A Neepawa doctor has been nominated to receive a national award for his leadership role while he was a University of Manitoba (U of M) medical resident within Prairie Mountain Health region. Dr. Jordan Cram, who hails from Souris, served as Chief Resident of the U of M’s Max Rady College of Medicine —Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit— in 2017/2018. Dr. Cram completed his residency this past year and commenced medical practice in Neepawa in August 2018.
Dr. Cram was nominated to receive the 2018 College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Resident Leadership Award through the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit. He will be receiving the recognition at a ceremony slated for mid-November in Toronto.
"Dr. Cram was a key part of the residency program for two years and was chief resident during the last year," said Dr. Scott Kish, Director of the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit.
"He immediately stepped into a leadership role assisting his colleagues leading various team meetings, reviews and eventually overseeing the resident call schedule at Dauphin Regional Health Centre. He led sessions for the Rural Residency Education Program for year-two students and specific sessions for the Rural Health Mentorship Program for pre-medical students. As a program leader, and an engaged and responsive resident that we relied on in every aspect of the program, it is without hesitation we nominated Dr. Cram for the award," Kish stated.
Dr. Cram, whose father is also a family doctor in Souris, says he’s very appreciative for the recognition.
"I’m very thankful and humbled quite frankly," Dr. Cram added.
"I see the award more as a testament to the amazing preceptors, administrative staff, and fellow residents that I had the honour to work with during my residency. Medicine is an extremely broad area of expertise and every doctor has their own ‘flavour’ or approach to practice. Having the opportunity to be exposed to these varied approaches was an invaluable experience. I couldn’t have asked for better mentors during my training."
The CFPC Family Medicine Resident Leadership Awards recognize outstanding senior family medicine residents for their advocacy efforts, academic achievements and oral presentation skills. The award ceremony will take place at the Toronto Convention Centre during the Family Medicine Forum November 14-17th.
In preparation for this Health Plus newsletter article, Prairie Mountain Health put forward some questions to Dr. Cram. Below are questions and answers from that interview request that we thought our readers might find interesting.
Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you decided that Family Medicine was the career for you?
I grew up in Souris, MB. where I attended school until grade 9. I finished my schooling in Winnipeg. At this point, it was clear that whatever career I ended up pursuing, it would be in a rural area. My father is a family physician in Souris so I was exposed to the profession at a very young age and was instantly drawn to it. In the end, I am very fortunate that I was able to find a career that I truly enjoy doing.
Coming from a smaller rural community, would you say that it helped to shape your understanding of what some of the benefits, and challenges, were in terms of being a family doctor outside bigger centres?
Practicing medicine in general can be very rewarding but I think rural practice is even more special. As a child, I was able to see first-hand the personal relationship rural doctors in my area had developed with their patients and the amount of passion they invested into their care. As a rural family doctor, the scope of practice is very broad. You can start your day by delivering a baby and end it by caring for a palliative care patient in the care home. It is very unique and rewarding.
You undertook your residency in Dauphin, as well as a Family Medicine Clerkship there. For those not familiar with how those two pieces of further learning work, can you expand a little bit?
Medical school is four (4) years, during which a portion of it is spent as a clerk (third year medical student). As a medical clerk, time is spent in the hospital working in a supervised role and caring for patients while simultaneously studying for exams. You rotate through core rotations in every specialty to gain diverse exposure and experience. It is meant to expose students to all facets of medicine and help them decide on what specialty they want to pursue. I completed my family medicine rotation in Dauphin. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a unique summer exposure program in which I spent a total of 14 weeks of my summers during my first two years of medical school working in Ste. Rose and Dauphin. These were great experiences that confirmed my desire to pursue rural family medicine.
Following the four years of medical school, everyone is required to apply for extra training in their specialty of choice, or residency I was fortunate enough to complete my two-year residency in the rural family medicine program in Dauphin. This consisted of clinical duties spent in the clinic, hospital, Emergency Department, operating room, and personal care home.
I take it you had some very good preceptors, especially during your time in Dauphin/Ste. Rose as part of the Parkland Residency Unit. Can you briefly comment on those experiences?
I was extremely fortunate to work with, and learn from, so many amazing doctors throughout my training. Medicine is an extremely broad area of expertise and every doctor has their own “flavour” or approach to practice. Having the opportunity to be exposed to these varied approaches was an invaluable experience. I couldn’t have asked for better mentors during my training — I was very fortunate.
You served as Chief Resident for the Unit in 2018, correct? What would you say were the most interesting aspects of that role, and how do you feel it benefitted you?
Serving as Chief Resident was a very humbling experience. One of the more challenging aspects of the role was time management. There were added administrative and professional responsibilities that came with the role. Managing my time efficiently between these roles and my medical training was a great experience. I have certainly developed a new appreciation of time management skills, which is something I am still working on today in regards to my practice.
You completed your residency this past year and now recently started your medical practice in Neepawa (Aug. 2018). Can you tell us a little bit about the process to begin work there? How have things been going? Was it a fairly easy learning curve adapting to a similar-sized community/practice?
I was really lucky to end up working in Neepawa. My father’s family is from here and I have very fond memories of visiting my grandparents and spending time on the golf course with my grandpa (although you wouldn’t be able to tell). Towards the end of residency, I chose to do a month-long elective in Neepawa with the intention of feeling it out as a possible location for future work. By the end of the first day I knew I wanted to return. We have such a great group of doctors working here, who are extremely supportive and collegial. The staff at the clinic and hospital are excellent.
Starting practice has definitely been steep learning curve but it has been very enjoyable…and busy. I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed my time so far and look forward to building my roots here.
You will be receiving a national recognition award in November for your leadership while you were a medical resident. How do you feel about that?
I am very thankful and humbled. I see the award more as a testament to the amazing preceptors, administrative staff, and fellow residents that I had the honour to work with during my residency.
Are you going to be shifting to a ‘preceptor’ role yourself now in Neepawa/PMH region?
It is somewhat surreal to think that I have the opportunity to teach student/residents already, since I am so early into practice. I do really look forward to being able to fulfill that role once I am a few years into practice, as I had such great personal experiences from preceptors during my training.
Dr. Jordan Cram, with his father Dr. David Cram at the annual Student Rural Interest Group (RIG) in Brandon in 2014.