Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan
Health
Workforce
for Alberta

Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network

Dedicated to the education of Alberta's rural doctors: present and future.

The Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network (ARFMN) offers dedicated Family Medicine residency training to prepare competent physicians for the broad demands of rural practice. The Network is a unique collaborative venture of The Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP), the Family Medicine departments of the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, and Alberta's rural physicians and Alberta Health Services.

Through the Network, a rural-based Family Medicine residency training program is offered collaboratively through two branches– Rural Alberta North (RAN) and Rural Alberta South (RAS) – which are units of the University of Alberta and University of Calgary Family Medicine residency programs.

The two-year Family Medicine curriculum provides training mainly in rural and regional community and hospital practices within rural Alberta. The curriculum is taught largely by rural-based family physicians and specialists attached to the Family Medicine and Royal College specialty departments of the Universities of Alberta or Calgary.

Rural Alberta North and Rural Alberta South work collaboratively and offer a number of joint programs using the academic resources of both units, both parent Family Medicine departments and both Faculties of Medicine.

Rural Alberta North and Rural Alberta South each accept 10-15 residents per year through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

The Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network provides a range of support services for residents, including:

  • CaRMS matching and new resident orientation

    Rural Alberta North (RAN) and Rural Alberta South (RAS) branches conduct annual interviews for residency candidates; and coordinate new resident orientation sessions for successful candidates.

  • Financial assistance 

    The ARFMN provides funding to cover accommodation and travel expenses for training in rural communities. Expenses related to attending academic sessions and workshops are also reimbursed; and a stipend in each academic year is provided for each RAN and RAS Resident for conference attendance. Grants for RAN and RAS social activities are also provided.

  • Medical informatics tools

    The ARFMN offers technology funding to resident physicians; and a variety of current medical informatics tools. This includes resident access to RPAP's PracticalDoc, which provides access to key clinical resources and teaching tools for Canada's rural physicians, as well as access to RPAP's GEMS program.

  • Education sessions and workshops

    Both RAN and RAS provide monthly academic sessions to discuss topics relevant to family medicine. In addition, workshops are organized by the RAN and RAS branches throughout the year and held in various communities. Topics include, but are not limited to: Evidence Based Medicine, Geriatrics, Palliative Care and Communication Skills.

  • Additional Skills Training

    The RPAP and the Universities of Alberta and Calgary provide an opportunity for postgraduate trainees to take up to an additional one year in training to help prepare them for rural practice.

Rural Alberta North

Rural Alberta North is the rural family medicine residency program of the University of Alberta.

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Rural Alberta South

Rural Alberta South is a unit of the Family Medicine residency program of the University of Calgary.

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Additional Skills Training

A limited number of PGY3 positions are available through the auspices of the RPAP to provide an opportunity for residents to take up to an additional one year of training to further help prepare them for rural practice.

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