Two young doctors with roots in the Okanagan are the first graduates of the UBC Family Practice Residency program in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
Established in July 2016, the program is on track of realizing its potential to attract new doctors to the area.
Drs. Travis Thompson and JoyAnne Krupa recently completed the two-year program, which included working with experienced family physicians and rotating through the departments at Penticton Regional Hospital.
Earlier background story:
From a young age, Travis Thompson took an acute interest in medicine — but it wasn’t just an affinity for anatomy and physiology that drew him to the field, rather the prospect of helping others, particularly those living in underserviced areas of the province.
“When you come from a small town, you have a unique understanding of the needs felt by a community,” says Dr. Thompson, who grew up in Oliver.“I remember when my grandmother was sick many years ago, the entire medical community rallied around her — it was in that moment I decided I wanted to be part of a tight-knit medical community and provide quality healthcare to others down the road,” he recalls.
This summer, Dr. Thompson — a recent graduate of UBC’s Southern Medical Program in Kelowna — will continue his path to becoming a licensed family physician in the place he calls home: B.C.’s South Okanagan, the newest training ground for family medicine residents.
Dr. Thompson joins three other residents — Jacqueline Bourdeaux, JoyAnne Krupa, and Rebecca Psutka — in becoming the first cohort to join UBC’s South Okanagan Family Medicine residency site, which will see up to eight residents in training.
According to the site director Margie Krabbe the arrival of these new trainees will bring about many benefits for the communities of Penticton and Summerland, as well as surrounding towns, like Oliver and Osoyoos.
“We’re very excited to welcome these resident physicians to the South Okanagan, a region that offers an exceptional training ground for new doctors,” says Dr. Krabbe, who has worked as a family physician in Summerland for the past eight years.