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Niagara Resident Abroad

In their second year of residency, each Family Medicine Resident has an opportunity to spend two months practicing family medicine in a rural or remote community. While some residents may choose to spend their time locally such as Beamsville, Grimsby or Smithville, second year resident Dr. Laura Walmsley had the unique opportunity to spend her two months in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. 


With a population of 3,500 people, one grocery store and located approximately 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Inuvik is quite remote. Medical care is often provided by family physicians who practice a full scope of family medicine including obstetrics, emergency medicine, hospitalist, GP-Anesthesia and GP-Surgery. On occasion, Veterinary medicine is practiced, on one house call Laura worked with a dog that had been badly injured during a fight with a lynx. 


Laura was also faced with the challenge of providing medical care to surrounding communities via telephone to remote nursing stations. All of this, while weathering -20 temperatures and a full 30 days without sun. Despite some obstacles, Laura's two months in Inuvik was a truly exciting, challenging and rewarding experience.


Pipeline Program - Grade One's and Nutrition


magine travelling back in time to the young age of six, what might your day have looked like? Perhaps learning about math, science, reading and writing, having recess and socializing? On February 20, 2019, Mrs. P’s Grade One’s from Connaught Public School in St. Catharines got to experience a different kind of afternoon, one filled with learning about healthy living and nutrition from our medical students.


Class of 2021 medical students; Hannah Kearney, Daniel Levin, Meghan Glibbery and Becky Jones had the opportunity to go back to elementary school to teach young children during a recent Pipeline Program Day. Grade One students listened to the importance of healthy living and eating while participating in fun activities involving foods. The children sorted a variety of colourful foods into healthy rainbows;  carrots were orange, red pepper slices were red, blueberries were blue and cucumbers were green. 


 Following snack time, the children participated in a colouring activity and A-Z yoga! Who knew practicing the tree pose could be so much fun?


The Pipeline program is a medical-student run and organized outreach program for elementary and secondary schools in the Niagara Region. The goal of the Pipeline program is to encourage students within the region to consider healthcare as a career, including becoming physicians. Specific focus is given to schools in areas with lower socio-economic conditions. During visits, Medical students have the opportunity to teach younger learners about health care related topics and engage in stimulated clinical activities.

Research at NRC

Winter 2019 Update

By Dr. Larry Chambers and Seddiq Weera

Updates on Student Involvement in Quality Improvement (QI) and Applied Health Research Projects

  1. As of January 24, 2019, 36 Quality Improvement (QI) and Applied Health Research Projects are available for the NRC Class of 2021

  Of the projects available, opportunities for learning about 'methods' cover the following topics: 

Clinical Content Areas
  • 14 on quality improvement (QI)
  • 5 involving retrospective medical record reviews
  • 5 use qualitative research & mixed methods
  • 2 are systematic reviews
  • 2 involve prospective follow-up of patient
  • 2 focus on research education
  • 1 focuses on statistical analysis
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Intensive Care
  • Endocrinology
  • Pediatrics
  • Family Medicine
  • Urology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry
  • Community Health
  • Heart Health
  • Diagnostics


 2. A total of 23 students (82%) expressed interest in QI or research in response to a survey, approaching faculty or NRC research support. Of the 23 students, 18 students are in the process of engaging in projects

3. For students interested in formal training in research methods the options include MD-PhD program (offered at McMaster), taking a year off to pursue MSc studies (also offered at McMaster), a 6-12month enrichment program (that can be later used towards completing an MSc) or auditing graduate level courses related to research and quality improvement methods (with permission from the instructor).

4. A student-led Journal Club idea has been discussed among the students to focus on topics related to Foundation and Methodological issues. Once decided, faculty will be invited as subject matter experts to sessions of their choice

5. A peer-reviewed Journal led by the Waterloo Regional Campus, offers opportunities for undergraduate medical students to publish evidence-based clinical case-reports. Link:

6. For any individual quality improvement and applied health research project, we encourage students from more than one class year to work together

 For more information, please contact Seddiq Weera, Research Assistant 

Health Research Services - Funding Opportunities
Check out the current list of research funding opportunities, some deadlines are fast approaching.


