About U of C Rural Family Medicine

First choice of sites

With more than 25 rural training sites in southern Alberta, there is lots to choose from. As rural residents we get first dibs. Want to be near Waterton National Park over the summer? Have family living near Lethbridge? Have an itch for rural obstetrics in Olds? We can make those things happen.

All learning no service

For nearly all of our rotations, learning is prioritized above service. We are able to see the most interesting patients, complete the most pertinent procedures and take advantage of new learning opportunities whenever they arise. No grunt work, all learning work.

Call Flexibility

Due to our learning focused culture and low number of learners in our rotations, we have unrivaled freedom over our call schedule. Enjoying a rotation, need some more volume, pick up a shift. Need to recuperate, you can make some room in your call schedule as works best for you.


Rural training can be isolating despite all of its charm and rewards. We are fortunate that we have the opportunity for 2 full academics days each month where we are able to connect with our colleagues, learn together and share our experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered this structure in some ways. We still have the ability to meet and bond, just with a little more social distancing!

High volume

We understand the necessity of high volume rotations to ensure we have the experience for those times working single coverage rural emergency or need to resuscitate a neonate with no neonatology team. That is why we complete rotations at Alberta Children's Emergency to learn how to stabilize pediatric patients and why we complete rotations in Calgary's largest ICU's to learn how to run codes, manage shock, intubate and line our patients.


Our program understands the value of certifications and training for rural doctors. Courses supported are ACLS, NRP, PALS, etc, as well as some less common yet exceptionally valuable courses such as ALARM, ATLS, Nightmares course. Most recently residents have had funding for their level 1 EDE ultrasound course. Finally, residents also receive funding towards a conference of their choice


The U of C rural family medicine program has a perfect combination of acute care exposure, necessary high volume rotations and the flexibility to make you the rural doctor you hope to become. In PGY1, the year is spent gaining experience in core rotations and building independence in your clinical skills and decision making. PGY2 is divided into higher acuity, procedural heavy rotations like ICU and ER as well as a fully immersive 6-block rural family medicine experience.

  • Rural: 10 (2+2+6) months in 3 different rural training sites, each of which have their own focus such as obstetrics, Indigenous health, high volume ER and/or OR exposure.
  • Emergency: Ample exposure through our rural blocks, dedicated pediatric emergency block (4 weeks) and dedicated adult emergency (6 weeks)
  • Obsetrics: 8 weeks of high volume obstetrics or gynecology exposure
  • ICU: 4 weeks as PGY2
  • Elective: 14 weeks total
  • Pediatrics: 8 weeks, 4 at Alberta Children's Hospital, 4 at your home site

We also rotate through general surgery, hospitalist, internal medicine, orthopedics, anesthesia, psychiatry, and palliative care.

Sample Schedule