Over the past 10 years, approximately 1,300 resident physicians have helped raise the standard of care in the Niagara region through a partnership between Niagara Health (NH) and the Niagara Regional Campus of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (NRC).
“Just last year, 240 resident doctors were receiving their specialty training from physicians at Niagara Health, as many of our physicians give their time and expertise to contribute to this quality-learning environment,” said Chief of Staff and Executive Vice-President Medical Dr. Johan Viljoen. “Medical residents are an integral part of Niagara Health, and we are grateful for their role in providing our patients and families with the best care possible. It’s Resident Awareness Week from Feb. 9 to 15, and we’re proud to celebrate our partnership with McMaster. This work is enhancing patient experiences, and attracting and retaining the best and brightest healthcare professionals to work at Niagara Health.”
Residents are medical doctors receiving specialty training in preparation for independent practice. Their programs range from two years for family physicians to five or more years for other specialties such as surgery or internal medicine. While they receive training, they also work at NH and in regional healthcare settings, delivering patient care and teaching medical students of the NRC.
Since 2012, NH has recruited two general surgeons and seven physicians in family/emergency medicine who completed their residencies at NH.
“Residents are an important part of our work at the Niagara Regional Campus and at Niagara Health,” said Dr. Amanda Bell, Regional Assistant Dean for the Niagara Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. “Residents provide outstanding patient care, they teach and mentor the next generation of medical students and they bring their energy and enthusiasm to healthcare in Niagara.”
Niagara Health and Niagara Regional Campus work together to provide medical students and residents with valuable learning opportunities. An example is NH’s annual Simulation Day when learners and NH team members use technology to work through complex medical situations in a safe environment. This training reinforces the importance of healthcare providers working together as a team.
“At Niagara Health, we deeply value our residents,” added Dr. Han-Oh Chung, Academic Lead and Intensivist at Niagara Health. “When we are teaching residents, we are also learning and growing as physicians. Many of those who train here choose to settle in the area and practice medicine here, which improves access to healthcare for all in the Niagara region.”