Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice

Volume 11 - June 2018


Gabriola was featured and honoured at the FPSC Summit and the Rural Health Conference for its innovation relating to health and wellness.  Hats off to physicians Tracey Thorne, Francois Bosman and Maciej Mierzewski; Nancy Rowan, chapter coordinator and a very engaged Gabriola community!

Congratulations to physicians Rebecca Lindley and Nancy Humber who received the Joint Collaborative Committee’s Champions of Change Awards at the Quality Forum this past February. Rebecca was recognized as the founding member of our Division and for raising awareness of design considerations for rural health. Nancy was recognized for her instrumental work with the Rural Surgical and Obstetrics Network.  Kudos to Rebecca and Nancy for their accomplishments!

Welcome, Godwin Ameh and Safi Saeed, PRA candidates, and recently named physician leads for Hazelton and Western Interior Chapters!

Welcome, Jan.  Jan Fraser is the new Division administrative coordinator. She is enjoying her new role and busy putting faces to names and supporting a variety of Division activities. On weekends, Jan is a volunteer for the baby comfort program at the BC Women’s Hospital newborn ICU.

Welcome, Rhonda.  Say hello to Rhonda Orobko, the new Bella Bella chapter coordinator. Rhonda is loving the rugged landscape of mountains, ocean and cedar surrounding the community and the Heiltsuk people are strong, proud and welcoming!

Do the right amount of less with Pathways…beyond the outstanding referral database, Pathways is home to thousands of curated patient and physician resources. Check out our great video!

Locums urgently needed...

In Bella Bella... due to medical reasons within their families, two of the Bella Bella physicians have to take time off.   We are now extremely short on physicians from June 11 to July 8.   We need one physician from June 11 – 24 and two physicians from June 25 – July 8.  For information and to apply, please contact Cindy Aronson at or 250.306.2276

For other communities, please check here >

The Geriatric Intensive Course run by the UBC Division of Geriatric Medicine is now available online!  The videos are available here >  or under the tab “Review Course 2018” on the UBC Division of Geriatric Medicine website. To open each video just click on the title link for the video of interest.

JSC announces improvements to rural locum programs >


A Serendipitous Match Made in Long Beach

Dr. Pam Frazee grew up on the North Shore of Vancouver and moved to Tofino 32 years ago. Growing up in the city, she never imagined herself living in a small town. She completed her rotating internship at Victoria General Hospital and then did her first locum in Tofino – she went there for a summer, then a year, and then made it her home.

Twenty-eight years ago, a woman sitting next to Dr. John O’Brien on a flight home from New Zealand mentioned to him that Tofino was desperate for locums. When he got off the plane in Vancouver, John made a phone call, lined up a locum in Tofino, and made his way there. When he arrived, he met Pam – married her – and he’s never looked back.

Both Pam and John share how much they love practicing rural medicine. They both say it’s way better than any other kind of practice. “It’s so interesting and so rewarding. You are a true generalist and also get to be very involved in the community hospital,” shares Pam.

Fast forward 32 years, now in retirement-relaxation mode, John and Pam reflect on their years of rural practice and a community they love being a part of.

They are sad to be losing the relationships with their patients and helping people through the years. “Some of our patients have been with us for our entire practice,” says Pam. “But the most wonderful aspect of our transition is that we are welcoming two excellent physicians – Dr. Celina Horne and Dr. Lincoln Foerster,” says Pam.

“They worked for us last summer and everyone loved them,” says John. “We never thought a couple would take over our practice and now here we are! We were only searching for about a year. We thought it would take years upon years to find a replacement. Celina and Lincoln came along and they were perfect!”

Prior to arriving in Tofino, Celina and Lincoln were practicing in Calgary. They didn’t have their eye on any particular destination for practicing medicine but both of them enjoy full-scope rural practice. Combined with loving the outdoors, Tofino was a good match for the young physician couple.

“Tofino is a unique community. It’s rural but it also offers some attractive amenities – more than what we’ve experienced in other rural communities,” says Lincoln. “The year-round surfing is pretty amazing too.”

Celina and Lincoln feel that they have big shoes to fill with Pam and John leaving the practice but look forward to the challenge.  “John and Pam have been amazing to us and the staff and patients have been so welcoming. It’s surprising how quickly we’ve built a social network. We’re feeling very supported in our new community,” says Lincoln.

While Celina and Lincoln take on their new challenge and set down roots in the community, John and Pam head out to explore beautiful destinations on their boat and recovering from their hard-at-play physical adventures. “I have lots of sore muscles from skiing, surfing and mountain biking,” shares John. “And, I’m loving every minute of it.”

After a little more rest and relaxation, both John and Pam plan have plans to locum in the area.

For more information about these dedicated rural physicians, check out this article >