For Dr. Maren Hamilton and Dr. Vanessa Carter, coming to Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) is a bit like going home.
The two new family medicine residents are both from small towns. They say they specifically chose WDMH because of its commitment to providing care close to home for local communities.
“The first month has been excellent,” notes Dr. Hamilton. “Everyone is so friendly and the learning is really hands-on.” Dr. Carter agrees: “Winchester was my first choice and I was lucky enough to get it. It’s a great learning environment and you get great exposure to rural medicine.”
Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Carter will be full-time family medicine residents at WDMH for the next two years. They will receive hands-on learning in almost every area of the hospital. They will also be paired with local family physicians in the community. “It’s a very special way to learn as the residents can follow patients through their whole health care experience,” explains Sylvie Forgues-Martel, WDMH’s Chief Liaison Officer, Office of Medical and Academic Affairs. “We are very fortunate to have such committed physicians to mentor and teach our residents.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome two new doctors to WDMH,” adds Cholly Boland, CEO. “WDMH continues to be very popular and well-respected as a rural teaching hospital.” In fact, more than 300 students from a variety of disciplines had clinical placements at the hospital last year. And 90 candidates applied for the two medical residency spots this year.
Dr. Maren Hamilton grew up in Lyndhurst, north of Kingston, in a family with five children. She completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University and went to medical school at the University of Ottawa. She also taught English in Korea for a year. “When I was young, I couldn’t wait to go and see the world, but now I want to come back to my rural roots.”
Dr. Vanessa Carter is from Summerstown. She did her undergraduate degree at Castleton College in Vermont on an academic scholarship while playing Division 3 women’s ice hockey as the starting goaltender. She completed her medical degree at the University of Ottawa. “I’m from a family of four and had a few hospitalizations as a child, including on my birthday. I knew I wanted to be a doctor to help make sure other kids didn’t have to be in the hospital on their birthday if we could help it.”
Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Carter join Dr. Amy Commodore and Dr. Karen Li, who have just completed their first year of residency in Winchester. WDMH’s first two family residents – Dr. Tarinder Grewal and Dr. Stéphane Brassard – recently graduated from the program.