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

Photos: Vanderhoof jives to tunes played by the NVSS jazz band

Funds raised will help the school jazz band to attend a festival in Whistler

Saik’uz resident urges other indigenous students to apply for award

Irving K Barber scholarship deadline is March 31st

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Photos: Ice show by Nechako Figure Skating Club

Day packed with performances from soloists and star teams

Photos: Dear Edwina Jr. at McLeod Elementary

Energizing and captivating performance by students of the school

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read