February 4, 2016 • Written in Medical Students 0 Comments

Tagged with AMSCAR Awards Bursaries Hnatuik Medical Students Physician attraction Physician education Physician recruitment • Written by Jonathan Koch

A provincially-funded, not-for-profit program to improve the supply, distribution and retention of rural physicians, will provide over $340,000 in tuition and financial support to Alberta medical students in 2015-16.

RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is pleased to announce that the following medical students, presently enrolled at the Universities of Alberta (U of A) and Calgary (U of C), are to be among the 2015-16 recipients of the RPAP Rural Medical Student Awards and John N. Hnatuik Medical Students Bursaries:

2015-16 RPAP John N. Hnatuik Rural Medical Student Bursary recipients (Including hometown and place of study):

  • Lynn Williams, Cardston County, AB (U of A)
  • Taylor Nelson, High Level, AB  (U of A)
  • Scott Anderson, Lethbridge, AB  (U of A)
  • Asha Varughese, Cold Lake, AB  (U of A)
  • Marie Decock, Pincher Creek, AB  (U of A)
  • Matthew Siray, Millarville, AB (U of A)
  • Marc-Andre Filion, Vermilion, AB (U of A)
  • Courtney Bailey, South Cooking Lake, AB (U of A)
  • Wade Walters, Redwood Meadows, AB (U of C)
  • Scott Manktelow, Canmore, AB (U of C)

2015-16 RPAP Rural Medical School Award recipients (Including hometown and place of study): 

  • Mark Drew, Cardston, AB  (U of A)
  • Murray (Mack) Jacobson, Ponoka, AB  (U of A)
  • Marya Aman, Medicine Hat, AB  (U of A)
  • Bethea Shute, Beaumont, AB  (U of A)

According to RPAP Executive Director, David Kay, programs such as the medical student award and bursary, shadowing experiences, and inter-professional rural medical skills weekends, help medical students establish roots in rural Alberta.

To-date, RPAP has awarded $2.3 million in award and bursary scholarships to 122 rural Alberta students studying medicine at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary. Since 2006, 17 bursary recipients have completed their residency, and are now practicing in Alberta. Three-quarters (76%) are now practicing in rural Alberta. Fifteen award recipients have completed their residency, and 13 of 15 (87%) are now practicing in Alberta, with almost half (47%) now practicing in rural Alberta.

 “I congratulate all RPAP award and bursary recipients for their commitment to the future of healthcare in rural Alberta,” Kay added.


Each year, RPAP supports Alberta-based medical students by offering two financial support initiatives to help ease the financial burden faced by students and their families:

John N. Hnatuik Rural Medical Student Bursary

The Hnatuik Rural Medical Student Bursary, sponsored by RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta, the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, provides full tuition including differential fees for each year of medical studies to reduce the financial burden faced by rural medical students and their families.

The Hnatuik bursaries celebrate the memory and contributions of Dr. John N. Hnatuik, who passed away in February 2010.  “Doctor John”, as he was known to friends, patients, and colleagues, had a very distinguished career in Alberta, practising family medicine in the town of Provost for over four decades, while raising a family there.  Dr. Hnatuik was a community leader, serving at various times as Town Councillor, Mayor and School Trustee. He also helped start an annual music festival in the community.

Dr. John also served on many medical committees over the years, including a term as President of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) for 1984 – 1985. In 1998, Dr. John received the AMA Medal for Distinguished Service, in recognition of his outstanding personal contribution to the medical profession and to the people of Alberta.

For nine years, Dr. John worked as an RPAP Skills Broker, helping rural physicians meet the needs of their communities. Known as a true supporter of medical students, Dr. Hnatuik was well-liked and respected by all who knew him. To honour his memory and his contributions to rural medicine, the RPAP’s Medical Student Bursary was renamed the John N. Hnatuik Rural Medical Student Bursary in 2010.

RPAP Rural Medical School Award

 The RPAP Rural Medical School Award provides $5,000 for each year of medical studies to assist with the student’s tuition, accommodation, living and/or travel expenses. The Award is available to students in any year of their medical degree. Once accepted the student receives the Award every year until medical school graduation, contingent upon their meeting the program requirements. The number of Awards available from the RPAP may vary on an annual basis. The intent is to grant up to two Awards per medical school per year.

To be eligible to apply, applicants are required to be an Alberta resident or a permanent resident of Canada living in Alberta; be enrolled as a full-time medical student at the University of Calgary or University of Alberta; have resided in a defined Alberta rural area (Alberta communities except Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, Leduc, Calgary, Airdrie, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge) for a minimum of five consecutive years immediately prior to entering a pre-medical program; and be a member of a student Rural Medical Interest Group at the university at which the medical degree is being undertaken.

RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is an independent, not-for-profit company funded by the Alberta Ministry of Health. Established in 1991 by the Government of Alberta, RPAP supports the ongoing efforts of Alberta’s rural physicians, their families and communities to improve the quality of rural health care.

For more information on how RPAP supports Alberta-based medical students, including the Medical Student Award and Bursary program, please visit www.rpap.ab.ca/medical-students.


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