Meet the Rural Immersion Residents

Starting this July, medical graduates will have the opportunity to further specialize in rural family medicine through our new and innovative Rural Immersion program — the first of its kind in BC and one of the very few offered at medical schools across Canada.

With that, we would like to welcome the four incoming Rural Immersion Site residents.

Ali Blair

Ali Blair spent most of her young life in Smithers, BC. After meeting her now-husband Luke, she moved to Prince George to complete her BSc at UNBC, engage in northern and rural health research, and attend UBC’s Northern Medical Program. She returns to Smithers now with her young daughter Violet in tow. Her family can usually be found outside with their dog Alita, whether that’s gardening, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing or just soaking it all in! Ali is thrilled to train in rural family medicine, and is passionate about mental health and perinatal care.

Clay Kiiskila

Clay Kiiskila was born and raised in Northern BC, and completed a BHSc at UNBC. He attended medical school at UBC’s Northern Medical Program, including a year spent in Fort St. John, which cemented his interest in rural family medicine. In his spare time, you can find him hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, camping, playing soccer or doing just about anything outside. He is thrilled to be a part of the new Rural Immersion Program in Quesnel, and is looking forward to learning from the healthcare team and community alike.

Dawn Wedman

Dawn Wedman (she/her) was born and raised on Treaty No. 6 territory in Edmonton. Bucking tradition, this descendant of teachers and musicians chose medicine and graduated from the University of Calgary. She graduated from rural general surgery at the University of Ottawa and completed a fellowship in minimally invasive colorectal surgery. She was also part of an Indigenous Elder-led integrated healthcare team serving Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In her own words, writing fiction, dancing in her living room, composing music, watching anime and playing RPGs are necessary to her well-being.

Yonabeth Nava de Escalante

Yonabeth Nava de Escalante finished medical school and specialized in pediatric surgery in Venezuela. After completing an MPH at UBC, she joined the BC Office of the Provincial Health Officer, providing leadership for public health initiatives. She also completed a year of supervised work in family medicine, where she fell in love with practicing medicine in the North. Yonabeth is passionate about advocacy work and serving marginalized communities. She values her time outdoors with her husband and two dogs, and is immensely proud of her children, Dana and David.