Medical students immersed in rural communities | Radio-Biblio: Wings for Manitoba

In Manitoba, rural communities welcome medical students as part of Rural Week. This is an initiative aimed at filling a labor shortage by encouraging future doctors to settle in remote regions.

Approximately 120 medical students in the province are located in several remote regions of Manitoba such as Vita, Morris, and Niverville as well as in Nunavut.

This is a compulsory internship for first-year medical students.

For a week, students participate in the tasks of their respective health centers in order to better understand the rural reality of the profession. They also have the opportunity to interact with patients.

University of Manitoba student Jacob Tallman says he is grateful to be a part of the program. According to him, the experience allows him to see first-hand certain cases studied such as atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heart rhythm.

It’s interesting to see and take the experience of what you learn in the class, and help people here with their health challenges he said.

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Participant Jacob Tallman will spend his week in the community of Vita, 115 km south of Winnipeg.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Magalie Chinchilla Chaput

At the Saint-Pierre-Jolys medical clinic, Dr. Timo Gosselin remembers participating in Rural Week 14 years ago. According to him, the experience amplified his enthusiasm to become a doctor, while opening his mind to the rural world.

It was the first time I said to myself: I can see myself as a family doctor in rural practice, he explains. And that was the moment where my learning had real practice.

According to him, although it is a lot of work, it is still a really great experience for the students.

Dr. Gosselin also says he is happy that this year’s participants took the time to meet and get to know their potential patients.

For me the important thing is to make medicine personal […] then really use the time to really make a personal connection with peoplehe emphasizes.

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Rural Week is a good experience for students as well as the community according to former participant 14 years ago, Dr. Timo Gosselin.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Magalie Chinchilla Chaput

Not enough doctors in rural areas

The program is a tool to overcome the significant rural labor shortage, according to the supervisor of Clinique Est de Santé Sud, Mélanie Mourant.

We need more doctors living here. We want to show them how we live in the countryside.

A quote from Mélanie Mourant, supervisor of Clinique Est de Santé Sud

In addition to organizing this program for three years in southern Manitoba, Ms. Mourant also takes care of local activities with students, such as golf, tours of local museums, and painting.

>>Members of the village council eat at the barbecue.>>

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Located 57 km south of Winnipeg, the village of Saint-Pierre-Jolys organized a barbecue at Parc Carillon to welcome medical students.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Magalie Chinchilla Chaput

This initiative aims to encourage these future doctors to settle and work in rural communities in Manitoba.

Participants also had the opportunity to meet 11th and 12th grade students from Héritage Immersion School to share with them their medical journey.

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