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  • 18-Dec-2022 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join us in Niagara Falls for the 30th Annual Rural and Remote Medicine Course

    Date: April 20-22, 2023
    Location: Niagara Falls, ON
    Event Details page: RR2023

  • 18-Dec-2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada is recruiting members for the following positions on Council. Terms start in April 2023.


    • President-Elect - (4 year term)


    • Northwest Territories

    • Nova Scotia

    • Nunavut

    • Prince Edward Island

    • Quebec


    • Anesthesia

    • Emergency

    • Indigenous Health

    Provincial and territorial and standing committee roles have a term of 3 years, eligible for renewal once. SRPC Executive positions are a 2-year term, eligible for renewal once. The SRPC President term is a total of 4 year term.

    The main role of these representatives is to act as a liaison between SRPC members and SRPC Council. Representatives will be the primary contact person to connect with regarding current issues.

    Please submit an expression of interest in Microsoft Word (max 250 words) to SRPC head office, signed by one SRPC member in good standing. Please include your curriculum vitae. The eligible candidate must be an active physician member of the SRPC. Previous Committee and / or Council experience should be listed and is desirable.

    For further information on the roles and responsibilities of these positions, please contact Jenna Keindel.

    All nominations must be received no later than Saturday, December 31st, 2022.

    The Nominations & Awards Committee will review the submissions and choose an appropriate candidate.

  • 11-Oct-2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous

    All across Canada, doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare providers are working hard to keep hospitals, and emergency departments open.  This summer, many emergency departments in small hospitals have had to close. You should be able to access care when and where you need it, especially in an emergency.

  • 07-Oct-2022 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Summer is over, but many rural communities saw an influx of travellers over the summer months, multiplying the size of the population and increasing demands on local resources. Despite the extra demands and critical staffing shortages faced, I hope you had the opportunity to see friends and family, or simply enjoy some time off. Perhaps, this included connecting with nature, and the beauty of our rivers, forests, beaches, tundra and other vast and varied Canadian terrain.

    As we enjoy the beauty surrounding us, we also see many reminders of the climate-related changes affecting our communities. Devastating forest fires and heat waves experienced in 2021 were a stark reminder of the need for community preparedness, particularly in rural areas. Beyond the health human resource crisis facing our healthcare system, climate change and its impacts will be one of the most significant challenges to healthcare faced by rural and remote Canada in the coming years. The SRPC recognises the importance of this issue and is committed to providing leadership and evidence to drive the climate adaptation. At the Rural and Remote Conference in Ottawa, on Earth Day (22 April 2022), a motion was endorsed unanimously at the SRPC's Annual General Meeting asking the federal government to redirect fuel subsidies to support climate crisis adaptation.

    When faced with the devastating effects of climate change, we have the capacity to leverage our strong connections with our communities, seeking methods to adapt, mitigate consequences and protect the most vulnerable citizens from health-related effects. Community strength and resilience lead to many potential solutions, whether through team-based care, sustainable growth and development, indigenous community partnerships, youth engagement or technology. We have the opportunity to gather data and share our knowledge and experience with a broader audience, and the SRPC is actively engaged in supporting this work.[2]

    While we gather data, build community partnerships, and speak nationally on the issue, the SRPC must also consider how else we mitigate impacts of climate change. After over 2 years with limited in-person opportunities, we recognise the value of personal connections for our members, but we must also consider effective ways in which to transform our work. We must learn from our experiences in COVID, perhaps looking at virtual options for some meetings, conferences or other events. In doing so, we play an important role in ensuring our summers continue to be ones where we can reconnect with the beauty of the great outdoors.

