Future healthcare professionals experienced rural and indigenous healthcare and culture at an RPAP Medical Skills Weekend event, held 22-24 July 2016 in St. Paul and Saddle Lake Cree Nation. Medical, nursing, and physiotherapy students from the University of Alberta experienced a busy weekend of skills training in a rural setting taught by local healthcare professionals.
Students received tours of medical facilities in Saddle Lake and St. Paul, and were honoured guests at a barbecue and hosted by the Saddle Lake Cree Nation on Friday night at the spectacular Saddle Lake Eagle Healing Lodge. Students were also treated to a community dinner at the pristine St. Paul Golf Course on Saturday evening, and a pancake breakfast the following morning at the St. Paul Reunion Station, served by St. Paul town and county officials.
St. Paul councilor, Dwight Wiebe, hopes that hosting a Medical Skills Weekend event will open the eyes of young students to the potential and the possibility of what rural Alberta brings to the table for their future professional endeavors.
“We hope that by doing so, they become excited about not just being limited to what they think is out there, but what is actually out there.”
The RPAP Medical Skills Weekend event was sponsored by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP), Saddle Lake Cree Nation, the St. Paul Physician Attraction and Retention Committee, and Lakeland Primary Care Network.
RPAP Medical Skills Weekends provide first and second-year medical students with the opportunity to visit rural Alberta communities and experience what rural medicine is all about.
Since 2004, RPAP-sponsored Medical Skills Days and Weekend events have provided Alberta medical students, and other aspiring healthcare professionals, with the opportunity to experience healthcare delivery in rural setting. Participants learn new skills, meet new people, and explore what living and working in a rural community really means