August 27, 2015 • Written in Resident Physicians 0 Comments

Tagged with Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network ARFMN Physician attraction Physician education Physician recruitment RAN Resident physicians Rural Alberta South University of Calgary • Written by Jonathan Koch

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

The best setting for training rural family physicians is rural family practice, so the 14 residents accepted into the program each year are exposed to a wide variety of rural medicine. Through the CaRMS match residents choose a home base for the two years in either Medicine Hat or Lethbridge. Rotations in our designated sites include more isolated settings and larger towns. Rotations in Yellowknife and Whitehorse are also available.

Rural residents also need to develop competencies in hospital medicine and acquire a wide variety of procedural skills. Specialty rotations in the regional cities of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat facilitate this process. Reflecting the needs of rural practice, the program includes an anaesthesia rotation to provide the resident with advanced airway management skills and an orthopaedic rotation to develop confidence in management of common musculoskeletal trauma. In response to resident feedback, a Pediatric Emergency Rotation in a tertiary centre occurs in the first year and an ICU rotation in a tertiary centre occurs in the second year.

All rotations are preceptor-based, with the RAS resident usually the only learner. This allows an individualized teaching program and greater access to clinical experience. As RAS is one of the most elective rich programs in the nation, the resident is able to tailor the program to meet his or her needs.

Monthly academic days in the regional centers, together with a regular schedule of journals clubs and problem-based small group CME provide academic programming. Regular one and two-day workshops allow the delivery of further academic content and provide peer support for our residents. Completion of ACLS and ATLS is required prior to starting the program.


Family Medicine residents of Rural Alberta North and Rural Alberta South enjoy a high quality of residency training provided through these units of the provinces' two fully accredited Family Medicine departments. This training leads to eligibility for certification in Family Medicine with the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The clinical curriculum offers significant flexibility with respect to site, sequence and length of experiences. While similar to the main Family Medicine programs and to each other, the curricula of Rural Alberta North and Rural Alberta South have some variability. The general curriculum of both Nodes or units is comprised of core and elective rotations and a schedule of academic events that includes seminars, case presentations, rounds and workshops.

Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network

RAS is part of 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.

For more details on curriculum , locations, faculty and staff, please visit the Rural Alberta South home page.

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