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This year 16 medical students attended rural week in eight communities in the Interlake-Eastern area. During rural week, first year medical students are hosted by communities and given the opportunity to shadow physicians, nurse practitioners and other care providers during their regular workday in local health clinics. 

In an effort to provide medical students with exposure to the practice diversity found in rural settings, students shadowed hospital and primary health-care staff in Arborg, Teulon, Stonewall, Gimli, Oakbank, Beausejour, Pine Falls and Pinawa. 

On top of clinic time, the week also includes a host of activities, organized by community volunteers, to give students an understanding of what it’s like to live and work in rural communities.

Visit co-ordinator Chantelle Parrott (also economic development and marketing officer for Beausejour Brokenhead Development Corporation) says the students enjoyed their time in Beausejour and area.

“We were fortunate to have good weather to get the students up in the air for hang gliding one evening. We had the students out for dinner at our new restaurant where they were able to network with some of our local leaders, got them on a driving tour around the community to showcase our points of interest and developments, and they spent time enjoying our local restaurants and shops and exploring the Eastman region, all in addition to learning about rural medical services,” she said.

“Overall, it was a great opportunity to showcase the rural lifestyle in Beausejour-Brokenhead to students who may not otherwise have the chance to experience life as a rural physician.”

Rural Week, as part of the University of Manitoba medical curriculum, first started in 2004.

It’s an initiative co-ordinated by the RHA in collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine and the Manitoba HealthCare Providers Network.

Due to the pandemic, this is the first year since 2019 that Rural Week has been held like it usually is. In 2020 Rural Week was voluntary and in 2021 it was run over a two-week period. This year, all participants were still encouraged to be mindful of COVID and many of the after-hours activities were held outdoors.  

For more information on career opportunities with the RHA, please visit www.ierha.ca/careers.

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