New Family Medicine training centre provides "comfort of home"
A state-of-the-art medical centre that will serve as the academic home to family medicine residents in the School of Medicine was officially opened in Belleville this week.
It’s part of a $6.6 million expansion of the university’s family medicine residency program funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Queen’s has provided $1 million towards the capital cost of the new centre.
“We are building on Queen’s long-standing tradition of community-based family medicine training programs and further solidifying our presence as a regional School of Medicine serving communities from Oshawa to Ottawa,” said David Walker, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “Family medicine residents from Queen’s will spend their two years of training at the Belleville Queen’s Family Medicine Centre, providing quality healthcare to area citizens.”
Rebecca Holmes is starting her residency at the Centre next month. She says staying in one place has multiple benefits. “Through continuous interactions with patients, health care providers, and local agencies, an understanding of the community’s needs develops,” she says. “This allows residents to better address these needs, through advocacy, research, education and direct patient care. You also develop rapport and trust among your colleagues, and your constant presence helps to create your identity as a family medicine resident. Not only is it beneficial to your professional development, but you gain a sense of belonging with the people and the community, and soon it will have the comfort of home.”
Residents, physicians and representatives of the Queen’s School of Medicine, the South East Local Health Integration Network, and the city of Belleville celebrated the Centre’s opening with a ribbon-cutting reception and tours of the facility.
“The Centre will be a tremendous addition to Belleville and the Quinte area,” says Jonathan Kerr, the Centre’s curriculum lead. “Our enthusiastic, dedicated group of family doctors will be working alongside keen, energetic family medicine residents from Queen's to provide outstanding family medicine care to our patients. By focusing on preventative care and chronic disease management, the Centre will provide more people with their own family doctor which will shorten wait times in local emergency rooms or walk-in clinics.”
Features of the two-storey, 12,000-square-foot centre include:
• 22 high-tech exam rooms and a minor procedure room
• electronic medical records
• the latest medical equipment
• free parking for patients
The Centre currently houses five family physicians and two general surgeons, with two more family doctors scheduled to join over the next year and capacity for further expansion in the future.
Queen’s family medicine residency program has also recently expanded to Oshawa and Peterborough.