“The medical students will be living on our campus, and utilizing videoconference classrooms ,” says Susan Bansgrove, GPRC Academic Vice-President. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support this initiative, and to contribute to the success of the pilot project.”

A news release issued by the UofA describes the project as four weeks of undergraduate medical education to learn the gastro-intestinal and nutrition curriculum. Students will receive lectures via vodcasting and at least once a week will be linked with their classmates in Edmonton via videoconference. The bonus for these students is the opportunity to work in a clinical setting with local physicians.

Dr. Margaret Kirwan is the local tutor for students coming to Grande Prairie, and as a retired family practitioner has a keen interest in encouraging young physicians to explore the potential of a career in family medicine.

Dr. Jill Konkin, Associate Dean of Rural & Regional Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the UofA says that early, frequent and positive exposure to the clinical practice environment helps to inform students of career choices. “This program is also a good taste of rural practice for those thinking about doing the Integrated Community Clerkship where third year students spend nine months in a selected rural community working and learning with local physicians.”

“GPRC is very enthusiastic about this pilot project,” says GPRC President Don Gnatiuk. “We are committed to our role as a portal for educational opportunities in this region – and to the strengthening of our region by helping to attract and to educate professionals. This initiative is a perfect fit for GPRC, and we will do everything possible to support the pilot project. We appreciate and congratulate these students for taking the opportunity to experience our community and for considering the possibility of a rural practice.”

For comment please contact:
Susan Bansgrove, VP Academic
Grande Prairie Regional College