In an effort to attract doctors to Alberta’s rural communities, the University of Calgary is sending its medical students to different towns through a new program, Rural Integrated Community Clerkship (RICC).
The pilot project has students in Pincher Creek, Drumheller, Sundre, High River and Taber from April until December, having them work alongside a community doctor who gives constant feedback on their progress.
Meghan Guy, a third year student working in Pincher Creek, is one of the 10 participants.
“It’s not an experience you get in the city,” Guy, who grew up in Calgary, said.
She said “it’s definitely a different atmosphere” to be following patients from one step in their medical process to the next, such as neonatal right to birth, instead of handing the patient off to another doctor.
Guy is working at the Associate Clinic with Dr. Tobias Gelber, who’s been working with students since he graduated six years ago.
He said that she’s self-motivated and that the attitude issues he dealt with in past students will “never be a problem” with the RICC students because they’ve chosen to be there.
“The biggest challenge is finding a balance (and not spending all my time at the hospital),” Guy said.
Now, she has recently joined a gym and is beginning to integrate into the community, which is one of the goals of the program.