Rural Research spotlight

The SRPC Research Committee is dedicated to improving the accessibility and awareness of Canadian and International rural health research to SRPC members at any stage in their career. This page outlines important aspects of current rural health research in Canada, including research opportunities, upcoming research events, and highlights of recent publications. 

research Opportunities

Master of Medical Studies program - Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Opportunity Type: Master of Medical Studies

Where: Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Posted on SRPC website: 26-Jul-2021

More Information: The Master of Medical Studies (MMS) program will provide foundational research skills for physicians who want to develop a robust approach to answering health care questions. The program will focus on developing the necessary skills to acquire grant funding, obtain ethics approval, develop a research question and appropriate methodology, complete the research study, and finally write and present the results at conferences and in publication. Our goal is for learners to focus on health care problems in the north to improve the health status of all people in northern, rural, and remote communities. The MMS uses an asynchronous model to deliver the course material, the courses will be available online. Students can complete this program remotely with a flexible schedule. There is no in person requirement for this program.


Medical Student Research Opportunity

Opportunity Type: Research Assistant

Principle Investigator: Dr. Sarah Lespérance

Posted on SRPC website: 29-Apr-2021

More Information: Are you a medical student interested in rural research, resilience, and generalism? A research study related to systemic challenges and resilience protectors, in relation to scope of practice of rural physicians, is looking to hire a student to help with knowledge translation work, as well as possible development of further research proposals in this domain. The timeframe would be to complete work between now and July 31, 2021 due to grant deadlines. If you might be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email

Funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research

NL SUPPORT and Quality of Care NL are excited to announce that funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research. At least one grant for each funding opportunity will be designated for research led by an Indigenous student/health professional or in partnership with an Indigenous community:


NL SUPPORT’s annual educational funding competition has reopened for new or current graduate students with an interest in translational, applied or other patient-oriented research. Funding is available for up to two years for an MSc and three years for a PhD student, beginning January 2022. The value of this award will be for a maximum of $14,000/year for Masters’ students and $18,000/year for PhDs. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit


NL SUPPORT invites health professionals working actively in a clinical role who would like to move into research or have a specific question with a patient-oriented research focus to apply to our annual health professional-led funding competition. Up to five grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit

Inquiries about these funding opportunities?

Contact: NL SUPPORT’s  Julia Elizabeth Burt

Would you like to promote a Canadian rural health research opportunity? We'd love to hear about it. Please connect with us at

Upcoming research Events

    • 20-Jan-2022
    • 6:30 PM (MST)
    • 03-Feb-2022
    • 7:30 PM (MST)
    • Virtual

    Managing Alcohol Use Disorder and Liver Disease

    Free event via Zoom (reverse classroom style)

    Event Dates:

    January 20th 6:30-7:30pm MST
    January 27th 6:30-7:30pm MST
    February 3rd 6:30-7:30pm MST

    Registration Online

    You will be prompted to sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 sessions.
    Description: This workshop series will provide participants with information on how to effectively manage alcohol use disorder in patients with liver disease. These workshops will include on-demand learning as well as active learning sessions where participants can expect to partake in case based discussions and practice using practice motivational interviewing.

    CME accreditation:
    This 2 credit per hour Group Learning activity has been certified by the National Office of the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 3 credits for each session. Mainpro+ participants may also earn additional certified credits by completing a Linking Learning exercise.

    This event is an Accredited Self-Assessment Program (Section 3) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by The University of Calgary – Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development. You may claim a maximum of 1.5 hours for each of the three sessions (credits are automatically calculated).

    Please contact if you have questions.

    • 21-Apr-2022
    • 23-Apr-2022
    • Ottawa, ON

    Join us in person in Ottawa, Ontario - April 21-23, 2022

     ***  Schedule Now Available  ***

                                  (Subject to Change)

    •  Rates  •  Add on Course  •  Socials  •  HOTEL / TRAVEL/ TRANSFERS / TOURISM •  Family   •   Exhibitors and Sponsors  •  Funding and Sponsorship  •   COVID Measures  •  CANCELLATION  •  


    *If the rate you want to access is grey, please make sure you are signed in to your member account, and your membership is up to date.