    Lesperance S. President's message. Can J Rural Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 18];27:133. Available from:

  • 06-Jul-2022 4:09 PM | Anonymous

    Having equitable access to health care is an ongoing challenge for rural, remote, and Indigenous communities in Canada. The physician workforce available to serve these communities is inadequate due to the lack of a comprehensive health human resource (HHR) plan that would enable rural physicians to commit to practising, teaching, and living in these areas over the long term. Health care needs in rural areas go beyond comprehensive primary care. Recent Canadian Medical Protective Association data show that between 20% and 30% of family doctors who identify as rural family physicians/general practitioners include a broader range of services in their scope of work than non‐rural physicians.i Rural generalist physicians provide emergency care and hospital in‐patient care as part of their core services, and they participate in networks of care that deliver anesthesia, obstetrical, surgical, palliative, population health, and home care services. These components must be part of an HHR plan for rural populations. However, while many programs have been implemented to recruit and support rural physicians, barriers1 still exist that hinder their ability to expand rural generalist care in Canada.2ii

    Read the full Statement: Enhancing Canada’s Rural Physician Workforce Through Effective Health Human Resource Planning.

  • 29-Jun-2022 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    As identified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) recognizes the importance of training family physicians who practice comprehensive, socially accountable medicine to meet the needs of the peoples of this land. Canada’s rural and remote physicians are known for their generalist skills and already embody many of the key attributes that the CFPC hopes to instill in all of its residency graduates.

    To accomplish this, the CFPC is proposing post-graduate family medicine education reform to meet the Residency Training Profile (RTP), developed through work that members of the SRPC participated in. The Outcomes of Training Project (OTP) includes a recommendation to increase the duration of family medicine training to three years from two years to meet the curriculum goals of the RTP. The SRPC is committed to collaborating with the CFPC and its OTP.

    We have heard the concerns of members with respect to these changes. We too share concerns,  however we also see opportunities. As an organization whose mandate is to champion rural generalist medical care, we plan to use our expertise to enhance rural medical education, developing more robust, resilient, and broadly-skilled teams of practice for our communities.

    Read the full Statement: SRPC Statement on the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Outcomes of Training Report

  • 29-Jun-2022 4:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SRPC held its first in-person conference since 2019 this past April. As may be the case for many of you, Rural and Remote (R&R) was my introduction to the SRPC. At my first 'R&R', I immediately felt at home. The conference, and the SRPC, provided something lacking in those first few years of practice in Nunavut, Labrador and the Yukon: a sense of wider community, camaraderie and fellowship with like-minded rural generalists across the country. Now, over 2 years into this pandemic, rural physicians find themselves part of wounded, tired and sometimes fractured teams. We have lost much of that sense of community, and as we face critical staffing shortages, the health human resource crisis facing rural Canada has been starkly exposed. Challenges with transfer, licensure and access to speciality services compound our ability to provide care.

    Many have experienced a profound loss in various ways over the past 2 years and feel acutely the threats to the resilience of our rural health systems. At this juncture, we all are seeking ways to reconnect, heal and rebuild. I hope that for those who attended R&R, it will have been a part of the process.

    Through our ongoing work outside of the conference, the SRPC focusses on the needs for sustainable rural healthcare. Over the past months, we have taken a leadership role, with partners, including the Canadian Medical Association, in conversations aimed at achieving national physician licensure. We have seen progress and engagement with federal and provincial partners, and momentum seems to be building for the establishment of these standards.

    As health systems rebuild, the SRPC continues to advocate for high-quality training of future rural generalists. In January 2022, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) published the Final Report and Recommendations of the Outcomes of Training Project.[1] This described a need for a robust, generalist workforce, including with the skillset to serve rural communities. The Report proposes training changes to enhance preparedness, via extension of programme duration to 3 years, and exposure to specific skills. As the CFPC navigates this transition, the SRPC has voiced that additional training must reflect the true needs and context of rural practice and our concerns regarding potential unintended consequences on rural health human resources. We have shared a desire to play an active role in this transition and feel that our strong network of rural educators has a great deal of experience, knowledge and skills to offer.

    Moving forward, out of the ashes, we rebuild, heal and reconnect. Moreover, the SRPC will continue its work on your behalf, championing rural generalist medical care through education, collaboration, advocacy and research.

    Lesperance S. President's message. Can J Rural Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 18];27:89. Available from:

  • 22-Apr-2022 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    During the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada’s (SRPC) annual Rural & Remote Medicine Conference in Ottawa April 21‐23, 2022 the physicians embraced Earth Day with a spectacular plenary session by Dr. Courtney Howard, Past‐President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). The session, “A Healthy Response to Climate Change”, spurred the 400 rural physicians and medical learners to take action against what the Lancet has called “the worst global risk to health”. 

