McMaster University – Family Medicine – Grand Erie Six Nations
Program Director

Dr. Sarah Kinzie

Program Administrator

Christine Marits

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Program Details

McMaster University – Family Medicine – Grand Erie Six Nations

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Resident Experience

Edrea Khong
R2
The Grand Erie Six Nations (GE6N) site has phenomenal clinical experiences. For core family medicine rotations, there are preceptors based not only in Brantford, a mid-sized suburban community, but also in surrounding rural towns. This allows residents to pursue training in either a suburban or rural community depending on interests and career plans. In addition, we have fantastic clinical preceptors and mentors on our core off-service rotations in Brantford. We are the only residents based at Brantford General Hospital (BGH) and are not typically on other services at the same time as visiting learners, meaning we get one-on-one time with staff and are prioritized for learning opportunities. BGH also has a large catchment area, meaning we get great patient volumes, variety, and acuity. The continuity in Brantford also allows us to become familiar with all areas of our hospital, and for hospital staff to become familiar with us. This makes BGH truly feel like a home, and not just another place we rotate through for placements.
Being small, our site is able to tailor the resident learning experience to each learner’s interests. We do our own call scheduling and shift scheduling while on ER (with guidance), which means we are easily able to plan work around our busy lives. In addition, it is easy for us to access opportunities in our community during horizontal elective time while on our core family medicine blocks. Finally, as BGH is a community site and not an academic centre, our physicians do not rely on residents, but rather welcome us when we are working. This allows for emphasis of learning over service and makes sure we can get the most out of every case. At GE6N, your residency experience is truly what you make of it – and here, the possibilities are endless!
As a smaller site with 5-6 residents per year, we tend to be a tight knit group. Although things have been more difficult due to the pandemic, we are able to have some small gatherings, whether for social reasons or some program/academic-related activities. Our graduates tend to have fairly diverse practice interests (clinic, hospitalist, ER, addictions, women’s health, or palliative to name a few recently) which fosters a diverse learning experience and provides support to those interested in the same areas. In addition, our site has a very high retention rate, so many of our graduates stay in Brant or Norfolk counties to practice (or come back after additional training). That is the biggest compliment a site can have, and a true testament to how great it is here!
This has been somewhat limited due to the pandemic, but there are opportunities to be involved in medical education through McMaster, in sports locally, and everything else you might expect. Brantford (our homebase) has really great biking/running trails and is beginning to become much more multicultural as well. There are lots of great farms if fresh produce and cheese or fall farm activities are of interest, as well as several microbreweries. Anything in Hamilton is easily accessible and getaways to the Niagara area are only an hour or so away! Social time with family, friends, and co-residents is important!
Lots of things have already been mentioned above, but in short: great camaraderie within the resident group and between cohorts, a smaller site allowing for enhanced learning opportunities, fantastic clinical teachers who support and care about you, and ultimately, the ability to make your residency what you want it to be. It is also important to mention that should you ever need to take a sick day, whether for physical or mental wellness, the process is very simple and non-judgmental. You are not required to get a doctor’s note or provide a reason for a sick day, protecting your confidentiality and making it easier to take the time if you need. Of course, if the issue requires time away from the program, this is well supported as well both from a site and program standpoint.
Completing residency (and exams!) and getting out into independent practice. Second year of residency is more geared towards your interests as opposed to covering core rotations and I have a lot of interesting and exciting rotations still to complete (electives, selectives, rural). The program has prepared me very well to this point and I look forward to continuing to build upon my knowledge base and independence. It is definitely a nerve-wracking time, but we all have to make that transition eventually!
The Grand Erie Six Nations (GE6N) site has phenomenal clinical experiences. For core family medicine rotations, there are preceptors based not only in Brantford, a mid-sized suburban community, but also in surrounding rural towns. This allows residents to pursue training in either a suburban or rural community depending on interests and career plans. In addition, we have fantastic clinical preceptors and mentors on our core off-service rotations in Brantford. We are the only residents based at Brantford General Hospital (BGH) and are not typically on other services at the same time as visiting learners, meaning we get one-on-one time with staff and are prioritized for learning opportunities. BGH also has a large catchment area, meaning we get great patient volumes, variety, and acuity. The continuity in Brantford also allows us to become familiar with all areas of our hospital, and for hospital staff to become familiar with us. This makes BGH truly feel like a home, and not just another place we rotate through for placements.

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