Dr. Gurkirat Kaur Kandola, a PG local and recent medical school graduate is entering the field of pediatrics after completing UBC’s Pediatric Residency Program, Community Impact (CI) stream.

She entered the program, which teaches participants about the challenges faced by rural pediatric care providers in the fall after spending the summer at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“I am incredibly honoured and proud to be a resident in this unique stream,” says Dr. Kandola. “I have always called Prince George home and to be able to continue part of my residency training in the north is a dream come true.”

Launched in 2019, Dr. Kandola is one of the first residents to enter the stream which provides various opportunities to learn about the practice of pediatrics in the North.

Dr. Lara Malks-Jjumba, Co-Site Lead for the CI Program explained the program gives residents the opportunity to provide care for vulnerable populations in smaller Northern communities.

During Dr.Kandola’s time in the program, she completed rotations in Terrace and Takla First Nation.

“It’s humbling to visit smaller communities and see how much work many of the rural teams are carrying as they strive to deliver the best care possible, especially during this pandemic,” she added.

As a second-generation Canadian of minority descent, Dr. Kandola says she also understands the importance of patient advocacy when caring for patients and families.

“From personal experiences, I can appreciate how difficult it can be to navigate the healthcare system with a loved one with language and cultural barriers,” she explains. “My dream is to provide care to under-served areas and as a woman of colour, I hope to become an ally for families from a variety of different backgrounds.”

Dr.Kandola says she was inspired by her mother who took care of her family after her father passed away when she was young.

She added that the PG community supported her family after her father’s passing, and hopes to give back to Prince George in a special way.

“I also have tremendous respect and admiration for my community, they say it takes a village to raise a child and I really have understood what that means,” Dr.Kandola stated.