    *Reduced rates and priority access to the hands-on sessions are available for SRPC members.

    *Student rates apply to nurses, midwives, and educator/administrator associate members.

    *Resident rates apply to lifetime and retired members.


    *All event prices include 13% HST.
    *Make sure you are signed in to your profile and your membership is up to date.
    *International registrants - please inquire about special rates prior to registering. (Email

    Not a member yet? Join today!

    Join the SRPC

    Add On Courses

    ***Please check back as there will be other options added in the weeks to come.***

    The following add-on courses are being offered pre/post-conference.
    Registration for add-on courses is managed by the course provider.
    Please get in touch with them to make any changes to your registration or inquire about their cancellation policies.

    Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

    • Airway Interventions and Management in Emergencies (AIME) limit of 24 registrants - Details online  - Register here

    • CASTED: Emergency is a 3-day, ruthlessly clinical, award-winning, ED orthopedics course.  You approach to ED orthopedics will change - with better assessments, imaging, reductions, immobilization, and disposition skills. 

      2-days of case reviews are delivered on-line. Some time is given to incorporate these skills into practice. Then, on April 19, the hands-on day is provided to see demos, physical exam reviews and practice. 

      For the on-line days, you can choose between:
      February 25 & 26, 2022 and April 4 & 5, 2022. 
      Then, on April 19, the hands-on day will be provided in Ottawa.

      Visit the CASTED Registration page for full course details, prices.  CASTED Registration Page

    Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

    • Airway Interventions and Management in Emergencies (AIME) limit of 24 registrants - Details online  - Register here

    • CASTED: Plastics is our 1-day, ED advanced suturing and hand injury course.

      Your assessment, procedural and disposition skills will be greatly improved.  The course combines case reviews with supervised, hands-on practice.

      Tendon and nailbed injuries, partial amputations, lip lacerations, advanced wound management - all will be reviewed in detail.

      Visit the CASTED Registration page for full course details, prices.  CASTED Registration Page

    Sunday, April 24th, 2022

    • BLS/ACLS 2022  - Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course for Health Care Professionals Includes a BLS Renewal
      *NEW* An up-to-date Heart and Stroke BLS (within the last 12 months) is a prerequisite for this course. If your BLS is outdated, you will be required to do a BLS Renewal online challenge prior to the course. The cost is $10, payable to Heart and Stroke. To register, please email the completed BLS/ACLS Registration Form to


    Prices include 13% HST.
    Regular rate tickets help us reduce costs for students & residents.
    All events are family-friendly unless otherwise noted.


    Mix & Mingle Reception - All Are Welcome

    Join us for a family-friendly event to get acquainted and meet up with old friends. Guests will enjoy a memorable evening with peers and other delegates over good food, fine wine, entertainment, and children's activities.

    Hockey Night in the Capital - $25.00

    East vs. West - A friendly game of shinny. Pack your skates and helmet, and we'll bring the sticks and jerseys.

    Roam the city at your leisure

    Here are two PDF guides that highlight Ottawa's attractions. Be sure to "Flash your Badge" for discounts around the city.

    Ottawa Attraction Guide 

    Ottawa Restaurant Guide


    Awards Dinner:
    Regular Rate $129.95 - Student/Resident Rate $50.85

    Join us for a delicious sit-down meal in the elegant Shaw Centre Trillium Ballroom overlooking downtown Ottawa. An evening to recognize rural contributions made by our peers. Make sure to review the criteria and submit your nominations. 

    Jam Session: All are Welcome

    Join us after the awards dinner for our very own jam session. Bring your instruments and singing voice.


    Wrap Up Party: Absolute Comedy - Exclusive SRPC Dinner and a show. $65.00

    Buffet dinner followed by an hour and a half of laughs. After the show, make your way to the downstairs pub to mingle a little longer. Transportation will be arranged (16+ event).

    Funding and Sponsorship Initiative


    Funding is made possible by generous physicians and others who wish to support learners and the future of rural and remote medicine in Canada.

    Sponsor a Student or Resident

    • You may choose to sponsor as many students or residents as you wish during the registration process by adding their registration fee to your registration invoice.