Fall 2018 Report on Scholarly Activities

By Dr. Larry Chambers


As a distributed medical education campus, the Niagara Regional Campus (NRC) promotes scholarly activities among faculty and trainees as defined in CanMEDS. Scholarly activities include Quality Improvement (QI) and Applied Health Research.

 Quality Improvement, as a connection between health research and evidence-based practice, is one of the strengths of the NRC. The NRC has unique opportunities to support scholarly activities by faculty and trainees through QI activities.For example, the NRC, in collaboration with Niagara Health (NH) and Brock University, and through the Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement Program (I-EQUIP), conducted numerous QI projects involving NRC faculties, NH staff, and trainees from the NRC and Brock University.

In addition, as revealed at the NH Research Day on November 14, 2018, the NRC faculties and trainees have been actively participating in research and QI projects in cardiology, critical care medicine, emergency medicine and oncology at NH. These activities not only acquired peer-reviewed funding’s, they resulted in peer-review publications and the improvement of patient care. 

 The spotlight for this NRC Newsletter is on the Emergency Medicine Researchers of Niagara group (EMRoN). Over the last seven years, the South Niagara Emergency Medicine physician team at NH have worked to strengthen physician human resources towards highly qualified Emergency Medicine practitioners. Many of the NRC medical learners who have trained in the region remain for further training and eventual practice. The Emergency team has succeeded in developing excellence in emergency medicine and scholarly activities within their department by forming EMRoN with financial support from emergency physicians and the NRC. The leads for this initiative are Drs. Suneel Upadhye and Shira Brown.


NRC has a three-step initiative aimed at trainees:

  1. Increase awareness of QI and applied health research projects that are welcoming trainees to be engaged in projects. (Please refer to the list of projects presently open)
  2. NRC is assisting faculty supervisors and trainees in clarifying their learning objectives when engaged in a QI or applied health research project. (Click here to view the guide on learning objectives)
  3. NRC is collecting data about successful trainee experiences with projects to inform trainees about the exciting opportunities in Niagara through learner peer-reviewed reports about projects. For more information view our check-off list.


Upcoming Researcher Days:

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, researcher Dr. Jean-Eric Tarride will be giving a presentation at the Brock Research Seminar Series on "What are the most important methodological issues in a critical appraisal of economic analyses?" Dr. Tarride leads McMaster's Centre for Health Economics & Policy Analysis and is a scientist at St. Joseph's Research Institute. Trainees are invited to meet Niagara Faculty and colleagues in the afternoon of December 12, following Dr. Tarride's talk.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Dr. Andrew Costa will be visiting the campus to give a presentation at the Brock Research Seminar Series on "The use of 'Big Data' to provide population health perspective for improvement of quality of health care in Niagara."  Dr. Costa is a professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact and is the Research Lead for the Waterloo Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Presentations will be taking place in Brock University's Thistle Hall (beside Tower) in Room 248. For more information please contact Seddiq Weera (

Faculty Focus

Perfection is Paralysis: Learn to Lead with Confidence Workshop


On September 18, 2018, NRC Faculty Development kicked off their first event of the new academic school year with the beautiful backdrop of 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines. We had the pleasure of hearing Prof Maja Jovanovic speak about perfectionism, imposter syndrome, getting off the apology train promoting ourselves first. Too often we are stuck on the apology train and apologize for the silliest of things, such as someone bumping into us at the grocery store, airport or at the office, why is it that we are the ones continuously apologizing for something we didn't do? 

Prof Maja is a Sociologist, professor at McMaster University and Mohawk College, author, writer, apology-hater, confidence builder and recovering make-up addict. She is the CEO of "All In" inc, a women's leadership organization that gives women the communication tools to speak up with confidence at work and get what they want in life. She is also a guest on CTV's "The Social," for more information check out her website.

September 2018 Learner Showcase

Congratulations Class of 2018!

​The Niagara Family Medicine program was proud to graduate ten residents this past June. A reception was held at Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery to celebrate the achievements of these newly independent physicians, as well as the preceptors who trained them for two years.  

