Author: Megan Sorokopud-Jones BSc
18% of the Canadian population lives rurally, yet only 8.5% of physicians practice in rural communities. Over the past 20 years, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) has strived to improve access to health care for rural Canadians through increased development of rural residency training programs. Rural training for residents and undergraduate medical students has been shown to increase the likelihood that students and/or residents choose to practice in rural areas. Since 2011, all Manitoba regional health authorities have had rural Family Medicine residency programs offered through the University of Manitoba, with the exception of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA). In July 2019, the IERHA accepted its first cohort of rural Family Medicine residents. Through an interview with the Interlake Eastern Family Medicine program director, Dr. Ian Alexander, and a brief review of the history of rural Family Medicine residency programs, this paper examines how a rural residency program may impact the healthcare in the IERHA.
Keywords: rural residency, family medicine, interlake-eastern regional health authority