A rural resident physician faces many challenges during the extent of their residency. Having to worry about a place to stay shouldn’t be one of them.
Dr. Heather Filek, a resident physician within the Rural Alberta South (RAS) rural family medicine program, says one of the draws to the RAS program was the accommodation support arranged for her during her rural residency by RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta.
RPAP, through its Program Support Coordinators, arranges furnished and conveniently located accommodations in each teaching community for residents on clinical rotation.
According to Filek, it was a definite plus to have the stability of being able to set up a place in Lethbridge, one of the home sites of the Rural Alberta South program, and still be able to do rural residency.
“That allowed me to have a real sense of stability within my two years of residency, because I could rent a place [in Lethbridge] and have it throughout the two years, and not have to worry about having to find somewhere for my two months [in another community]… and don’t have to worry about that extra cost of accommodation.”
Filek adds another positive part of the RPAP’s involvement in the RAS program is the provision of funding for life saving courses dealing with different aspects of acute care.
“There’s the understanding that a rural physician does need to be able to handle whatever comes through the door, and there’s quite a few courses provided to us as residents to prepare us for that moment, to prepare us to be ready.”