 The 2018 cohort has gone on to pursue diverse interests. Four of our grads are pursuing further specialized training in a variety of fields: sports medicine, emergency medicine and dermatology. The remaining graduates have gone on to start their own independent practice or pursue local opportunities. We are pleased that many of our graduates have stayed in the Niagara area, a trend that we continue to see year after year. 

 A big thank you to all the physicians and allied health professionals who have helped teach, guide and support these new family doctors over the past two years! Your dedication and enthusiasm is truly appreciated. 


Welcome First-year Residents


The Niagara site of McMaster’s Family Medicine Residency program was pleased to welcome ten new residents this July. Seven of these residents will be training at urban sites in the Niagara region while three residents will be training in the rural stream based out of clinics in Grimsby and Beamsville. This new group is diverse with individuals hailing from Nova Scotia all the way to British Columbia, as well as four home grown residents, born and raised in the Niagara area. Four of our new residents are recent medical school graduates from NRC. 


This new group was welcomed to the area with a bus tour of the Niagara Region featuring a pit-stop at WildPlay’s Whirlpool Adventure Course for some team building exercises! The day finished with a dinner at Queenston Heights.  This annual welcoming event is a great way for the incoming first-years to get to know each other, their preceptors and the community they will be serving for the next two years. Thank you to Jill Croteau, the Town of Pelham, the City of Niagara Falls and the City of St. Catharines for making this day possible!


Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Meanwhile, our second year cohort formed a recreational softball team this summer, competing under the name “CODE BLUE JAYS”.  With a record of 4 wins and 13 losses, what they lack in skill they make up for with enthusiasm! Perfectionists at heart, the second years have been practicing regularly and hope to finish the season strong as they enter play-offs. Let’s Go Jays!



Welcome to Niagara Day!


Class of 2021 

On September 12, 2018, we welcomed our new cohort of students to campus. Since its inception in 2008, McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Niagara Regional Campus has hosted the "Welcome to Niagara Day.” This day gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves within the Niagara region and experience what the region has to offer them over the next few years of time here. 

 We enjoyed a fun-filled day of exploring the Niagara Region, starting with breakfast and a campus tour. The students then were given a tour of the educational wing and emergency department tour of the hospital. Lunch was hosted by the Town of Lincoln at Vineland Estates Winery followed by afternoon activities in Niagara Falls, including Niagara Helicopters and the Hornblower Cruise. Dinner was hosted by the Town of Pelham which was thoroughly enjoyed by the students at The Urban Steakhouse & Lounge in Fonthill.

 Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, community partners & participants and to everyone who helped make welcome day a success!

Save The Date NRC-01

Congratulations Dr. Lukings!

 Profile Picture

 The Preceptor Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Pre-Clerkship Family Medicine was recently awarded to the NRC's own Student Affairs Director, Dr. Jorin Lukings.  This award is presented to the most deserving Family Medicine preceptor for excellence in teaching undergraduate, pre-clerkship (FME) medical students.

My Elective Experience Helped Me Choose My Residency Program

By Ellen Robb, MD Candidate, Class of 2018

I was lucky to spend elective time with the Smithville Medical Centre Family Health Team in beautiful Niagara West. Smithville is a small farming town just outside of Grimsby, close to of Hamilton and St. Catharines, but very much its own community. This family health team includes a group of 8 physicians, a dietician, a diabetes educator, a nurse practitioner, social workers and nursing staff. Physicians in the Smithville Medical Centre Family Health Team work in a variety of settings within the community; taking care of their own patients at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, going on home visits, working in nursing homes and the staffing the local emergency department.

As a learner in family medicine my time spent in Smithville allowed for a unique experience in primary care. A typical day could include seeing patients of all ages in the clinic for acute and routine health visits, participating in inpatient care, assisting with obstetrics at the local hospital, or seeing nursing home residents. It was a wonderful introduction to full service medicine, and opportunity to gain an appreciation for the importance of providing comprehensive health care in a rural setting. Being able to see patients across environments gave a new perspective on the natural course of common diseases, and the role of primary care in identifying early changes and navigating treatments. For me, it was an example of the power of primary care, and a model of how I would like to practice medicine in the future.

