distributed Site within a distributed UBC FM Residency Program.

We are Rural.

We are Family Physicians with a spectrum of talents from full scope, full-service practices including ER and OB to office or hospital-based care.

We are learner-centered, and our Site experience has educational theory at its core.

We are a Site of inspirational and supportive teachers who create a rich learning environment in which we want our learners to flourish.

We are respectful and embrace our Teaching Clinical Faculty and Community of patients who generously offer their time and experiences to our learners.

We are a Site that prepares our learners well in all aspects of Family Practice care and especially for Family Practice in Rural settings

We are the Mountains & the Ocean with all the fun they have to offer.

We are BC.

We are Strathcona!

Take a moment and consider ‘what’ makes the ideal residency experience for you?

Do you wish to be part of defining your learning experience at the Site?

When thinking about the ideal Residency experience, how would you measure its success? What would that look like?

To answer, I may say, “well it all depends”. It all depends on you as an individual with your individual needs and your individual desires. That individuality is something we recognize and embrace at Strathcona as we place our learners at the centre of their learning experience.

We have a structured learning program, and we place you at its heart and ask you to help define your learning experience to make it unique and directed towards addressing your unique learning needs to guide you towards competence in all aspects of Family Practice.

R1 is dedicated towards specialist rotations including family medicine and R2 is dedicated to family medicine in your home community and can include a (remote up to 4 months) Rural elective and optional 8-week elective time.

We work hard to achieve our measures of success. We value our learner’s feedback; we value the National College’s desire for Generalist Family Physicians who can work anywhere in Canada and use this to guide our Site’s progress and future direction.

Strathcona continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of FM Residency education to remain relevant for Resident teaching year upon year.  We achieve this by embracing a dynamic attitude and a desire to embrace change as an opportunity.

My measures of success include graduate readiness and confidence for independent practice, Resident preparedness for the college exam, satisfaction with work-life integration, opportunities to practice and to support rural, underserved communities both locally and throughout BC.

My greatest passion is to see happy teachers and happy learners.

Over 75% of our graduates have remained locally; Over 85% remain on Vancouver Island and over 90% remain in BC.

The majority of our graduates embrace full service privileges including OB and EM care.

We love where we live and work.

We are Strathcona and maybe so are you!

Dr. Peter Gee,

Strathcona Site Director


UBC Clinical Assistant Professor; UVic Associate Clinical Professor

Lead Resident Message

Nature itself is the best physician – Hippocrates

Our site is named for Strathcona Provincial Park, which is the beautiful playground that unites our three communities: Courtenay, Comox, and Campbell River. We are fortunate enough to live in an area of the world surrounded by nature. In one day, it possible to ski, cycle, kayak, and canoe – you can even compete in a race which features all those activities!

Our Site, Our Residents and Our Staff:

Our site is unique in that we serve three mid-sized communities. This offers both exciting opportunities and its own challenges. Our hospitals do see lower volume than the larger urban centres, which translates to a heavy focus on general medicine and less exposure to highly specialized cases. We are fortunate to have a wide range of local specialists who are readily accessible and very supportive of the FP residency program. We are also usually the only learners at our site, and this offers us the opportunity to be first call for codes, deliveries and surgical assists. You may see an interesting surgical case in emergency and be invited to follow the same patient into the OR with the surgical team. We have clinical teaching opportunities at our local and North Island on-reserve clinics for our Indigenous Communities.

Our site is very focused on resident driven learning both in the clinical setting as well as our academic half days. We all take turns running “resident as teacher” sessions for our colleagues and we choose the content of these lectures. In terms of clinical exposure, we have many interesting selective opportunities locally, which residents may choose to engage in depending on their interests. For example, we have access to cancer care/chemo, a maternity clinic, gender affirming care, Indigenous medicine, and methadone/addictions to name a few.

We have new hospitals in both Campbell River and Courtenay.  Our facilities are brand new with state-of-the-art SIM labs, innovative teaching facilities and cutting-edge medical technology.

Our residents are a motivated and passionate group of people. Whether volunteering with search and rescue, pulling injured skiers off the mountain with ski patrol or competing in the Snow to Surf race – Strathcona residents are keeners who jump at the chance to be a part of their communities.

Our preceptors are incredible community physicians. True “jack of all trades” family docs keen to support us in our learning and help us succeed. We also have an amazing team of site faculty and staff who are passionate about our education and are always looking to bring forward exciting learning opportunities. Everyone at Strathcona is committed to your education and learning goals. They are also supportive, as many staff were once residents in the program themselves! We are fortunate to have a tight knit community that extends beyond the resident cohort!

Our Education:

Two years of residency is not a long time to prepare yourself for life as a family doctor, however, our graduated residents have all come out of our program feeling confident and ready to take on independent practice. We have regular exam preparation sessions, which helps us to feel confident with the CCFP exam. Academic half-day happens on Friday afternoon and is a mix of both general and specialist lectures as well as resident-led sessions, preceded by our resident wellness “Check In” where we can lean on each other for support as we navigate the trials and triumphs of residency. Our AHDs are also often followed by an Après-Half Day visit to one of the local watering holes, as no call is scheduled on a Friday!

Our site is rural/regional, and our focus is on this aspect of medicine. If you come to Strathcona you will see a wide variety of cases and have little competition for procedures. We are, however, a smaller centre and while that offers us many opportunities, the challenges lie in volume – if your goal is to place 100 chest tubes by the end of R2 an urban site might be a better fit!

The Lifestyle:

One thing we do well in this area of the world, is lifestyle. We work hard and we play hard. The local area surrounding our community is full of opportunities – whether you love to hike, bike, camp, kayak or ski – you’ll find it here and likely one of your co-residents or preceptors will join you!. We have great schools including French immersion as well as post-secondary education at North Island College.

So Why Come to Strathcona?

At the end of the day, you need to choose a site that is going to be the best fit for yourself and your family. We pride ourselves on the health and happiness of our residents and the people who support them. If you are motivated, self-directed, and looking for a challenging but welcoming environment, Strathcona may be the site for you!