    Students and Residents Requesting Sponsorship

    • Learners must pay the full registration fee to qualify. (If there are financial barriers, please contact to defer your invoice until April.)
    • SRPC sponsorship funds are available to all UNFUNDED Canadian medical students/residents attending R&R.
    • Sponsorship funds will be distributed to learners after the event.


    Have you been approved for funding by another organization?  Please select the "Sponsored" registration option and use the promo code provided by your sponsor.


    • Childcare: Free on-site during conference hours.
    • Non Medical Partner : Registration $141.25
    If you are interested in the free childcare services, please add their names to your registration form.

    Your non-medical partner can be added to your registration allowing them to join you for meals, plenaries, and general interest sessions. 

    Exhibitors and Sponsors

    The 2022 Sponsor Prospectus is now available.

    For more information or if you have questions, please contact Louise.


    The SRPC has arranged discounted hotel room rates at your choice of THREE locations.

    • Fairmont Château Laurier

    1 Rideau Street
    Ottawa ON K1N 8S7
    Online Booking Here

    Room rates start at $235

    *Reserve by Sunday, March 20th, 2022

    Book by phone at 1-800-441-1414 (Booking code srpc0422)

    • Novotel Ottawa City Centre

    33 Nicholas Street
    Ottawa ON K1N 9M7
    Online Booking here

    Room rates start at $189

    *Reserve by Monday, March 21st, 2022

    Book by phone at 1-855-677-3033 (Booking code 1020952)

    • Les Suites Hotel 

    130 rue Besserer Street,
    Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 9M9
    Online Booking here
     (Booking code 235932) 

    Premiere One Bedroom Suites: $189.00/night (single/double)

    Premiere Two Bedroom Suites: $299.00/night (1-4 persons) 

    *Reserve by Friday, March 4th, 2022

    Book by phone at 1-800-267-1989 (Booking code 235932)


    Air Canada:

    Book online and use discount code C3UQKUQ1

    • Booking is to be made to the following city: YOW – Ottawa, ON.
    • The travel period begins Thursday, April 14, 2022, and ends Saturday, April 30, 2022.
    • No discount will apply to Standard bookings for travel within Canada or between Canada and the U.S. For International travel (destinations outside North America), discounts apply to all fares, including Standard. 


    Book online and use discount code D28AF75

    • The booking is to be made to the following city: YOW – Ottawa, ON.
    • The travel period begins: April 14-30, 2022
    • No discount will apply to Basic or Business class bookings. 

    Offer:  5% off Econo* and 10% off EconoFlex and Premium fares for travel within Canada and 2% off Econo*, 5% off EconoFlex and 10% off Premium base fares for guests travelling Trans-border into and out of Ottawa.


    Book online and use VIA convention discount code: 14180

    VALID: April 18th, 2022 to April 27th, 2022
    From all stations throughout the VIA system to Ottawa, Ontario and return.

    • Fare applies to a maximum of two passengers per booking.
    • One complimentary stopover is allowed at no additional charge.
    • For travel on all fare plans in Business class, the first stopover is allowed at no additional charge, provided that this stopover takes place in Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa only.

    DISCOUNT:  10% off the best available fare in Economy, Economy Plus, Business, Business Plus, Sleeper class. "Subject to the conditions and restrictions of the fare plan to which the additional discount is being applied." Discount does not apply in any Escape fares and Prestige Class.

    Transportation Options:

    From Ottawa International Airport (YOW), you have a few options to get downtown.  Details here

    Bus: $3.65  will be a 25-minute ride + 7-10 min walk

    Private transportation/Taxi : approx $35.00

    OC Transpo’s info (Bus, O-Trian, LTR) - passes and rates: Get around the city with a 1-7 day ride pass. Details here.  Let the family explore the city and  plan day trips or tour Ottawa pre or post-conference

    Ottawa Tourism:

    Are you making R&R a family trip or a couples getaway? Start planning now. Show your conference badge to any participating business and receive VIP offers designed exclusively for attendees and their companions.  Discover Ottawa and surrounding areas.  Look over the Ottawa Attraction Guide and the Ottawa Restaurant Guide.

    Did you know that Ottawa's Shaw Centre was named the world’s best convention centre? This award is in recognition of the highest rating on client surveys received by a convention centre. Consider Shaw Centre for your next event! Read the Press Release.

