Another group of family-medicine resident physicians have begun their final two years of training at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) family medicine teaching unit (FMTU). The program, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto department of family and community medicine, recently welcomed 10 new residents, which helps to ease the burden of a shortage of family physicians in the area as many stay and open their own practices in this community once they are finished their residency.

RVH welcomes Doctors Gustavo Cordova, Azza Eissa, Anzel Hennop, Talha Maqbool, Manish Ranpara, Amanda Sauvé, Shelby Stanojev, Rebecca Stepita, Michael Tomizza and Justina Westerink.

“These residents will have the opportunity to practice medicine with a full caseload of patients, while gaining invaluable knowledge as they work alongside RVH’s many skilled physicians,” says Dr. Stu Murdoch, Academic chief of family medicine and postgraduate education director. “It is an extraordinary environment in which to learn to become well-rounded and well-trained family physicians.”

Since the program began in 2009, 62 family-medicine residents have trained at RVH, with 33 staying in the area to set up their own practice.

“As a teaching hospital we merge education and healthcare excellence in such a way that we have a significant, positive impact on our community,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “Many physicians who have completed their training at RVH have gone on to establish practices in the area which has helped meet some of the demand for family physicians. As we focus our efforts on increasing the teaching and research opportunities available at RVH, we plan to continue growing, and hopefully keeping, exceptional physicians in this region.”

In addition to welcoming the new residents, RVH also extends congratulations to the residents who graduated from the program this year including Doctors Atiqa Malik, Michael Borchuk, Joshawa Elliott, Sang Eun “Eunice” Kim, Patrick Lavoie, Shafiq Mohamed, Eldon Ng, Nikki Quinn and William Stuart.

“Our program has far exceeded our expectations,” says Dr. Murdoch. “We have seen some exceptional new doctors come through the FMTU doors and, as faculty, we are so proud to play a part in shaping their careers, passing along our knowledge and skills. The residents bring such enthusiasm and passion for their patients and their work – it is contagious and they remind us of why we became physicians.”

Photo: Ten new family medicine residents recently joined the family medicine teaching unit at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Standing with co-site directors Dr. Christine Stewart (front, far left) and Dr. Brent Elsey (front, far right) are (front row, from the left) Doctors Azza Eissa, Shelby Stanojev, Anzel Hennop, Amanda Sauvé, Justina Westerink and Rebecca Stepita. Back row, Doctors Manish Ranpara, Talha Maqbool, Michael Tomizza and Gustavo Cordova.