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

Medical Student Research Opportunity

Opportunity Type: Research Assistant

Principle Investigator: Dr. Sarah Lesp√©rance

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

Assessing the Economic Costs of Obstetric Evacuation and Outcomes/Experiences of Indigenous Midwifery in Urban, Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities

Opportunity Type: Research Assistant

Principle Investigator: Dr. Jennifer Leason, PhD

Institution: University of Calgary

Posted on SRPC website: 03-Feb-2021

More Information: GIS Research Assistant.pdf

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

    • 21-Apr-2022
    • (EDT)
    • 23-Apr-2022
    • (EDT)
    • Ottawa, ON

    SAVE THE DATE - April 21-23, 2022

    The 29th Annual Rural and Remote Medicine Course

    Plan to join us in person in Ottawa, Ontario

    More info and registration in the fall.

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


Rural family physician perspectives on communication with urban specialists: a qualitative study 

Authors: Wilson MM, Devasahayam AJ, Pollock NJ, Dubrowski A, Renouf T 

Journal: BMJ Open (2021)

Summary & Impact: Communication between rural family physicians and urban specialists is a vital aspect of patient care in rural Canadian contexts. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of rural family physicians in Newfoundland and Labrador on communication with urban specialists during patient transfers and referrals. 11 family physicians practicing in rural communities (i.e., outside of the St. John’s metropolitan area) participated in semi-structured interviews and key themes were identified using thematic analysis. Important aspects of communication between rural physicians and urban specialists included a mutual understanding of the rural context, such as the sparsity of resources and the complexity of patient-physician relationships in rural areas, discussing the logistical and social challenges of transferring patients between rural and urban areas, and fostering a respectful professional discourse. Participants discussed individual- and system-level strategies that could be used to facilitate communication between rural and urban physicians, including improved use of telemedicine technologies. The results form this study provide key insights into how communication between rural and urban physicians can be improved to facilitate high-quality patient care in rural contexts.


Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Margo Wilson is a staff physician in the Emergency Medicine Program at Eastern Health (St. John’s, NL) and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. Dr. Wilson completed an MD degree at the University of Ottawa in 2007 followed by Family Medicine and Enhanced Skills in Emergency Medicine residencies at Memorial University in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Dr. Wilson completed her family medicine training in the Northern Family Medicine (NorFAM) Training Program in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, where she then practiced as a staff physician from 2011 to 2017. Dr. Wilson has been a locum physician in multiple rural communities in Newfoundland and was the co-chair of the SRPC Rural & Remote Medicine National Conference in 2018 and 2019.

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

Dr. Wilson: Rural research is vital to generate evidence that is specific to the context of rural and remote communities. People living in rural communities face unique conditions and stressors, and those conditions might not be reflected in evidence that is generated in urban academic centers. If we want patient-centered and community-specific care, rural research is essential.

Photo: Margo Wilson

Check out past Research Features: Past Research Features.pdf

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