Jan. 18, 2019

An Interview with UCLIC

Sitting down with Lenka Stafl

The University of Calgary Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (UCLIC), is a 9 month, research-based, educational experience that allows students to learn in the continuum of patient care. We recently sat down with learner Lenka Stafl to discuss her experience.

 Why did you choose to participate in the UCLIC program? What attracted you to rural medicine?

I chose to do the UCLIC program because I felt that it would be the best educational opportunity for me during medical school given the longitudinal integrated aspect of the program. I was excited to learn in a rural environment as I heard from colleagues that the experience is more hands-on and engaging than is often possible in a bigger centre with more learners. The program has exceeded my expectations in terms of the academic excellence and in regards to quality of life.

What are some of the benefits of experiencing a rural environment in medicine?

Working in a rural environment is attractive because I really get to know my patients and the context that they live in. It is satisfying to experience the continuity of care and help patients meet their health goals. Working in the same community while deepening my knowledge with colleagues who know my current skill level has allowed me to optimize my learning. Additionally, while living in Crowsnest Pass I was very able to maintain an excellent life balance and continue the mountain sports that I love.

Who is your main preceptor? What have they taught you?

Dr. Kristy Penner is my main preceptor. Dr. Penner is an inspiring educator, physician, and human being. She role-models outstanding patient care and work life balance. I have learned many things from Dr. Penner including how to advocate for patients while minimizing burning out, and how to be more inquisitive and brave in the practice of medicine.

What advice do you have for other learners who want to enter the program?

I would highly recommend the UCLIC program to independent self-motivated learners who wish to maximize their clinical skills during medical school and prepare themselves for residency. For those about to start the program, I would urge you to get involved with the community you will be learning in and build connections in that community. Weekly or daily learning goal setting with your preceptor also is a great way to maximize learning takeaways from clinical experiences. There is so much value in learning from all disciplines in rural centers so I suggest scheduling time to learn from allied health professionals in your community. Most of all have fun, be kind to yourself and others and enjoy the ride! It is certainly all worth it!