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Rural Research

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. 

If you are hosting or aware of a rural health research event and would like your event added to our calendar, please send us an email.

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

Research Opportunities

Master of Medical Studies program - Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Opportunity Type: Master of Medical Studies

Where: Northern Ontario School of Medicine

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.


Student Research Opportunity - ROMP 'Hire a Medical Student' Program

Opportunity Type: Student Research

Where: Ontario

Posted on SRPC website: 01-Feb-2023

More Information: The Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) "Hire a Medical Student" opportunity provides learners with the opportunity to gain research and quality improvement (QI) experience in health care settings within rural Ontario communities. This program is a great opportunity for students to work with other healthcare professionals in a clinical environment.
The details regarding the application process are outlined below.

Application Process
- Apply online at
- Choose “Hire a med - CSJ” as the Rotation Type.
- In the notes section, please state you are applying for the Hire a Med Student opportunity
- Submit a resume and cover letter to
- Express rural communities of interest
- ROMP will contact you when communities have been established
- ROMP sends your resume and cover letter to communities you are interested in
- Those communities then work with you to set up an interview time
- Positions are offered!

Student Eligibility
- Focus on Quality Improvement projects and local medical research
- Work a minimum of 6 weeks
- Medical students in their pre-clerkship or clerkship years
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Legally entitled to work in Canada
- Be between the ages of 15 – 30 years of age
- Interest in rural medicine and rural communities

Please ensure that you have followed the steps above and that I have received all the required information from you. At this point we do not have an application deadline as we have to wait to see which communities receive government approval to run the program

Upcoming research Events

    • 01-Apr-2023
    • 31-Dec-2025

    Program Description

    The SRPC mentorship program is a pilot program that started in 2021 and aims to connect medical students to rural physicians and residents from across the country to allow career exploration, guidance and increased understanding of the scope of rural practice.  We have over 65 mentors ready to help support your rural path.


    • Connecting students to rural physicians across Canada
    • Career exploration and guidance
    • Increase understanding of the scope of rural practice
    • Provide learning opportunities outside of the formal academic environment
    • Contribute to the current and growing need of rural physicians in Canada

    Your Role As a Mentor

    As a mentor with SRPC, medical students will connect with you through the SRPC office manager. Once you are connected, there will be flexibility in how you set up your mentor-mentee relationships, which can be tailored on an individual basis. This may include answering a few quick questions, setting up a longitudinal mentorship plan, or organizing shadowing experiences (public health guidelines permitting).

    Expectations in your role as a mentor may include:

    • Sharing experiences of rural practice with mentees for the purpose of career exploration and guidance
    • Being honest and open regarding the rewards/challenges to rural medicine
    • Forming a plan and setting expectations with your mentee regarding frequency of meetings and meeting platform to be used
    • Sharing appropriate resources
    • Recognizing that advice given, while extremely valuable, does not substitute for MD program-specific mentorship and supports

    * By registering as a mentor for this program, you consent to allowing the SRPC to share the information you have provided to mentees that register for the program.  As a mentor, you may contact the SRPC at any time and have your name removed.

    ** Mentors must be SRPC members to participate in this program.


    If you are looking for a Rural Mentor. Visit the SRPC Mentor Program page for all the details.

    Please ensure your SRPC membership is up to date. Send your email request to Kristen for a list of mentors and instructions. (

    Mentees Must be SRPC members to participate in this program.
    (Join here)

    • 24-Apr-2024
    • 17-Oct-2024

    Call for Abstracts - Rural & Remote 2025

    Rural & Remote 2025 will take place in Winnipeg, MB, April 24-26, 2025 and the Planning Committee is accepting abstracts.

    Our theme this year will be announced in the Fall.

    The committee is considering abstracts for two types of presentations related to any aspect of health and healthcare in a rural and remote setting:

    • Session Lectures (Breakout sessions)
    • Hands-on Workshops (Small group learning)

    These sessions should focus on clinical skills and knowledge development related to rural practice. Sessions / Workshops will be 60 minutes in duration and should be interactive and engaging. (The schedule is built in 60-minute time slots, 2-hour sessions are welcome.)

    All abstract submissions will undergo peer review by the Rural & Remote Planning Committee.

    Deadline: September 30th, 2024


    • 18-Jun-2024
    • (MDT)
    • 20-Jun-2024
    • (MDT)
    • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

    Due to the high risk of drought and wildfires in the Northwest Territories this spring, the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health (CSCH) and the International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) have made the difficult decision postpone the ICCH18.


    We made this choice now to ensure the wellbeing of participants, minimize logistical problems and costs, and out of respect and concern for the residents of Yellowknife and other communities in the region. The organizing committee is currently looking at options for a new date and possibly a new location. We will provide updates and details as they become available.


    We recognize that this change is disruptive and we sorry for any inconvenience this may cause participants and supporting organizations. Many of you have registered for the congress, booked your travel, and submitted an abstract. For participants who have registered for the congress, a member of the organizing committee will contact you directly to offer the choice of a full refund of registration fees or to transfer your registration to the rescheduled congress.


    Any abstracts that were submitted by March 15th will still undergo peer review and decisions will be sent out in April. The deadline for abstracts has been extended until April 14th, and we welcome additional submissions. All submitted abstracts will be considered for presentations at the rescheduled congress.


    The ICCH18 organizing committee along with CSCH and IUCH are working hard on an alternative plan. We are committed to hosting the congress in Canada during the next year, but want to do so under safe conditions. Thank you for your patience. Please contact if you have questions or need more information. Updates will be shared via email and the website as details become available.




    Kimberly Fairman, President, CSCH and IUCH

    Nathaniel Pollock, Vice President, CSCH

    • 24-Apr-2025
    • (MDT)
    • 26-Apr-2025
    • (MDT)
    • Winnipeg, MB


    Winnipeg, MB, April 24-26, 2025, at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg 375 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Are you interested in presenting at the next R&R?
    Please send us your abstracts for break-out sessions and hands-on workshops now!Submit an abstract:


Northern Ontario's Obstetrical Services in 2020: A developing rural maternity care desert

Authors: Eliseo Orrantia, MD, Peter Hutten-Czapski, MD, Mathieu Mercier, BScN, Samarth Fageria, MMASc

Journal: Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine (2022)

Summary & Impact: Rural and remote maternity services are an indispensable component in the care of expectant mothers and their families. This study was conducted to survey the state of obstetrical services in Northern Ontario and compare them with a similar study done in 1999. The population included all 40 Northern Ontario hospital communities and 16 midwife practices in the area. Results showed that there was a 22.5% decrease in obstetrical care among surveyed communities. Even though the number of general physicians providing care in these areas has remained the same, there has been a 65% drop in how many of these doctors offer intrapartum care. As services to these communities continue to decline, the average travel times for patients to receive care have therefore increased. This study provides information on a common trend also found within rural communities in the US. Based on these findings, government policies and procedures need to be implemented to increase these essential services.

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_4_21

Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Orrantia has a BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Guelph and a Masters degree in Human Genetics from McMaster University. His MD degree was completed at McMaster University and he completed his Family Medicine Residency with McMaster University's previous Northern Ontario Medical Program (NOMP) out of Thunder Bay. Dr. Orrantia is currently a Professor in the Division of Clinical Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

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

Dr. Orrantia: Rural and remote health research is critical in helping us to explore, understand and develop solutions to the many issues that challenge rural communities and their clinicians. This applied research can create innovations that work in these low resource environments, are often transferable to others, and can provide the knowledge to enable effective advocacy for these disadvantaged populations.