CASTLEGAR – With interest in the Selkirk College Rural Pre-Medicine Program high, the application deadline has been extended to provide more opportunities for those interested in getting a start on a career in medicine.
Selkirk College launched the Rural Pre-Medicine Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree Program late last year. The three-year program has received significant interest, but with a few seats left in the inaugural cohort the college will now accept applications until the end of April.
“The program has been very well received and we are pleased with the high quality of applications that have been submitted so far,” says Elizabeth Lund, Selkirk College chemistry instructor and originator of the program. “This new program and getting the word out to all of those who might be interested in applying has been a challenge. We wanted to ensure that any interested applicants would have the opportunity to learn about the program and get their applications in.”
After nearly two years of study and preparation, the college launched the program in November. Based out of the Castlegar Campus, the program is geared towards addressing the rural doctor shortage across Canada and offers students the opportunity to learn in the intimate setting of a community college.
In creating this program, Selkirk College has worked closely with the UBC Faculty of Medicine, the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (a joint venture of the BC Medical Association, the Ministry of Health and the UBC Faculty of Medicine), the Native Education College, the Interior Health Authority, Columbia Basin Trust, local physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care providers.
“We knew this program addressed a need,” says Lund. “Having a first year program fill so quickly is evidence that making a career in medicine more approachable for rural and Aboriginal students is something valuable and worth pursuing.”
A unique touch to the program will be non-credit course work that weaves well into Selkirk College’s current strengths. In conjunction with the Mir Centre for Peace, students will receive mediation training, cultural sensitivity training, mindfulness training and contemplative practices to enrich and cultivate skills around attention and emotional balance, altruism, empathy, critical thinking and decision making. The college also hopes to offer directed service opportunities such as partnering with Selkirk’s BSc Nursing Program in its successful Street Nursing Initiative and the International Nursing Practice Experience in Guatemala.
Students enrolled in the program will complete all of the requirements including the writing of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and will be eligible to apply for entrance to the undergraduate MD program at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. Any students who are not accepted into medical school after third year or choose to pursue different career paths can transfer into fourth year at a university, such as UNBC [University of Northern British Columbia], and complete a Bachelor’s degree in an alternate pathway.
The start date of the program is Fall, 2014 with an initial cohort of 24 students admitted to the program.
For more information on the Rural Pre-Medicine Program at Selkirk College please contact David Feldman, School Chair for University Arts & Sciences at 250.365.1331 or via email at email@example.com. You can also check out the Selkirk College website at: selkirk.ca/program/rural-pre-medicine.