In partnership with the Manitoba Health Care Providers Network and Max Rady College of Medicine, Faculty of Sciences, Prairie Mountain Health hosted the U of M medical student Rural Interest Group on January 24/25, 2020.
The Rural Interest Group (RIG) weekend promotes the benefits of practicing medicine in rural communities and lifestyle opportunities that exist. Some 48 first and second-year medical students split their time this year between the communities of Brandon and Neepawa.
PMH VP of Medical and Diagnostic Services, Dr. Shaun Gauthier, says the RIG workshop provides the health region with additional opportunities to engage medical students early in their training.
“We continue to have success with this ‘feet on the ground’ initiative,” Gauthier stated. “Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) has been a mainstay —this year marked the 10th straight visit— and Neepawa last hosted the RIG in 2018. Other rural communities that have recently hosted students include Killarney, Minnedosa, Souris, Swan River and Virden.”
Clinical workstations were located at BRHC and at Country Meadows Personal Care Home in Neepawa. Medical students put their skills to the test at the workstations undertaking tasks like suturing, casting and airway management. In Brandon, the STARS Mobile Education Unit was on hand while in Neepawa students toured the Neepawa Medical Clinic.
Manitoba Health Care Provider Network (MHCP) Project Coordinator Wayne Heide says students really look forward to the weekend event.
“The Manitoba Health Care Providers Network has been partnering with PMH for 10 years to bring medical students to the Brandon area to get a first-hand view of what the area has to offer, to meet local and area physicians and to see the excellent facilities that exist in rural Manitoba. These experiences and welcoming attitude of the RHA and communities are the best recruitment tools we have,” Heide added.
The Student RIG Co-Presidents this year, Corli Barnes and Francis Diaz, stated:
“We would like to extend a huge thank you to the region for hosting the U of M Medical Classes of 2022 and 2023 this year. This event has been a favourite, as it exposes students to rural medicine and offers students opportunities to network with doctors, residents and fellow medical students; enhance our clinical skills; and develop an overall view of what life could be like as a physician in the region. We were also very excited to give back by meeting students from the region to help them prepare for interviews as part of their application for their chosen health care program.”
PMH also provided University and College students from Winnipeg, who are studying in health-related programs, to participate in a bus tour that stopped in Brandon and Carberry January 25th. This included students from the following programs: nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and pharmacy. The nursing students joined medical students in the clinical stations and therapy and pharmacy students did a job shadow within respective departments.
Both MHCPN and PMH sincerely appreciate the support of regional physicians, staff and volunteers who helped make the RIG weekend a success.
Dr. Alison Carleton (Winnipegosis) and Dr. George Ong (Neepawa) work with students at the Casting station.
Dr. Sandra Wiebe (Neepawa) works with students at the Obstetrical station.