KELOWNA, B.C. – Dr. Charles Webb, a Vancouver family physician, captured the attention of med students as he shared his life both in and out of the office through his career in medicine.
His experiences balancing career and life were meant to help dozens of UBC Okanagan medical students focus their career choice before graduation.
“What we want is the students to be able to make up their mind as to what best fulfills their destiny in terms of dreams and aspirations, as in what medicine will mean to them through all their lives,” said Dr. Webb.
The event, organized by the B.C. Medical Association, was a also meant to help students find mentors.
“I’ve been able to ask questions regarding their lifestyle, regarding what they like, what they dislike about their job and just get some practical career advice that you don’t often get when you’re in the clinic,” said UBCO student Hannah Duyvewaardt.
Duyvewaardt changed her mind during the event says she’s now leaning toward family medicine. She believes other students felt more focused as well.
“They’ve been really yearning for an opportunity like this to talk to different specialist and get that kind of information,” said Duyvewaardt. “We are in a smaller community and we haven’t had access to different specialties at this point. So I think they’re really enjoying it.”
“The students bring a wonderful fresh perspective, they’re innovative, they’ve got fabulous new ideas,” said Dr. Webb of the evening’s exchanges.
Dr. Webb hopes students also look to specialty medicine and practices in rural communities. He sees a need for more doctors in primary care in the future and was able to communicate that to the next generation of doctors.
“I think there’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for many of these students,” said Dr. Webb.
Other doctors at the event said they would have also benefited from career speed-dating.
“Having this type of event might make it clearer a little earlier,” said Dr. Jared Baylis, a second year resident in the Kelowna General Hospital emergency ward. “If I had this, emergency medicine might have been on the forefront a little sooner.”
“People are wanting a good work/life balance,” said Dr. Baylis. “We’re all hard workers. We’re all really wanting to put our time into our career and work hard but people want balance. And they want to not burn out.”