    Alternative resources:

    Follow Ottawa Tourism on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to see more of Ottawa and plan your next visit! 

    Awards & Contest

    The SRPC feels it is important to recognize persons or organizations that have made a significant contribution to rural medicine in Canada. Awards will be presented at the Annual Rural & Remote Medicine Course Awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, April 22nd, 2022.

    Visit the SRPC awards page for all the information needed to prepare your nomination letter.
    All applications must be received by January 31, 2022.

    Exception: RSA, RLSA, FRRMS, Lifetime.
    Members MUST be registered for the conference no later than March 1st to be eligible.

    Student and Resident Research Poster: Details Online

    Student and Resident Essay Contest: Details Online

    COVID Measures & Cancellation

    Safety is our utmost concern, and there will be protocols to ensure a safe learning environment. Each participant will be required to provide documentation to confirm proof of double vaccination, masks will be mandatory, and social distance measures will be in place where possible. We will follow all public health guidance as it stands in Ontario during our event.

    The Planning Committee will continue to closely monitor the evolution of the pandemic - nationally and in Ontario. Should circumstances preclude a safe program and public health rules in Ontario require us to cancel the program, all registrants will be offered a full refund or a credit towards the next program.


    • All event cancellations must be made in writing by email to

    • A full refund (less $75 admin fee) will be granted if notification is received by March 4th.

    • A 50% refund will be granted for cancellations made between March 5th and March 21st OR the Full amount (less $75 admin fee) as a credit on your account to be used on future invoices. (event, membership or donations)

    • There are no refunds after March 21st, but we will transfer the balance (less $75 admin fee) to another SRPC event or SRPC membership or Donations.

    • Deposits are non-refundable but are transferable to SRPC Membership.

    • Social tickets are non-refundable but may be donated to a student or resident.

    • Pending registrations are considered as "planning to attend" or "Pay Later." Please inform us as soon as possible if your plans have changed, and if you are no longer able to attend, we will cancel your registration.

Hosting or aware of a rural health research event and would like to add it to our calendar?  Send us an email


The prevalence and patterns of use of point-of-care ultrasound in Newfoundland and Labrador 

Authors: Gillian Sheppard, MD, Augustine Joshua Devasahayam, PhD, Craig Campbell, BSc, Maisam Najafizada, PhD, Yanqing Yi, PhD & Amanda Power, RN

Journal: Can J Rural Med (2021)

Summary & Impact: This cross-sectional study's primary focus was to collect data on the prevalence of use of point-of-care ultrasounds (POCUS) within Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Physicians in NL were also interviewed for a qualitative analysis on their POCUS usage, including benefits and impediments to usage. This was the first study of its kind to report on the prevalence of POCUS devices in Canada. Rural physicians in NL had limited access to POCUS devices, compared to urban physicians, and have identified barriers to POCUS training. The results from this study could help in creating a province-wide POCUS network, connecting physicians in rural areas with POCUS experts, improving healthcare access.

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_61_20

Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Gillian Sheppard completed her Medical Degree and her residency training in Family Medicine with a Certificate of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine from Memorial University. Since 2011, Dr. Sheppard has been practicing Emergency Medicine at Eastern Health in St. John’s, NL.

In 2015, Dr. Sheppard became an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Memorial University. Dr. Sheppard is the Undergraduate Content Lead for Emergency Medicine at Memorial University, and she is the Chair of the Emergency Medicine Research Committee. Dr. Sheppard has been the Director of POCUS since 2016 and has a special interest in undergraduate POCUS education and research. In 2020, Dr. Sheppard joined the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Emergency Ultrasound Committee as the Education Lead, and she is the Chair of the CAEP Women in Emergency Medicine Committee.

Question: Why is studying rural and remote health in Canada important to you? 

Dr. Sheppard: Necessity drives innovation. Rural healthcare providers are faced with doing more for patients with fewer resources and they have the knowledge and skills to provide insight into the solutions required to best serve their populations. Research in Canada should aim to learn from our rural healthcare providers and then plan educational opportunities and research projects to support them.

Photo: Gillian Sheppard

Check out past Research Features: Past Research Features.pdf

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