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BCEHS celebrates the graduation of five paramedics from UBC's medical school

Paramedicine offers many career pathways and opportunities for further training. Five BCEHS paramedics are bringing the skills and patient-care experience they gained to their new careers in medicine.
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​Left to Right: Primary Care Paramedics Peter Nguyen and Marco Law

Both Peter Nguyen and Marco Law graduated from UBC's Medical Doctor (MD) Program in May 2024. While in medical school, both continued working as paramedics.  

Peter Nguyen began working as an emergency medical responder in Sayward in 2018 before becoming a primary care paramedic (PCP). He always knew he wanted to attend medical school but was unsure if he could handle the emotional stress and responsibility of being a physician. Through paramedicine, he learned how rewarding patient care was, giving him the confidence to pursue medicine.

"Paramedicine taught me a lot about teamwork and quality patient care," Peter says. "It was invaluable to learn from senior paramedics to better serve my community."

Peter started UBC's medical school in 2020 while continuing to work for BCEHS in Sidney. On his rural family practice rotation, Peter also worked as a paramedic in Smithers, Prince Rupert, and Terrace.

 "Each station was so welcoming and kind. I felt these were my people."

"Having a paramedic background set me up for success when I started medical school," Peter says. "I already had experience in assessing and treating patients in the field. It provided context and made what we were learning in class easier to understand."

 A primary care paramedic since 2021, Marco Law began his paramedic career in Squamish, before later transferring to Lion's Bay. Marco was finishing up his PCP training when he was accepted into medical school and decided to do both concurrently.

"I'm lucky to have learned through being a PCP," Marco says. "Procedural things – like starting an IV – are definitely a plus. However, it is the exposure to diverse patient populations that have honed my intuition and ability to identify the sick versus not-so-sick."

During his anesthesia rotations, Peter relied heavily on his paramedic experience. He says it provided him with a unique skill set allowing him to remain composed and adaptable in dynamic situations.

"Working as a paramedic has given me leadership skills," Peter says. "And for sure it helped me perform in acute care settings – in my emergency and internal medicine rotations. Having the ability to just act in overwhelming situations is something we do all the time; it's like second nature."

During their emergency medicine rotations at the hospital, Peter and Marco also said they relied heavily on treatment guidelines they learned as BCEHS paramedics.

Although both paramedics begin their next phase of their medical career in July, they hope to continue working for BCEHS.

Peter begins his residency on July 1 in anesthesia at UBC. He hopes to continue working out of the Sidney station during his first year while he is still in the Victoria area.

"I love working as a paramedic. It's fulfilling and rewarding. I want to be a competent, empathetic physician and this is what I've learned as a PCP."  

Marco is relocating to Nelson for his rural family medicine residency. He plans on working as a paramedic in Nelson as he furthers his medical career and is considering additional enhanced skills training in emergency medicine or family practice anesthesia after residency.

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Nguyen and Dr. Marco Law and the other BCEHS paramedics who convocated from UBC's medical program on May 21.   


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