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Rural / Northern Health Research




Strengthening the Medical Workforce in Rural Canada:
The Role of Rural/Northern Medical Education
R.W. Pong, S. Bornstein, V. Curran, M. Jong, R. Strasser, G. Tesson, J.C. Hogenbirk, and F. Wang*

Rural/northern medical education is increasingly seen as an important strategy in overcoming persistent shortages of physicians in rural Canada. There is also a growing recognition that to be successful, rural/northern medical education needs to adopt a "medical career life-cycle" approach that starts by encouraging secondary-school students to consider medical careers through to supporting rural physicians by facilitating life-long learning. This study undertakes a systematic analysis of rural/northern medical education and the role it plays in strengthening the rural medical workforce. Research activities include a review and synthesis of the literature to assess the quality of evidence and identify knowledge gaps. In addition, the study examines the nature of rural medical practice and rural/northern medical education approaches in Canada. Furthermore, the research identifies best practices by looking at a small number of successful medical schools or academic programs. Policy implications are to be discussed in consultation with community and decision-maker partners. Finally, the project aims to build a foundation for a multi-year, multi-site, interdisciplinary, and possibly international program of research on rural/northern medical education. This is a collaborative study involving researchers from CRaNHR and the Centre for Applied Health Research (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

(funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

[To read Rural Medical Education: A Review of the Literature, a component of "Strengthening the Medical Workforce in Rural Canada: The Role of Rural/Northern Medical Education", please click here.]

[To read Nature of Rural Medical Practice in Canada: An analysis of the 2001 National Family Physician Survey, a report prepared for "Strengthening the Medical Workforce in Rural Canada: The Role of Rural/Northern Medical Education", please click here.]



(Names in bold denote CRaNHR investigators and research staff. Names with an * denote former CRaNHR investigators and research staff.)