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Rural Family Medicine Elective in Elora and Fergus

26-Apr-2021 12:11 PM | Anonymous

Living the majority of my life in northern small towns with limited access to health services motivated me to attend medical school with the hopes of becoming a family doctor. For my first clerkship elective in February 2021, I had the opportunity to do two weeks of rural family medicine in Fergus and Elora, Ontario. The roles of rural family physicians are diverse, during this elective I experienced a broad scope of family practice by doing inpatient rounding in the hospital every morning followed by clinic in a primary care office. I also worked at the local hospital doing ER shifts, and assisted in the operating room. We delivered virtual and in person care, performed physical exams, investigated symptoms and discussed management plans. My main objectives for this elective were to help patients manage chronic diseases and to develop an approach to common dermatological complaints. These two objectives are important in rural family medicine because specialist services are not readily available. I was able to do skin biopsy, sutures and see various rashes in children and adults. Being a family doctor with the skills to interpret rashes and discern a concerning skin growth from a benign lesion is essential in rural settings. 

Overall, I had an amazing experience in these charming towns and was impressed by the broad scope of medicine practiced by my excellent preceptors. In May, I will be doing a second rural family medicine elective in Grand Erie Six Nations region. The work of rural family physicians is both rewarding and inspiring, there is a familiarity between patients and their physicians unique to rural settings. This allows physicians to support patients on an individual level while also helping to improve community health as a whole. 

Elisabeth Fortier, Class of 2022, McMaster MD program


  • 10-Aug-2022 12:47 PM | Jenna
    Love this post.
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