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On Friday, May 3, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) welcomed 23 medical students from the University of Manitoba with a meal at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. 

Interlake-Eastern RHA based physicians, Dr. Ian Alexander (family physician and IERHA’s Regional Family Medicine Specialty Lead), Dr. Stewart Nadurak (IERHA family medicine resident) and Dr. Jade Young (family physician), spoke with students about their respective practices and answered questions with the intent of sparking interest in family practice in Interlake-Eastern RHA.

The students were part of Rural Interest Group (RIG) – a gathering of first and second year medical students who have a specific interest in learning more about rural medicine and rural lifestyles. RIG is supported by the university and two to three times a year, students travel to IERHA to meet rural physicians and experience rural Manitoba. RIG trips are among Interlake-Eastern’s recruitment initiatives as these encounters promote rural practice options among upcoming doctors.

Following dinner, students checked into the hotel in Selkirk and prepared for an early start on Saturday morning at Selkirk Regional Health Centre. Students were split into groups to rotate through four clinical interactive stations. Dr. Phoebe Thiessen (family physician and the IERHA’s Regional Medical Obstetrics Lead) walked students through the obstetrical and gynecology station; Dr. Nadurak showed students the ultrasound station; Dr. Alexander the intubation/airway station; and Dr. Rita Costa (IERHA family medicine resident), the suturing station. Following the rotations, students joined the physicians for an engaging question and answer period. The day wrapped up with a tour of Selkirk Regional Health Centre hosted by Dr. Ian Alexander.

Students expressed appreciation for the opportunity to interact with experienced physicians and for the learning opportunities. A few indicated they would have liked to have had more time exploring Selkirk. According to Pamela Robertson, IERHA’s physician recruiter, the feedback is heartening for physicians who invest in making RIG a worthwhile venture for students.

“Our sincere thanks to Dr. Costa, Dr. Nadurak and Dr. Alexander and his team for spending time with the students,” says Robertson. “Dr. Young travelled from Eriksdale to have dinner with this group and Dr. Phoebe Thiessen provided support throughout the day. We look forward to next year’s RIG trip!”

Community members who want to get involved in rural physician recruitment and who have suggestions on destinations or events for students or residents, please contact Pamela Robertson, physician recruitment at [email protected]

23 rural interst group medical students posed at Selkirk Regional Health Centre
23 University of Manitoba medical students attended Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.

Student works on a dummy’s airways at Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the University of Manitoba medical students 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.

Student practices suturing on a pig foot at Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the University of Manitoba medical students 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.
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