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October 28, 2017 12:50 am

UNBC Medical Program Grad Returns as Specialist

Friday, January 8, 2016 @ 12:08 PM

sarah roberts

Northern Medical Program’s Regional Associate Dean  Dr. Paul Winwood,  and Dr. Sarah Roberts – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – It’s been a long road,  but  Dr. Sarah Roberts has  returned  to Prince George to practice Oncology at the Northern Cancer Centre.

A graduate of Duchess Park Secondary,  Dr. Roberts  attended UNBC where she  first  earned a Bachelor of Science degree, then  entered the Northern Medical Program.

Designed to train physicians  in the north, with the  hope they will  continue to practice in  northern and rural communities, the Northern Medical Program  has taken  some heat over the years because some graduates  don’t immediately  start  practice in the region.  “It takes time” says the program’s  Regional Associate Dean, Dr. Paul Winwood,  who  says  many graduates, like Sarah Roberts,  continue their studies elsewhere  so they can eventually return  as specialists.

Such was the case with Dr. Sarah Roberts.

After receiving her  medical degree through the University of  Northern B.C, she  took a three year residency  in Internal Medicine at  the University of Saskatchewan, then  two more years  at the University of Alberta  specializing in medical oncology.

When she entered the  Northern Medical Program, the Northern Cancer Centre wasn’t  yet  built  “It was something I  hoped would happen” says  Dr. Roberts.

She has  much praise for the   Northern Medical Program,  saying it  provided her with a wide range and more ‘hands on’ experiences.  “When  I spoke  with  colleagues  in other programs,   it was clear they had not  had the breadth of opportunities   that were made  available to me.”  She says  it may be  because  the University  Hospital of Northern B.C.  handles such a broad spectrum of  issues.

As an Oncology  specialist,  Dr. Roberts   will diagnose and treat  cancers through  chemotherapy and hormone therapy.  She will also  recommend treatment programs and coordinate with other professionals in the delivery of care.

Why oncology?  “That’s a complex question” says Dr. Roberts “I think it’s because  I can make a difference in people’s lives every  day.”

She has been  at the Northern Cancer Centre since  October,  and is now fully “settled in” and finds herself in the position of  being the ‘teacher’ to the new group of Northern Medical  Program students.  “I know exactly what they are going through” says  Dr. Roberts.

With other graduates  of the Northern Medical Program  seeking specialized training,  there are promising  signs on the horizon for  medical  care in the region, especially as  current specialists  plan their retirements.   “It’s really  been the mission of the Northern Medical program to serve the needs of the North” says Dr. Winwood.

As for Dr. Roberts?   The long  journey  has  come  full circle, “It’s great to be home.”


Good for her and for health care in the region.

So happy to hear that those who are taught in our university are happy to stay or come back to us as we truly need you, so thank you very much

Bravo Dr Sarah Roberts ~

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