The Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan
RPAP on YouTube
Follow RPAP on Twitter
Visit RPAP on Facebook
Email a Friend Print this Page Share Medical Students Residents Practising Physicians Health Region

Rural Rotations

In order to encourage rural practice and to provide a positive experience in rural Alberta, the RPAP promotes and supports the concept of Alberta medical students and residents taking part of their training in a rural or regional community. With RPAP funding and support both the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta facilitate and organize medical students and residents (Family Medicine and Royal College) to do mandatory and elective rotations with rural and regional preceptors.

By participating in a rural or regional rotation Alberta medical students and residents enjoy a great learning opportunity with lots of opportunities to improve on practical and procedural skills,† and they get to experience the rural or regional lifestyle, local culture and outdoor activities. As importantly, they experience the diverse roles enjoyed by rural and regional physicians in their community and health care facilities as part of the local health care team.

Please note that the RPAP Rural Rotations program does NOT cover rural rotations in the following communities: Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, Leduc, Calgary, Cochrane,†and Airdrie. And remember that you may require a vehicle while in the community.

RPAP Rural Rotations Supports

For Alberta medical students and residents, the RPAP provides accommodation and funding for travel according to its RPAP Rural Rotations Reimbursement Guidelines†and†Accommodation Information.

The preceptors in each of the training sites have a direct link to the university they are affiliated with and are supported by the respective university through periodic on-site visits by faculty and preceptor development initiatives. In addition, preceptors receive an honorarium through RPAP according to RPAP's provincial rate, and benefit from RPAP's PracticalProf†preceptor development web site and Enrichment Training initiatives.

Rural Rotation Approval Process

  1. Learners must first contact UGME or their residency program and obtain their approval for a rural rotation. Once approved, the rural rotation request is submitted to the Office of Rural & Regional Health (UofA) or to the Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives Office (UofC) for their approval as well. 
    Please contact UGME or your residency program at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the rotation. And please refer to the RPAP Rural Rotation Placement Grid (see Helpful Rural Rotations Resources below) to see what teaching communities have available accommodation and when BEFORE making your selection/choices.
  2. Once RPAP receives the request†for accommodations†for rural rotations approved by†the Universities†they will†organize your accommodation. You will receive a preliminary e-mail telling you that we have received your approved request and are working to confirm it.
  3. RPAP will send you an email†of your arranged accommodations at least 2-4 weeks prior to your rotation which will include details of your accommodation†(location, address, contact info, and any specific information about that accommodation),†Accommodation Use General Consent Form (please sign and return to RPAP before your rotation), the Accommodation Evaluation Form (or you can use the Survey Monkey link (below), and the Accommodation Regulations document which outlines the rules and regulations of utilizing RPAP Accommodations.
  4. The learner must complete his/her rotation and accommodation evaluations and submit an RPAP Rural Rotation Expense Claim Form (if the rotation is funded) to the Office of Rural & Regional Health (UofA) or to the Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives (UofC) within 30 days of completing the rotation. These offices will verifiy the submitted claim information and forward it to RPAP for authorization and payment.
  5. The Office of Rural & Regional Health UofA) or the Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives (UofC) will forward an RPAP Preceptor Payment Form to the preceptor for verification and completion at the conclusion of the rotation.
  6. The preceptor must complete their rotation evaluation and submit an RPAP Preceptor Payment Form to the Office of Rural & Regional Health (UofA) or to the Rural Initiatives Program (UofC) within 90 days of the end of the rotation. These offices will verifiy the submitted RPAP Preceptor Payment Form and forward it to RPAP for authorization and payment.
  7. At the completion of learner's rotation, RPAP will send you a concluding e-mail with the link to our SurveyMoney evaluation. Please complete the evaluation of your accommodations so we can effectively provide acceptable housing.† Evaluations can be submitted on-line through Survey Monkey -†click this link or†complete the hard copy Accommodations Evaluation Form below†- send to RPAP by†fax (780-423-9917) or scan/email it to†
  8. At the end of the calander year, RPAP will issue T4As to all preceptors.

Helpful Rural Rotations Resources

Further Information

Further information about rural education experiences (mandatory rotations and electives) for medical students and Family Medicine and Royal College residents may be obtained from:

University of Calgary
Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives 
Telephone: 1-877-466-4257
Fax: (403) 210-3986

University of Alberta
Office of Rural & Regional Health 
Telephone: 1-866-492-0678
Fax: (780) 248-1163
E-mail: Rural&

Out-of-Province Medical Students

Out-of-province undergraduate medical students in their clerkship year(s) of training interested in a†medical elective with Alberta physician preceptors†must first†contact the electives office at the University of Calgary ( or the University of Alberta ( to complete the required undergraduate elective application forms.

The University elective office will ensure communication with the studentís home university, will ensure that the student has medical malpractice insurance and will arrange for the studentís registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

Canadian students may apply for electives anytime during their clerkship years. The decision to accept international students rests with the universities.

For more information as to procedures at the University of Alberta or University of Calgary, please contact the corresponding electives office.