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The Barrie Chamber supports the Family Medicine Teaching Unit (FMTU) at Royal Victoria Hospital. This is a local initiative to address the family doctor shortage in our area. The FMTU is a partnership between the University of Toronto, the Royal Victoria Hospital, and the Barrie Community Family Health Team that was launched in July of 2009. The FMTU is a place for medical residents to learn and practice. Statistics show that family doctors are more likely to set up their own practices in the area where they receive their training.

Since the FMTU opened, resident doctors have been treating patients throughout the program, and they are already helping to relieve the heavy load that our existing doctors and clinics face.

Thank you for your support, we know that working together is the best way to help keep family doctors in our area!

The Family Medicine Residency Program – A Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that we are now into the third year of our program. The program, the residents and the faculty have all grown at a remarkable rate and once again, it was a year of many successes. Once again, I am humbled by the support and dedication of our teachers, faculty and staff – the encouragement and enthusiasm shown by all is a key component to the success of the program. While there were many highlights, here’s a brief overview of the past year:

  • The Family Medicine Teaching Unit has nearly 1500 patients registered to-date. That’s a growth of more than 60 per cent over last year’s 900 patients.
  • We had our first three residents graduate from the program. Dr. Anne Muscat, Dr. Justin Porter and Dr. Chris Riddle. Justin will be setting up practice in the region and Anne and Chris are continuing their education.
  • Our faculty has grown again! We have 19 family medicine faculty and 100 specialist faculty who give so willingly and freely of their time and expertise.
  • We have nine new first year residents – seven Canadian medical graduates and two International medical graduates – we welcome them wholeheartedly to our program.
  • There were over 220 applicants to our program this year.
  • Dr. Kristina Lyte, now in her second year of the program, has been named Chief Resident and brings with her ample enthusiasm and dedication.
  • Once again, we held a very successful Cervical Cancer Awareness Week in our clinic, providing pap smears to 30 women who previously did not have access to a family physician.
  • We also coordinated a very popular and well-attended Oncology Day, attended by 100 primary care providers. Attendees learned about topics such as Symptom Management, Emergencies in Oncology and End of Life Care, presented by RVH physicians and staff. We are planning a similar Paediatric Day for the fall.
  • We hosted Medical Student Week in the spring in collaboration with ROMP. Eight medical students from the University of Ottawa shadowed our residents for the day and there was also an information session for high school students considering a career in medicine.
  • The Academic Half Days, held every Wednesday morning, continue to get rave reviews from the residents as they hear and learn from medical professionals on a wide range of topics. A special thank you to the many speakers who volunteer their time and expertise to facilitate our resident learning. We are continually evolving this element of the program and actively seeking more speakers.
  • Four of our faculty were nominated for, and won awards:
  • Dr. Jeff Eisen, Excellence in Teaching in the Clinical Teaching Awards category of the 2011 Postgraduate Achievement Awards.  
  • Dr. Kerstin Mossman, Innovation in Education in the Educational Achievement Awards
  • Dr. Sari Cooper, Role Modeling Clinical Experience in the Clinical Teaching Awards category
  • Dr. Stu Murdoch, Program Leadership in the Educational Achievement Awards
  • Under the guidance of Dr. Anwar Parbtani, Director of Research, Dr. Anne Muscat competed in the Trillium Research Day.  Anne was chosen from a select group of residents to present her research on “Elderly Patients with Atrial Fibrillation”
  • Local organizations held two very successful fundraisers for the FMTU. Mike Brooks & Joan Kelso of Wellington West hosted the second annual Fashionista Unite event and the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce hosted an event featuring the Martels at Georgian Downs. We also received tremendous support from the Barrie and Area Physician Recruitment Task Force.
  • Our program underwent an Internal Review, U of T’s Faculty of Medicine equivalent of Accreditation and we passed with flying colours. Our success with this internal review puts us in a favourable position for the College of Family Medicine Accreditation in 2013.

All in all – a truly great year! Once again, I want to thank everyone involved in the program for their role in the many achievements and successes. I also want to make special note of the incredible collaboration and cooperation we have enjoyed with Royal Victoria Hospital’s Nursing and interhealth professional staff. They have welcomed our residents warmly on to their respective floors and shared their knowledge and expertise openly. This kind of cooperation and collaboration is what makes our program unique, and will continue to support its success in years to come.

We are all very excited about our pending move into our new facility in Rotary Place towards the end of the year – having our own ‘space’ with more room to treat patients, and ultimately to learn  will only further enhance our program.


Dr. Stu Murdoch
Program Director

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