learners

Welcome Undergraduate Learners!

Getting Started with DLRI

Check out the presentation below to see what experiences rural medicine can offer for your medical education!


How to Signup for Your Rural Elective

For further questions about requesting a rural elective, please contact rmelect@ucalgary.ca

Are you wondering about the exact process to request a rural elective?  Electives can be requested by using the DLRI SharePoint site. If you have questions about accessing the DLRI SharePoint site to request your elective, Please see our


A 1 year clerkship option for 3rd year med students. Students are based in a rural or regional community and learn the generalist specialties. It is an initiative that increases medical students’ exposure to generalism, rural medicine, and  working with patients with undifferentiated problems.

The Family Medicine / Rural Medicine Interest Group aims to promote family and rural medicine as an attractive career option to University of Calgary undergraduate medical students. 

CRIEE funding is available on a first come first served basis for learners (undergraduate students and residents) going on a remote or isolated elective in Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon or Nunavut. This funding is not available to residents that have alternate funding for the territories. The funding covers travel and accommodations up to a maximum of $2,000 per elective. Rotation funding will be split between the number of qualified applicants.

housing policy

The rural medical education offices at the UofC (Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives, DLRI) and UofA (Office of Rural and Regional Health, ORRH) work closely together with Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP) to secure housing for your rural rotations and have created a harmonized housing policy. Housing is provided for learners like yourself, to support your educational experience through continuity of community and is through a shared housing model. 


FAQ for New Learners

Are you a new student and you are interested in doing something with rural medicine? Here you will find some of our frequently asked questions from incoming learners. 

Your scope of practice as a rural physician is an ever evolving process, partly depending on what your practice needs, what’s evolving in the field and where your interests lie as you progress throughout your career. There are many supports available through UCalgary and with the support of groups like RhPAP that help you to continue to expand your scope of practice as your needs and the needs of the communities you serve, develop. 

It is important to look for a community that values that balance when you are establishing yourself as a rural physician. Some communities have worked to develop schedules and staffing to support a healthy balance for their physicians and medical professionals. In many cases though, this balance doesn’t just get handed to you, it is something that you need to work to cultivate over your career.

If you would like to have a rural career it helps to direct your learning to what would assist you in regional centres as you choose your post-graduate opportunities. This is especially important as there may not be a job available immediately in the region you would like, so it is helpful to choose training opportunities that will be beneficial to that centre. Sometimes this will even look like just getting a year or two in a fellowship elsewhere to just get a job where you will have rural experience under your belt. It may also be useful for you to enquire about fellowship skills that may be helpful for your specialty in regional centres.

When this question was posed to some of our preceptors currently residing in rural settings, they expressed that while you will still sometimes encounter experiences of being treated as "the other" in rural communities, that they experience far less of this than they have in some urban settings. Hostile attitudes can be found in any community you are apart of, but in general our physicians have found their small communities to be supportive and accepting. Reported learner experiences of discrimination while serving rural communities have been very infrequent. In fact most report that the communities that they are sent to often are eager to learn about the backgrounds of learners and physicians and that they look for ways to be inclusive and supportive.

 

You also have access to a very supportive medical learning community with other students and preceptors there to support you, as well as your UCalgary programs and facillitators.
 

Sometimes you would like to be a rural physician, but circumstances can split your interests between rural and urban (for example having a partner who is urban focused). Many find a balance through work arrangements such as locums or by finding another way to support rural medical communities, education and research opportunities. But sometimes you will be forced to choose one over the other, all of this depends on your own unique circumstances. Look for mentors who have had experiences like this, there are many, and they can help to give you some guidance on what worked best for them, their careers and their families. 

If you have questions about UCLIC such as how to apply, what communties you can go to, can you take your pet, etc. check out our full UCLIC FAQ page!