    Read the full Statement: Canada’s rural physicians unanimously endorse motion asking feds to redirect fuel subsidies to support climate crisis adaptation.

  • 26-Mar-2022 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The past 2 years have posed many challenges for our members and our organisation.

    Nonetheless, the SRPC has made big strides in advocating for rural generalism and the health of rural people.

    Early 2021 saw the formal conclusion of the Rural Road Map Implementation Committee. The SRPC is now continuing the work of the rural road map with on-going projects such as collaborating with Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) on rural research, disseminating the consensus statement on rural patient transfers, advocacy work around national licensure and involvement in a Health Human Resources planning group at the Canadian Medical Forum. We have also reached out to multiple stakeholders to explore common goals and identify ways to improve rural health care.

    Recognising our responsibilities in reconciliation, the SRPC introduced a successful webinar series on Indigenous health. This series provides our members with access to knowledge and evidence that is essential for delivering culturally safe care to Indigenous patients and communities. In Fall 2021, the SRPC Indigenous Committee issued a statement that called upon governments to 'invest in indigenous peoples individually and collectively, listen to the wisdom of Indigenous peoples, and collaborate on the solutions they propose to the many inequities that persist'.[1] We also asked SRPC members to learn from and listen to their Indigenous patients, identify injustices and inequities, and advocate for change in policies and laws negatively impacting indigenous communities.

    Under the leadership of the SRPC Student Committee, we introduced a mentorship programme that aims to connect medical students and residents to rural physicians from across the country. This is a way to support career exploration, guidance and increase understanding of the scope of rural practice. This programme is thriving! We have successfully matched 100 learner mentees with a rural mentor physician!

    While the past 2 years have been a bizarre time for all of us, it has been my absolute pleasure to have served as the SRPC president. I look forward to on-going involvement with the organisation in my role of past-president during the next term. Thank you to the past presidents and to the many dedicated SRPC members for help and guidance during my tenure.

    The society is in excellent hands with our amazing staff, and Dr. Sarah Lesperance will be a great successor. She has worked in many different rural and remote parts of the country, and continues to be a dedicated rural generalist. I hope that some normalcy may shine on us during her future as President of the SRPC.

    Woollam G. President's message. A reflection. Can J Rural Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 18];27:49. Available from:

  • 29-Dec-2021 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Early in my career, I remember sitting in a remote northern emergency room in the early hours of the morning with a hypotensive, bradycardic patient. I worked to stabilise him, then called Cardiology in the referral centre located 2 h by air to the south. The cardiologist asked, “How do you know this is a cardiac problem?” Frustrated but undeterred, I spent the hours that followed racing to find an accepting physician and arrange a medevac. As a sole physician in the hospital, I should have been providing patient care.

    What seemed like an isolated experience at the time, I now see clearly as a widespread problem: many of the medical transport systems in this country are broken. Agreements and policy between sending and accepting sites are lacking, transport programmes are frequently under-resourced and inter-jurisdictional transfers can be impossible to navigate.

    The burdens of these inadequacies are borne first not only by patients and communities but also by providers and health systems. Existing infrastructure often leaves patients waiting in underserved areas for too long and causes stress for patients, families, and transferring physicians[1] and may lead to increased mortality.[2]

    However, there are things we can do. In April 2021, the Rural Road Map Implementation Committee (RRMIC) released their recommendations for improving patient transfer.[3] These included the following calls to action:

    •     Adopt formal patient transfer agreements
    •     Implement no-refusal policies
    •     Create supportive intra- and inter-jurisdictional infrastructures
    •     Leverage the use of virtual care technologies to support more care close to home
    •     Use data to evaluate, improve and reduce the need for patient transfers and enable on-going end-to-end planning.

    The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada is pushing these recommendations forward through research, advocacy and collaboration with our RRMIC partners. I encourage each of you to find ways to be part of this collective effort in your respective corner of the country and to help realise these calls to action.

    Woollam G. President's Message. Rural Patient Transfer. Can J Rural Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 18];27:7. Available from: