RUDi (Rural Urgent Doctor in-aid)
RUDi-Emergency is one of the Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways for patient care and healthcare collaboration in rural and remote communities in BC.
RUDi physicians with emergency medicine and rural experience are available 24/7 by Zoom and phone to support rural healthcare providers looking for support with a patient or preparatory simulation, including:
- providing a second opinion about a patient
- reviewing a case
- running through simulation scenarios
- helping to navigate the healthcare system
- providing collaborative support in critical times
- other situations as needed by rural providers
How to access RUDi
Support through RUDi is available anytime, 24/7 through Zoom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a physician or nurse practitioner in rural BC and don’t have a Zoom for Healthcare account yet, fill out our online form to request a Zoom account, or visit our Zoom page for more information.
If you signed up for a Zoom license through RCCbc, all Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways (RUDi, ROSe, CHARLiE, MaBAL, Dermatology, etc.) will be added to your Zoom contacts automatically.
Adding RUDi contacts
If your Zoom account was provided by your health authority or you signed up for your own account (outside of RCCbc), you will need to add the RTVS contacts to your account. RUDi contacts to add are:
email@example.com (primary account)
firstname.lastname@example.org (backup account – optional)
email@example.com (backup account – optional)
firstname.lastname@example.org (backup account – optional)
Note: It may take up to 24 hours for your contact request to be accepted, so contacts will show as “pending” until then.
If you need assistance adding contacts, watch the video below.
Request a consult with a RUDi physician
Once logged into Zoom, go to Contacts. You will see the RTVS – Emergency >> RUDi 1 contact.
If RUDi 1 has a green symbol next to it, this means they’re online and available. Click on that contact, then the Meet button to start a video call.
If you’re unable to connect to RUDi via Zoom or if there is no answer right away, call the backup cell number listed for that account. Note: The backup number changes based on which physician is on call.
Toolkit and Posters
The Real-Time Virtual Support Toolkit for Healthcare Providers is aimed at helping physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses in rural, remote, and First Nations communities navigate through the RTVS pathways.
It includes a flow chart, details on how to access each pathway, Zoom instructions, frequently asked questions, bios and photos of the physicians in each RTVS team, and posters to put up in your hospital, clinic, or office.
If you just need the posters, download them separately:
Meet the RUDi team
Meet the physicians who provide the RUDi service.
Frank Ackermann has been a full-time emergency room physician at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook since 2003. He is also ARDMS certified in ultrasound, has been involved in teaching bedside ultrasound for more than 12 years, and is the CME coordinator for the Emergency Department. Frank is Chair of the Regional Medical Advisory Committee for the East Kootenays and was previously Transport Advisor for Interior Health. He has worked as a full-scope family doctor in rural settings in BC and the Yukon. Frank is a husband and father of three, and he is also the full-time head coach for the Kimberley Nordic Racers, which is his passion.
Bret Batchelor is a rural GP with Enhanced Surgical Skills in Revelstoke. He was born and raised in BC and has spent his entire career in rural BC, first in Vanderhoof and now in Revelstoke. Bret divides his time between the emergency room, clinic, inpatient, endoscopy suite, obstetrical suite, and operating room. He loves rural medicine and is very excited about RUDi and what it means for new medical graduates and anyone who needs a friendly face and help in the ER.
Jeff Beselt is a family and emergency physician. He lives on a small farm in Campbell River and has worked in emergency in Campbell River since 2005. Jeff is driven by his passion for cultural humility and belief in culture change through compassion and inclusion. He has spent much of his time as a family physician working in partnership with First Nations communities and provides care as a member of the health and wellness teams in Kwadacha and Tsay Keh Dene. Jeff has also joined RCCbc as Medical Co-Director of RUDi.
