Dr. Signy Frank has joined the team of doctors serving Sun Peaks and the surrounding communities at the Health Centre.
Originally from Ontario, Frank completed her undergraduate studies in science at the University of Waterloo before attending the University of Limerick in Ireland to study medicine.
Because she received her degree abroad when she returned to Canada she began the International Medical Graduate (IMG) exams to become licensed in Canada.
Now, through the University of British Columbia’s Family Practice Postgraduate Program, Frank is completing her first year of a two year residency program in Sun Peaks and Kamloops.
In the Health Centre clinic a few days each week, Frank is already seeing patients and working toward her goal of practising family medicine. As part of the program she also learns topics like surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics and more at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops.
“I really like the diversity of family medicine,” Frank said. “There’s such a broad scope of patients day to day. What I love most is seeing patients on a regular basis and developing a lifelong relationship with them. It’s a unique opportunity to offer a continuity of care and holistic approach.”
In addition to family medicine, Frank is passionate about rural care and emergency medicine, which is why her program director placed her in Sun Peaks with Dr. Barclay, the clinic’s full time doctor, as her proctor.
Barclay has given back to the field through teaching for years and is currently teaching monthly elective classes to medical students at RIH.
He said the program, which is increasing from six to eight students each year in the Kamloops section, is important to fill the need for family doctors across the province.
“I’ve taught for more than 25 years,” Barclay said. “I just love having students, they love learning and it’s a two way street, they keep me on my toes.”
Laura Bantock, executive director of the health centre, said being a part of the program is also important for putting Sun Peaks on the map. She said Frank or future residents may be interested in coming back to the clinic later or might spread the word to other doctors.
“For Sun Peaks, particularly as a new clinic, it’s great to attract, we want new people to come.”
For Frank, when she completes the program she would like to work in a similar setting.
“I really like rural care and emergency care. I’d love to find a practice to work in both of those areas and I really like B.C. so the plan for now is staying.
“The experience has been fantastic so far,” Frank said. “The area is great, the mountain and the recreation, and everyone at the clinic has been helpful, encouraging and made me feel like a part of the team.”