Northern Family Medicine Program in Goose Bay


The outskirts of Goose Bay were still covered in snow when Roger Lemoyne flew into town in April.
According to Dr. Jong's wife, Cathy, "Churches and bars are the main thing you you find in Goose Bay".
Labrador is roughly as large as the U.K. but has a population of only 30,000. Doctors spend a lot of time on the road or in the air getting to remote locations.
Dr. Michael Jong is originally from Malaysia, but he fell in love with Labrador on a brief visit early in his medical career and has called it home for more than 26 years.
The combined jobs of seeing patients, teaching students and managing the NorFam Program make for long days for Dr. Jong.
While most of the students enrolled in the NorFam Program are from Newfoundland, it also attracts students from all over the world.
Dr. Jong, in consultation with a Colombian medical student.
Students with NorFam get hands on experience in both a hospital setting and in remote locations, handling everything from emergency room cases to delivering babies.
Dr. Jong and a student putting the finishing touches on a cast for a local student injured during a hockey game.
Many patients a the Labrador Health Centre are Innu and like aboriginal people across the country, they deal with a number of health issues arising from acculturation.
First Nations children snowboard using pieces of aluminum siding on a reserve near Goose Bay, Encouraging people to be more active is one of the ways Dr. Jong and his colleagues try to improve the health of the community.
April in Labrador
New technologies like video conferencing allow consultations with medical students stationed in the far north of Labrador.
Dr. Jong has a strong passion for the land he has adopted and knows that by sharing this with students they are more likely to want to stay and work in a remote location.
As part of their training, NorFam's studnts get first-hand experience with the wilderness. If there's time, they go winter camping.
A first nations woman checks her trap lines about 20 km from Goose Bay. Dr. Jong arranges for students to meet with native elders to learn more about the communities they will be serving.
A native trapper's snowshoes hang from a tree near her tent. Many of their health problems have to do with unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Photography: Roger Leymone

Dr. Michael Jong is the driving force behind Memorial University’s Northern Family Medicine (NorFam) program in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The program’s intensive, hands-on teaching program and its skill at introducing students to life in a remote location have earned it high praise from graduates and have made Labrador one of the few fully staffed remote locations in the country when it comes to doctors.

For more information visit:

Website: http://www.med.mun.ca/FamilyMed/Residency/Map-of-Teaching-Sites/Goose-Bay-NorFam.aspx

Address: Health Labrador Corporation P.O. Box 7000, Station C Goose Bay, NL A0P 3C0

Phone: 709-897-2103

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