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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 Louise for a list of mentors and instructions. (

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

    • 21-Dec-2023
    • 01-Feb-2025
    • Canada Wide

    Physicians engaging in the Program as trainees or preceptors (the “Participants”) do so at their own risk and SRPC has no responsibility or liability for any action or omission of any Participant or the content of the Program, except as otherwise provided under applicable law. All statements or opinions expressed by any Participant or any other third party providing materials for use in the Program, other than any written content explicitly provided by us, are solely the opinions and the responsibility of the person or entity making those statements or opinions or providing those materials.

    You must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Rural physicians must have an active license to practice in Canada.
    • Physicians must be SRPC members.
    • Physicians must have practiced in a rural community for a minimum of six months in the past year.
    • Physicians may be practicing in more than one rural community.
    • Physicians will have a demonstrated commitment to rural practice and will be expected to provide services in a rural area after training. Physicians must indicate their intention to return to a rural community for at least six months. 
    • Residents are not eligible for funding.
    • The maximum funding available to each physician is $35,000.
    • 18-Apr-2024
    • (MDT)
    • 20-Apr-2024
    • (MDT)
    • Edmonton, AB

    Edmonton Alberta, April 18 - 20, 2024, at the Edmonton Convention Centre.

    The Theme For Our 31st Annual Rural & Remote Medicine Conference is: "Rural Health Resilience: Navigating Sustainability for Stronger Tomorrows"

    Find all the information and up to date news on our conference web page. Visit :

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


    On behalf of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health, I am pleased to announce that the 18th International Congress on Circumpolar Health will be held in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories from June 18th to 20th, 2024. 

    To stay up to date on announcements such as the call for abstracts, speakers, membership, and registration, please visit our website and sign up for our mailing list.

    The conference steering committee is currently seeking volunteers to support several subcommittees and activities related to awards, abstract reviewing, fundraising, communication, and student engagement. We also welcome opportunities for partnerships with organizations and institutions that would like to contribute to the success of this event. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at or

    I hope you will join us for this unique and important opportunity to connect with others from across the Circumpolar North.



    Nathaniel Pollock, PhD

    Vice President, Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health

    Adjunct Professor, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies & Discipline of Emergency Medicine

    Labrador Campus, Memorial University

    St. John’s & Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL, Canada

    • 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


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.