UNBC Medical Program Grad Returns as Specialist
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.”