Welcome Undergraduate Learners

Welcome Undergraduate Learners

DLRI coordinates all rural placements for undergraduate medical learners across Alberta and the Territories. 

Rural Learning Opportunities

Gain hands-on experience in a rural setting. 

Mountain landscape

Clerkship


Clerkship Core Rotations (MDCN 502)

  • Four week mandatory block in Rural Family Medicine
     

Clerkship Electives

  • Two concurrent weeks to explore practice interests
     

UCLIC

University of Calgary Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship

  • Third year clerkship (36 weeks) in a rural/regional community

Pre - Clerkship


MD Career Exploration Program
 

  • Three Career Development weeks (1 week each of evaluated elective time)
  • Three Coaching sessions (organized by UME)
  • Four Career Conversations with different disciplines (organized by UME)

 

MDCN 330 and MDCN 430
 

  • Family Medicine experiences
  • MDCN 330 = Three days
  • MDCN 430 = Two days
  • Locations as close as 50km away or as far as 350 km!
Rural Landscape

Funding for expense reimbursements and/or housing is available. Please contact ruralmed@ucalgary.ca.
 

Benefits of a Rural Experience

  • Greater clinical exposure to generalism and full scope practice.
  • Diversify experiences and open doors to future opportunities.
  • Strengthened understanding of the lives and work of physicians practicing in rural communities. 
  • Increase comfort with living and working in smaller communities.
  • Enjoy the rural life - activities and travel.
  • Become part of the community you are working in!

How to Sign Up for Your Rural Elective

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

Electives can be requested by using the DLRI SharePoint site. If you have questions about accessing DLRI SharePoint, please click the FAQ button below.


A one-year clerkship option for 3rd year medical learners. Students are based in a rural or regional community and learn the generalist specialties. It is an initiative that increases medical student 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 undergraduate students and residents going on remote or isolated electives 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.

DLRI 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 rural rotations and have created a harmonized housing policy. Accommodations are provided for learners like yourself, through a shared housing model, to support your educational experience through continuity of community. 


FAQ for New Learners

Are you a new student who is interested in rural medicine? Here, you will find some of our frequently asked questions from incoming learners. 

Your scope of practice as a rural physician is ever-evolving, dependent on factors such as practice needs, medical field progression and personal interests as you advance your career. There are many resources available through UCalgary, with the support of groups such as RhPAP, that help expand your scope of practice as your needs, and those of our communities, continue to develop.

It is important to look for a community that values 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 career in rural medicine 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 jobs may not be immediately available in your desired region, so it is helpful to choose training opportunities that will be beneficial to that centre. Sometimes this will even look like 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 inquire about fellowship skills that may be helpful for your specialty in regional centres.

When this question was posed to 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 facilitators.
 

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 guidance on what worked best for them, their careers and their families. 

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