Educating the next generation of frontline health practitioners in Canada

Where will the doctors and nurses come from who will be willing to work on the difficult frontlines of healthcare in Canada?
Sep 28, 2010 2:43 PM ET

Many Canadians are beyond the reaches of the mainstream healthcare system. They live in remote locations, small towns and in our busiest cities. They are street youth, isolated seniors, the poor and homeless, immigrants or people battling addictions, anyone who is geographically, culturally or socially isolated. Meeting their healthcare needs is a daunting challenge. Learn more …

But throughout the country there are remarkable health and social service professionals who have chosen to respond to this challenge. They work in street clinics, community health centres, inner city hospitals, mobile outreach units, solo rural practices and remote outposts, striving to make a difference where the needs are greatest and the system is stretched most thin. Learn more...


Training physicians for rural practice in B.C.
An innovative distributed medical education program trains physicians in the communities and with the populations they will work with after graduation – in northern and rural practice, on Vancouver Island, in the Fraser Valley, in the B.C. interior and in Vancouver.
Dr. Joanna Bates, Senior Associate Dean, Education, UBC Faculty of Medicine – Vancouver, B.C.
Learn more about UBC’s distributed medical education program

Preparing students to work on Vancouver’s healthcare frontlines
An inter-professional, student-run clinic puts student volunteers to work from across healthcare disciplines that include medicine, nursing, social work and pharmacy, among others, within a frontline community in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
Andrew Thamboo, Co-chair, Community Health Initiative by University Students (CHIUS) – Vancouver, B.C.
Learn more from CHIUS’ Dr. Andrew Morgan
Learn more from CHIUS’ Dr. Peter Granger

Recruiting future nurses in their teenage years
A high-school and summer camp program encourages African Canadian students to think about careers in nursing, leading to an increase of 200% in the numbers of African Canadians enrolled in Dalhousie’s nursing program.
Dr. Josephine Etowa, Dalhousie School of Nursing – Halifax, NS

Training social workers in remote First Nations’ communities in Labrador
A social work program recruits and trains people to live and provide counseling services in the remote, northern Inuit communities of Labrador.
Zita White, Program Coordinator, Labrador Bachelor of Social Work Program – Goose Bay, Labrador, NL

Memorial’s Family Medicine program helps to lower the infant mortality rate in rural Labrador

The Northern Family Medicine program in Goose Bay, Labrador prepares doctors to practice medicine in rural and remote Labrador by immersing them in the cultures and reality of the communities who live there. The program has helped lower the infant mortality rate from 16.1 per thousand to 4.5 per thousand, lower than the Canadian national average.
Dr. Michael Jong, Associate Professor, NorFam, Memorial University – Happy Valley, Labrador, NL
Learn more about The Northern Family Medicine Program