Brydon Blacklaws is an emergency physician who has worked coast to coast, from the busy urban centres of Halifax and Regina to the small community hospitals of Terrace and Port Alberni. He spent the last three years doing emergency and trauma team leader work in Prince George, where he also headed the SIM Program for UNBC and helped create UBC’s first SIM curriculum. Brydon currently works in Powell River, while maintaining teaching roles with UNBC, Island POCUS, the Nanaimo Emergency Education Program, and the Powell River SIM Program. Brydon is very excited to join RCCbc as the Medical Co-Director of RUDi. Brydon enjoys boating, fishing, and gardening with his family on the Sunshine Coast.
Wayne Choi is a full-time emergency physician at Royal Columbian Hospital (tertiary care trauma centre) and Eagle Ridge Hospital (community hospital). He has an interest in technology and innovation, as well as POCUS, simulation, and education. Outside of medicine, Wayne plays ultimate in the summer and skis and snowboards in the winter. Wayne hopes to be of service to rural care providers who need to bounce off ideas, assistance, or even for sims!
Jel Coward has been a rural physician for 25 years, working in family practice and emergency. After spending 15 years in Pemberton, he now works as a rural locum. Jel has an interest in pre-hospital care and wilderness medicine and has worked with Pemberton Search and Rescue and Whistler-Blackcomb ski patrol for many years. He is Co-Director of The CARE Course and was previously Medical Director at Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute – International. Jel enjoys hiking, mountain biking, Celtic music—all of which he tries to do with his partner and two teenagers.
Meredith Davidson is an emergency room physician at Kelowna General Hospital. She completed her training at Queen’s University in Ontario and moved out west to enjoy the lifestyle of the Okanagan. When not at work, Meredith can be found being active somewhere in the great outdoors or travelling the world.
Sean Ebert and his wife Nicole lived and worked in Vanderhoof for 22 years where they raised their three kids. They relocated to Coldstream near Vernon where they continue to support rural medicine through provincial programs such as RUDi. Sean and Nicole enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle and plan to explore our beautiful province while seeking greater harmony during this transitional stage of their lives.
Jeffrey Eppler has been practicing emergency medicine in Kelowna for 25 years and has been involved in providing CME at many rural EM conferences as well as at CAEP. He worked as a GP in rural and remote parts of BC prior to doing his emergency medicine fellowship, so he understands some of the challenges faced by healthcare providers outside the “big city” and is happy to be involved with the RUDi program. When he’s not working, he loves outdoor activities, especially those with the word “mountain” in them!
James Heilman has been an emergency physician in Cranbrook for more than 10 years. Prior to that, he worked across BC, either as an attending or resident, including Port McNeill, Vernon, Penticton, and Salmon Arm as well as up in the Yukon and NWT. James has been extensively involved in the transport system, from being an EPOS physician to a HART medical director. As such, he gained a solid understanding of both the complexity of the province’s geography and the difficulty healthcare providers occasionally face as they take care of their patients.
Nancy Humber has been a rural generalist physician at Lillooet District Hospital for 23 years and works as a GP with Enhanced Surgical Skills and also supports maternity care. She has been involved in supporting and mentoring new to practice physicians and graduates of the Practice Ready assessment program as well as family practice residents. Nancy has worked collaboratively with Indigenous communities in the western Interior, both virtually and in outreach models. She is passionate about team-based care in rural settings and advocating for equity in access to high quality care in BC. Nancy is the mother of six children, always striving to find the best balance between work and medicine.
Gord McInnes is one of three Co-Presidents of the Section of Emergency Medicine. He has been a full-time emergency physician at Kelowna General Hospital for the last 18 years. Gord works as a trauma team leader, has been a transport advisor, and has been involved with undergraduate medical education for many years.
Stefanie Falz Mclellan
Stefanie Falz Mclellan lives in Invermere, where she works as a family and emergency physician. She has an interest in wilderness and low resource medicine, as well as point of care ultrasound. She is an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates and a member of Columbia Valley Search and Rescue. Stefanie has also done missions with Médecins Sans Frontières in South Sudan, Iraq, and Syria. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, climbing, mountain biking, gardening, and spending time with her husband.
