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Provincial Programs
In Québec at the pre-clerkship level, summer jobs in hospitals are available for medical students in designated areas. Through this project, medical students are exposed to living and working in different non university settings throughout Québec.

At the clerkship level there are options for rural rotation. Each of Québec's 4 faculties of medicine has developed affiliation with regional hospitals that receive trainees for 4-week clinical rotations in family medicine. The preceptors in these regional areas usually receive a university appointment. The Québec Ministry of Social Affairs funds the supervision of the trainees by allocating to the preceptors, per 4-week block, a stipend per trainee that is paid through the affiliated university. The clerks have their travel, lodging and meals paid. Recent cutbacks have limited availability of this program.

At the postgraduate training level, residents in family medicine are required to do a mandatory rotation at a non university site. For at least 10 years, family medicine residents, as part of their 2-year residency, must spend 2 months of training in a non university area fulfilling specific regional training objectives. Again the government pays the resident's travel, lodging and meals, and the stipend for the preceptors in the designated teaching sites. Most of these sites are rural.

Since 1993, the residency programs in 6 specialties (general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, anesthesia, and psychiatry) have a mandatory 3-month experience in a non university site. Specialty residents benefit from exposure to different types of practice. Funds for travel for a resident to accompany a specialist who is doing consultations in a remote area of Québec are available from the residents' association of each university.

Universities
  • McGill University has their electives catalogue on-line, with instruction on how to apply as a visiting medical student. There is no formal rural placement program as such but about a third of McGill students choose a one to two month rural placement for doing an elective prior to their clerkship. This can be at one of the designated rural sites. There is no funding from the university, but the rural and regional hospitals provide accommodation and some travel costs for Québec Students. A "special" rotation can be arranged outside of the McGill system but needs approval at least 3 months prior to the rotation. Local McGill Dept of Family Medicine rules currently require that the supervisor be a certified family physician or "a community physician in an accredited family medicine teaching site." There are some bursaries for doing electives but they are usually earmarked for defraying costs of out of the country placements.
    Contact: Giovanna Cucchiara Family Medicine Coordinator
    517 Pine Ave West, Montreal Québec, H2W 1S4
    Phone: (514) 398-7375
    Fax: (514) 398-4202
    E-mail:
  • Université de Montréal lacks a formal rural placement program in the clerkship. However there is a 4 week family medicine block and a 4 week elective block that has some possibility of rural option. Funding from the province is present for reimbursement of travel and lodging for Québec students as mentioned in the description of provincial programs. There are 5 associated rural sites but priority goes to family medicine residents. The university allows visiting medical students. They specify that there is no remuneration and there is a non refundable $100 fee for the application.
    Contact: Madame Rachel Gagnon (Undergraduates)
    C.P 6128, succursale centre-ville
    Montréal Québec H3C 3J7
    Phone: (514) 343-6808
    Fax: (514) 343-6629

    Dept of Family Medicine (Residents)
    Phone: (514) 343-6497
  • Université Laval requires that a 4 week rotation in family medicine take place in the regions for all students. These rotations are all rural or in a regional rural center. Laval students may apply to take this rotation at a site affiliated with another university. Due to funding cutbacks these slots are limited in number and there is no present ability to handle students from the other universities. There is also a 4 to 8 (max 12 weeks) week elective period in the clerkship for which students from other Universities may apply. A handful of these settings are rural. The student must be at the clerkship level (eg DCEM4 for France), offer official proof of that, and approval from the sending university, as well as proof that the sending university has malpractice coverage for the student. The application must be filed no later than 6 months prior to the rotation.
    Contact: Dr Pierre Leblond, Directeur D'Externa
    Faculé de médecine, pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry
    Université Laval, Ste-Foy Québec G1K 7P4
    Phone: (418) 656-2131 Ext. 5704
    Fax: (418) 656-2733
    E-mail:
  • Université de Sherbrooke - There are no formal rural elective programs, nor funding for such. There is an opportunity for 5 UdeS students to do a summer preceptorship before clerkship in New Brunswick. As elsewhere, students are welcome to organize a rural elective.
    Phone: (819) 564-3200
    Fax: (819) 564-5378
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