Strategies to increase the enrolment of students of rural origin in medical school: recommendations from the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

Rourke, James
January 2005
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;1/4/2005, Vol. 172 Issue 1, p62
Academic Journal
The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) recognizes the importance of educating physicians for rural practice. Because students with a rural background are the most likely to ultimately choose rural practice as a career, achieving an adequate supply of rural physicians depends in part on ensuring the admission of an adequate number of students of rural origin to medical school. National data published in 2002 revealed that students of rural origin are seriously underrepresented in Canadian medical schools. This finding prompted the formation of a national task force to address the issue. A large number of physicians volunteered to become involved, enabling the formation of a core national committee and a larger interest group. In addition, 3 focus group sessions were held, and over 100 submissions were received from individuals and groups. A survey of Canadian medical school associate deans was also conducted to determine the current status of rural admission initiatives and strategies. In presenting these recommendations, the SRPC task force hopes that policies, strategies, initiatives and funding can be implemented to increase the number of medical students of rural origin to a fair and equitable level, and that this will ultimately lead to increased numbers of medical school graduates who choose a career in rural practice.


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