Anthon Meyer is a dedicated family physician with extensive clinical experience in primary and emergency care. He is Medical Director of Fort St. James Medical Clinic, a family physician with Stuart Lake General Hospital, and Co-Chair of the General Practice Services Committee. His previous leadership roles include: President, BC College of Family Physicians; Chair, Board of Directors, Northern Interior Division of Family Practice; Chair, Health Data Coalition; and Associate Professor with UBC, UNBC, and Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Anthon’s core belief of equal opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities has significantly influenced his career, and his leadership and teaching work have been recognized provincially and nationally.
John Pawlovich has worked in rural and remote communities across Canada for more than 25 years. He holds multiple leadership roles, including: Director, Rural Education Action Plan; Medical Director, Carrier Sekani Family Services; Telehealth Sector Lead, RCCbc; Clinical Professor, UBC Department of Family Practice. John’s interest in Indigenous health has evolved over the years with a focus of bringing innovative primary care and specialty services on reserve to reach the people most in need. John is co-founder and co-lead of the BC Virtual Health Grand Rounds and the e-Health theme lead for the UBC Faculty of Medicine. He speaks both nationally and internationally on virtual healthcare solutions and systems.
Matt Petrie’s practice includes full-time emergency medicine and trauma at Kelowna General Hospital, in addition to resident and undergraduate medical education. He is a facilitator for the Interior Health Rural Simulation program that brings simulation and education to ERs within the region, and an EDE1 and EDE2 instructor, he is also interested in POCUS. Matt’s interest in medical education, experience working and educating in smaller centres, combined with an open communication style dovetails well into the role of RUDi physician. Matt is honoured to be a part of this meaningful and important service supporting rural colleagues and patient care.
Virginia Robinson began her career working in the remote Cree community of Chisasibi, northern Quebec 25 years ago. She subsequently spent several years working in a high volume urban emergency room in Kitchener, Ontario. At one time, a keen mountaineer, she served as the physician for the Canadian Everest team in 2000. For the last 15 years, Virginia has practiced maternity and emergency medicine in Fernie and Cranbrook. She is an instructor for both the HOUSE EM and HOUSE OB courses and presently leads the Intelligent Network for POCUS project for RCCbc. Virginia enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and gardening.
Pieter Van Zyl
Pieter Van Zyl is a family and emergency physician in Fort St. James, serving his community for seven years. He is from South Africa, where he graduated from medical school. Prior to moving to Canada, he was an emergency physician in a tertiary-sized hospital. Pieter is dedicated to helping his peers feel more comfortable in the same “scary” emergency cases that he’s familiar with himself. He sees the virtual platform as a great way to help colleagues and build relationships. Pieter enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, and energetic dog as well as skiing, waterskiing, and running with their dog.
Originally from Chetwynd, Adam Watchorn now lives and works in Golden. He received his CCFP(EM) from Calgary and has worked in emergency departments around BC, in both rural and urban areas. Adam is an instructor for the HOUSE EM course, teaches local simulations, and is currently involved in rural transport research.
David Whittaker has worked and lived in rural communities for the last 10 years, which has gifted him a fantastic work and personal life. He has an interest in rural emergency and feels simulation is important for rural teams. For the past two years, David has been the physician lead for the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, which has given him additional insight into the challenges as well as the strengths of healthcare providers in rural communities. David feels RUDi is yet another example of rural innovation!
Tandi Wilkinson is a rural emergency medicine physician based in Nelson, working in BC and in Yellowknife, NWT. She has a special interest in point of care ultrasound and is the medical director of the UBC CPD HOUSE program. Tandi was a recent UBC Department of Family Practice Rural Scholar and conducted research on physician peer support. This interest in physician wellness led her to create and run workshops on this subject, called Transforming Our Work.
Jen Williams is an emergency physician at Kelowna General Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine. Her special academic interests include resuscitation, resident education, and physician wellness. Jen is the proud mother of two boys, partner to an amazing man, and loves the outdoors, mountains, lakes, skiing, biking, and hiking.