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Family physicians celebrate graduation in Brantford

Six family medicine residents graduated from the McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine on Wednesday as the first cohort of the Grand Erie Six Nations Clinical Education Campus‚ Brantford Centre.

The family medicine residents have spent the past two years training in Brantford, County of Brant, Six Nations of the Grand River and Norfolk County, based out of the Brant Community Healthcare System.

Three of the six new physicians say they plan to stay on and practice medicine in Brantford.

“The graduation of our first cohort of family physicians from the Grand Erie Six Nations Clinical Education Campus is the result of an outstanding collaboration,” said Dr. David Price, chair of the department of family medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.“The community, the Brant Community Healthcare System, the wonderful physicians, specialists, clinicians and staff of the region have all played a part in getting to this day. We … send a special thank you to the citizens and patients who play such an important role in educating our future family physicians.”

The program, now in its third year, has grown in size and popularity among would-be family medicine residents. Approximately 70 students applied to the program in its first year and the number rose to 110 in its second year. This year, there were more than 150 applicants.

“Living and training in Brantford for the past two years has prepared me and my colleagues very well for an exciting and diverse future practice,” said Dr. Derek Gateman, co-chief resident of the program. “A community hospital such as Brantford General Hospital presents a wealth of learning opportunities and welcoming staff, while avoiding the risk of being lost in anonymity at an academic teaching hospital.”

Gateman says he is keen to begin practicing this July and will be staying on at the BGH as a hospital physician.

The Western University graduate obtained a degree in mechanical engineering and then enrolled in medical school.

Having been raised in a small farming town, he aspires to work as a rural family doctor. He has an interest in teaching and has contributed to both resident education and recruitment as the site’s co-chief resident.

Resident Al Quinlan grew up in Brantford and completed a honours bachelor of science degree in biology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Quinlan attended medical school at the University College Cork in Ireland. Upon graduation from the McMaster family medicine residency program, Quinlan plans on working in Woodstock and Brantford.

Graduate Mathew Chui grew up in Toronto, where he studied immunology at the University of Toronto, and attended medical school at Western University.

Having finished his post-graduate training in Brantford, he plans to work as a hospital physician at the BGH.

“I look forward to caring for the people of this wonderful community,” Chui said.

Grimsby native Lisa Trojnar earned an honours bachelor of science at University of Toronto and an undergraduate degree in medicine at Western University. Trojnar will soon begin an enhanced skills program in family medicine anesthesia at Queen’s University.

Yonina Mar of Hamilton researched how birth complications are a risk factor for schizophrenia and then obtained a medical degree at Imperial College London while her husband did post-doctoral research.

Mar says she is “happy to return home to family and friends and pursue her residency in family medicine in an Ontario community close to where she grew up.”

After graduation, Mar will be on maternity leave.

Grand Erie Six Nations Family Medicine graduate Wesley Eby plans to do another year of anesthesia training at the University of Toronto.

All six of the graduates spent time training in the BGH’s new teaching facility.

“The new teaching wing has become a common meeting space for both students and staff, allowing for the sharing of experience and knowledge,” said Dr. Scott Elliott, site director for the clinical education campus. “Most importantly, it has brought new physicians into our communities who are planning on staying.”

The 10,000-square-foot, $1.2-million facility was built at the BGH in 2013 and includes classrooms, offices, lounges and living space for residents on call.

Also on May 27, Dr. Karen Hill was the first recipient of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award for bridging the gap between indigenous health values and the western medicine.

Hill co-founded Juddah’s Place in 2013, a clinic in Ohsweken emphasizing traditional indigenous healing alongside primary care and training for residents.

Read the original story on the Brant News website.

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