Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan
Health
Workforce
for Alberta

We recently received the following question from a Twitter follower related to our Landscape of healthcare in rural Alberta infographic series:

"... what percentage of medical students in Alberta come from rural Alberta?"

Good question!

Current research undertaken by RPAP focusses on the final destination of resident physicians upon graduation, specifically those enrolled in rural family medicine residency programs such as the RPAP-sponsored Rural Alberta North and Rural Alberta South programs.

Similarly, the University of Alberta has published data detailing the success of its family medicine program, which includes the Rural Alberta North rural family medicine resdiency network.

As much of the data pertaining to the origin of students is proprietary to post-secondary institutions, until more in-depth studies regarding the origins of practising rural physicians can be undertaken, this type of information is not available.

However, what we do know is that several studies indicate that rural students return to rural medicine.

One comprehensive 2009 study from the World Health Organization— "Evaluated strategies to increase attraction and retention of health workers in remote and rural areas"—has drawn conslusions based on data gathered from 153 academic articles from around the world.

Although not Canada-focussed, the WHO study indicates that around the globe, rural medical students tend to return to rural communities, and that rural rotations for medical students are effective programs for attracting rural graduates. Therefore, RPAP will continue to offer a variety of medical student initiatives, including RPAP Shadowing, Medical Skills Weekends, and funding of awards and bursaries to raise the awareness of Alberta medical students towards rural medicine.

For more information regarding RPAP infographics and statistics, please contact our research and analysis department at info@rpap.ab.ca.

Photo: Students at 2013 Skills Weekend event in Westlock practice suturing with the assistance of local healthcare professionals. (RPAP Photo)

Related: Learn more about RPAP Medical Skills Weekends.


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