To fulfill the mandate of the Rural/Remote social accountability, uOttawa uses the Distributed Medical Education program. This program works with the Ministry of Health and provincial Medical Education Networks to help provide the students opportunities to work in rural areas outside of the traditional medical education teaching centres. This gives the students exposure to rural life and the challenges of rural health care. The opportunities offered to our students are as follows.
- Community Week (mandatory) – 1 week rural experience for all medical students
- Mandatory Rural Rotation – 4 to 5 week block for senior medical students in either their 3rd of 4th year
These rural opportunities are offered in not only Family Medicine, but also other specialties such as surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and psychiatry.
There are also many opportunities for electives and other opportunities in rural/remote areas. We work with the other Ontario medical schools to share resources and offer students the opportunity to experience remote medicine in Indigenous areas such as Moose Factory and Sioux Lookout.
By exposing the medical students to the joys and challenges of rural practice, we hope that this will encourage them to see it as a potential career path for their future. This will help us to meet our social accountability goals as a faculty.