Obstetrical Surgical Skills

To support small rural surgical programs and sustain maternity care closer to home, the shortage of rural physicians with the ability to perform caesarean sections (C-sections) must be addressed. The Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) is working to support family physicians with obstetrical surgical skills (OSS) in rural British Columbia (BC) communities through its work on the OSS program. Under this initiative, the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) six-month OSS R3 enhanced skills residency at Surrey Memorial Hospital has been accredited as a Category 1

program by the Certification in the College of Family Physicians. Graduates of this Category 1 certified program are eligible for a Certificate of Additional Competency, which removes many barriers to obtaining Family Practice OSS privileges across Canada. To further enhance this OSS initiative, RCCbc is facilitating the development of additional program components needed for sustainability and implementation, including online modules, continuing medical education (CME) initiatives, and networking opportunities. 

Our Achievements

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Launched rural surgery and obstetrics email list

The new ‘Rural Surgery and Obstetrics’ email list was launched this year, with nearly 150 members across Canada. These are primarily rural physicians with enhanced surgical skills, or obstetrical surgical skills, and this list allows providers to network nationally, share CME opportunities, and stay informed about initiatives, like the monthly OSS Virtual Rounds.

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Coordinated rural rotations for residents

The OSS project continued supporting UBC’s OSS R3 program by helping to coordinate rural rotations for residents and advocating for follow-up coaching opportunities in high-volume settings. In collaboration with UBC Continuing Professional Development and the Rural Surgical and Obstetrics Network/Rural Obstetrical and Maternity Sustainability Program Coaching programs, high volume C-section refresher coaching sessions have regularly taken place in both Surrey Memorial Hospital and Abbotsford Regional Hospital, adding to the overall sustainability of the OSS program. 

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New programs accredited

Two new programs have been accredited to increase the number of CME opportunities for OSS providers. A new workshop, Hysteroscopy for Enhanced Surgical Skills/OSS Family Physicians, was developed and accredited this past year. The monthly OSS Virtual Rounds series was also accredited, connecting providers across the country. 

Making a Difference

After publishing the first batch of modules on the OSS website and offering supplementary content and resources for OSS residents and practicing OSS providers, Dr. Nicole Ebert, who leads OSS at RCCbc, looks forward to another productive year ahead.  

“In collaboration with the other OSS programs across Canada, we hope to publish some additional online modules and continue facilitating the monthly OSS Virtual Rounds,” says Dr. Nicole Ebert. “We’re really excited to get more people involved and take advantage of these programs.” 

The website has been welcomed with open arms, with one provider saying: “I have this website bookmarked and use it often. Every couple of months, I will re-watch the basics and videos. And now that more and more topics are available, I am using the website even more.”  

Team Members

Dr. Nicole Ebert
Dr. Nicole Ebert
Tom Skinner

Tom Skinner

Project Manager