Dr. Bret Batchelor of Omineca Medical Clinic just completed his enhanced surgical skills training.

Dr. Bret Batchelor of Omineca Medical Clinic just completed his enhanced surgical skills training.

Local doctor completes advanced surgical training

Dr. Bret Batchelor recently completed his enhanced surgical skills training which will enable Vanderhoof to keep its OR.

Dr. Bret Batchelor, of the Omineca medical clinic, recently completed a year of Enhanced Surgical Skills training at the University of Saskatchewan. This training is essential for doctors to maintain their proficiency and keep up to date with current practices.

The surgical skills training is essential for the St. John Hospital as well. Without it, not enough doctors can be around to work in the operating room, which is one of the extremely few operating rooms to be found in northern B.C.

“It’s actually an incredible privilege in Canada right now to have something like this,” he said. “It’s very unique, there’s only 11 sub-sites in B.C. right now.”

Without the training, the operating room wouldn’t be in operation frequently enough, without operations it would close. If it closed then there would be less doctors in Vanderhoof. So it’s a cycle that, thankfully, is being addressed by sending doctors such as Batchelor to surgical training programs.

“Basically it’s a year-long training program, six months focused on surgery and six months focused on obstetrics and gynecology,” said Dr. Batchelor. “It’s intense surgical training specifically geared towards people that work in rural areas.”

The training program allows Batchelor to perform a number of things he couldn’t before and keeps the room in use. Only a couple local doctors use the operating room a couple times a week, the rest of the time is taken up by doctors traveling from Prince George or elsewhere.

Having maternity services, being able to deliver babies, in a small town is the point of focussing on rural areas. Without the training, there would be no operating room in Vanderhoof, and no possibility of Caesarean sections.

“This will allow it to provide a better service to the community, and Vanderhoof is a good example of that. We have 14 or 15 physicians now and it’s because we have that operating room… it also allows the doctors here to do a larger breadth of practice and to do it safely.”

Dr. Batchelor was born and raised in the South Okanagan and came to Vanderhoof, a place he had never heard of, as a trainee. He has never once considered living anywhere else.

Just Posted

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a suspicious fire at the southeast corner of the OK Café in Vanderhoof Friday, June 11. The historic building is 101-years-old. (BC RCMP photo)
OK Café in Vanderhoof alright after suspicious fire

Damage kept to a minimum by firefighters

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read