Beyond the varied clinic environments, the Smithville Medical Centre Family Health Team supports and encourages teaching and learning. Everyday there was space set aside for me to see patients, computer access and training provided, and an engaging and supportive preceptor. It was common for physicians to discuss cases together, to seek out the advice of the onsite allied health professionals and to invite me to see uncommon presentations or procedures. Questions were encouraged and always welcomed. This combination of comprehensive primary health care, exceptional teaching and an intentionally supportive learning environment made for a phenomenal experience that inspired me to pursue family medicine training in residency.

First Day in Niagara

Class of 2020!

Welcome Day C2020

Since opening in 2008, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Niagara Regional Campus has hosted the “First Day in Niagara” event to welcome our 28 incoming medical students and provide them the opportunity to explore and experience the Niagara Region.
The “First Day in Niagara” is the perfect opportunity to meet our students, have an open dialogue, and encourage them to appreciate the Niagara Region during their program.  The campus welcomes the community representatives to participate in the event to illustrate to our students how the communities contribute to making Niagara a wonderful place to live, work, and grow.

On September 13, 2017, the campus welcomed the new class of 2020.  We enjoyed a  fun-filled day exploring the Niagara Region, including the Niagara Campus, NHS St. Catharines Site, Roselawn Centre (Port Colborne), Niagara Helicopters, Niagara Hornblower, and 335 on the Ridge Restaurant (Ridgeway).

Thank you to all of the donors, contributors, community participants, and campus partners for making Welcome Day so successful!

2017 CFPC Student Scholarship Award

NRC's very own Mike Milo (Class of 2018) was the latest recipient to receive the 2017 CFPC Student Scholarship Award. These awards recognize outstanding medical students who have demonstrated an interest or commitment to a career in family medicine.

Mike joins past Niagara recipients, including;  Kate Jolley 2016, Clara Sellers 2015, and  Aidan Jeffery 2013.

Congratulations Mike!



Teddy Bear Clinic


The Teddy Bear Clinic is an engaging initiative for children aged 3-9 in which they role play medical scenarios with their plush teddy bears. Participants work through a variety of situations including routine doctor’s visits and hospital settings (x-ray imaging/fracture clinics, anesthesia/ORs) as well as health promotion stations (dental care, physical well-being, mental health, nutrition, hand hygiene).

The purpose of this activity is to alleviate fears associated with medical procedures by providing children with an opportunity to become familiar with the health system in a safe and fun environment. Furthermore, Teddy Bear Clinics have therapeutic utility, as children are given a protected environment in which to explore fears they may have surrounding their own illness or that of a loved one.

Overall, a Teddy Bear Clinic is a child-centred learning opportunity to educate children about their health by exploring topics, including mental and physical well-being, through the lens of teddy bears. Each child is provided with their own hand-made teddy bear, dental kit and a certificate of courage to take home.

Thank you to our Class of 2018/2019 students for participating in this amazing initiative!


17-09-27 - Teddy Bear Clinic 0140 -_



Farewell Celebration for Dr. Karl Stobbe


04-karl stobbe dinner

From Left: Dr. Rob Whyte, Mr. Brian Hutchings, Dr. Jorin Lukings
From Right: Dr. Paul O'Byrne, Dr. Stephen Taylor, Dr. Maynard Luterman
Centre: Dr. Amanda Bell & Dr. Karl Stobbe


To honour Dr. Stobbe for his extensive contributions towards learning and his passion for global health initiatives the campus has establishing the Stobbe Global Health Fund.  The bursary would provide students financial support while allowing them the opportunity to experience and learn about serving marginalized people in different settings around the world.

On June 17th, 2017, the Niagara Regional Campus hosted a farewell celebration to honour Dr. Karl Stobbe as he completed his ten-year tenure as our Regional Assistant Dean.

The farewell celebration included a Karl E. Stobbe Lecture (KES  established by the graduating class of 2011) on Opioid Prescribing, featuring international speaker Dr. Edwin Salsitz, followed by a campus open house, and farewell dinner at White Oaks.

Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Stobbe!

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