“An Exciting New Development” – Medical Training in Rural Areas

Enticing new medical practitioners to rural areas is always a challenge and it takes a particular individual to embrace the challenges and the possibilities of rural life.

Thanks to effective training programs for young medical professionals based in smaller communities, these young doctors get to acclimate as students, receiving training in real-life, hands-on situations with the facilities and support available in rural areas.

These programs are also of tremendous benefit to the communities as these young doctors learn the joys of rural living as they settle into the communities, becoming more likely to make their lives here.

Rossland, Trail and Nelson are among several communities encouraging and benefiting from medical training in rural areas programs, innovations in medical training.

The programs include The Integrated Clinical Clerkship (ICC), enabling some medical students to do their third year of medical school in rural medical offices and hospitals – where their academic training first meets real-life situations, and; the newly instituted Rural Family Medicine Residency Program, where residents trade places, spending time in smaller centres such as Christina Lake and Grand Forks, Nakusp, Castlegar and Salmo so as to experience several different communities and the range of facilities and specialist support available in each.

A variety of health professionals, community leaders, medical students and new doctors gathered on July 6th to celebrate the new “distributed training” programs. At the home of Drs. Cheryl Hume and Ralph Behrens it was a warm and joyful welcome to new participants.

Dr. Hume is the Director of University of BC (UBC) Clerkships and the Residency Program for the Kootenay Boundary; she expects the programs to “mitigate the shortage of doctors” in remote and rural communities, as the programs will “provide significant opportunities for rural physician recruitment and retention.”

A residency in a rural community provides not only the hands-on experience of practicing medicine remote from major centres, but opens up a wealth of possibilities for a healthier and more satisfying work-life balance.


Read more about medical training in rural areas programs HERE.