On September 23, 2023, it was a privilege to once again host an in-person conference for UBC medical students interested in the unique specialty of family medicine. We were joined by esteemed family physicians from across the province who demonstrated their passion for and dedication to family practice.

Topics ranged from: the value in rural family medicine and how to treat pain with compassion to remuneration models and tips on how to complete a successful family medicine application. You can learn more about this year’s speakers below.

A special thank you to all of this year’s inspiring family physicians who joined us:

  • Dr. Rupi Brar
  • Dr. Rebekah Eatmon
  • Dr. Christine Singh
  • Dr. Justine Spencer
  • Dr. Cassia Tremblay
  • Dr. Melanie van Soeren
  • Dr. Shaun Van Zyl
  • Dr. Fred Voon
  • Dr. Vincent Wong
  • Dr. Maryam Zeinidden

If you are a medical student at UBC and would like to keep up to date on all of our student-focused events and initiatives, such as Dinner with Docs and our $1000 Medical Student Scholarships, join our mailing list

  • The ebbs and flows of Family Medicine: The Good, The bad & The Wonderful

    Dr. Maryam Zeineddin is a local Northshore family doctor and business owner of almost two decades, graduated from UBC for her undergraduate degree in physiology and UBC Medical school. She finished her residency program at St Paul’s hospital.

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    She is a UBC clinical instructor at the faculty of medicine and was one of the negotiators for Doctors of BC including negotiations for the new payment model for primary care. She is the president- elect for BC family doctors and has served as board member for BC college of family physicians, ubc medical alumni and BC family doctors. She has shifted her family practice to focusing on prevention with the continuity of care she provides for her patient. Dr Zeineddin is a CBC health commentator and is a big advocate for our health care system valuing preventative health rather than what she refers as “band aid” health. She is the founder of Zili CARE, a preventative not for profit promoting evidence-driven lifestyle measures focusing on the interplay of mental and physical health with health programs, counselling, speaking engagements and yearly health conferences for the public. Dr Z is a proud mom of two girls advocating for a strong sense of social responsibility for her community.

  • Cultural Safety and Humility

    Dr. Eatmon is a family physician serving both urban and rural Indigenous peoples at the Lu’ma Medical Centre in Vancouver, as well as Carrier Sekani Family Services in Northern BC.

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    Dr. Eatmon is a family physician serving both urban and rural Indigenous peoples at the Lu’ma Medical Centre in Vancouver, as well as Carrier Sekani Family Services in Northern BC.

    She is Tsimshian from Lax Kw’alaams, from the Raven Clan on her father’s side and Métis on her mother’s side. She completed her medical training at UBC, where she participated in cultural safety learning as a resident in the Indigenous Family Medicine Program.

  • Emergency Medicine - Maximize Your Potential

    Dr. Fred Voon brings Family Medicine fundamentals to urban Emergency Medicine practice with special interests in patient education, information technology, mindfulness in medicine, business, and evidence-based happiness.

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    After graduating from medical school in 2001, he completed residency training in Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. He has then worked in clinic and hospital settings, both urban and rural, in British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and New Zealand.

    Currently, his main work is as an Emergency Physician.  However, he is also an executive on multiple physician associations, a speaker, and an author of a non-fiction health guide for everyday Canadians titled, “Your Inside Guide to the Emergency Department–and How to Prevent Having to Go!”.  A recent video giving health tips to try at home went viral with 10 million views on TikTok in the first 48 hours!

  • Impacts of Family Medicine During a Toxic Drug Crisis

    Rupi Brar is the medical director of the VCH regional addiction program. She works clinically at St Paul’s Hospital Rapid access addiction clinic and the addiction medicine consult team and with PHS community services society in the DTES.

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  • Treating pain with Compassion

    Christine Singh is a UBC medical school graduate 2002 and a family physician and clinical faculty with UBC indigenous Family Practice residency.

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    She works in full service practice in team-based primary care community settings.  She appreciates her diverse career as a family doctor and the many ways she can support her patients. Cultural safety and trauma informed practices are guiding principals to enhance the effectiveness of the biopsychosocial approach to medical care she provides.

  • Maternity Care

    Dr. Melanie van Soeren is a clinical assistant professor at Memorial University and a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia.

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    Her medical education took her from coast to coast to coast in Canada; She is an alum of UBC medical school Island Medical Program, she completed her residency at Memorial University in the Nunafam program in St. John’s and Iqaluit, and she was the first fellow with the Care of Underserved Populations enhanced skills program at MUN where she trained in Labrador, St. John’s and Nepal.  She previously worked with the Downtown Health Collaborative in St. John’s, providing primary care for marginalized individuals at the Gathering Place and Choices for Youth (CFY), and was the physician aligned with the CFY program Momma Moments which provides wrap around supports to at risk mothers.   Since a move home to BC in 2020, she has been working with the PHS Community Services Society providing low barriers full scope primary care for patients living in the Downtown Eastside, a vibrant and multicultural inner city neighborhood which is also Canada’s poorest postal code and the epicenter of the opioid overdose crisis in Canada.  The most rewarding parts of her career include delivering babies and supporting her most underserved patients achieve their health goals.  When not working or advocating for change she can be found on a local ski hill or trail running with her dog Fogo.

  • Remuneration Models and Practice Settings in Family Practice

    Dr. Vincent Wong is a family physician practicing in the Lower Mainland and is passionate about medical education, health systems, and interprofessional collaboration.

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    He completed his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Doctor of Medicine, Family Medicine Residency, and Master of Health Administration degrees at UBC, and is working towards a Master of Health Professions Education through Maastricht University.  He regularly precepts residents and medical students at the UBC Health Clinic and is currently serving as both the Assessment Co-Lead (Portfolio Director) for the UBC Family Practice Residency program and the Co-Site Director for the Vancouver-Fraser site of the program.

  • Why Rural Family Medicine? …..the answer!

    Dr. Van Zyl is an internationally trained rural family physician living and working in Kimberley BC on the traditional and unceded territory of the Ktunaxa Nation. Originally from South Africa, He earned his medical degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1997.

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    Dr. Van Zyl has been practicing medicine in Canada for 21 years. He originally worked in Northern Saskatchewan before settling in BC in 2004 where he and his wife Jacqui have raised three boys. Dr. Van Zyl is passionate about team-based care and teaching medical students and residents. He has held a number of medical leadership roles including Chief of staff, Chair of the Kimberley Health Centre, Collaborative Services Committee Division Representative, Head of Department of Family Medicine East Kootenay Regional Hospital, and PCN lead for the Kimberley Medical Clinic. He is currently the board chair of the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice and the Year 3 Director of UBC Rural Family Practice.

  • Tips for Planning for a Competitive Family Medicine Application

    Dr. Cassia Tremblay is a 2023 UBC Family Practice graduate from the Kootenay Boundary rural program.

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    She attended UBC Island Medical Program and is passionate about the value of primary care. During her education she has been involved in leadership as the UBC Family Practice Lead Resident, and prior to that through involvement with the UBC Medical School Family Medicine Interest Group. She is now completing additional  training in addictions  medicine and counselling skills, and working in clinic and hospital settings in both rural and urban locations.