Construction for new medical school at VJH underway

Students, physicians and administrators with the University of B.C.’s Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program will soon have a new expanded work space at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

A portion of the Polson Tower fifth floor is now under development to serve the program.

“The new space will not only enhance the learning environment for our students, but provide an excellent resource for our valued teachers,” said Dr. Allan Jones, UBC’s regional associate dean.

“Additionally, it will provide continuing professional development opportunities for family physicians and specialists within Vernon and surrounding communities.”

The new medical school space, a total of 3,123-square-feet, will be situated in the previously empty shelled-in west end of the fifth floor in the Polson tower.

It will include centralized education areas, a clinical skills room and two videoconference rooms, as well as an on-call sleep area, lounge, and lockers for medical students.

Construction on the UBC space has now begun under a construction management services contract with Black and McDonald, and is expected to be complete this fall.

Medical students entering the program complete two years of academic training at UBC Okanagan and the newly-built clinical teaching campus at Kelowna General Hospital. They then transition to the hospitals and clinics for their third and fourth year gaining essential hands-on clinical experience on their path to becoming a doctor.

VJH and Vernon family practice clinics currently support SMP’s integrated community clerkship program, which offers a full year of clinical training for two third-year UBC medical students interested in practicing family and specialty medicine in a smaller community.

The program enters its fourth year this fall, hosting six third-year medical students over the past three years. More learners and residents are expected with the possible expansion of the Vernon intensive care program in the near future as well as the introduction of new residency programs.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a strong community of over 60 health professionals in Vernon teaching and supporting our students,” said Jones.

Construction and equipment for the UBC space on the fifth floor will cost about $983,000 and is funded by the Ministry of Health.



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