Summary: 1 | P a g e
Docs answer rural call
By Samantha Butler, March 5, 2011
When second-year Queen's University medical student Renee Pang becomes a doctor, she's
hoping to work in a remote practice for a while, perhaps at a hospital in Nunavut, she says.
"I'm not afraid of being away from things I'm familiar with," said the 26 year-old Toronto native,
"and working in a small community can be hugely interesting, because you are expected to
handle such a variety of cases."
Pang, and other Canadian medical students interested in rural residencies, are in luck.
Late last month, the federal government announced $11 million for 60 new resident training
positions in rural communities in Ontario over the next four years.
Dr. Peter O'Neill, director of career counselling at the Queen's University Faculty of Medicine,
said residency is a defining factor in a doctor's career path.
There are exactly as many residency positions in Canada as there are medical students, he
said. Fourth-year students apply for positions across the country and get assigned based on
interviews and test scores. They serve in those positions for another four years to complete their
"It's a very intensive and lengthy procedure," O'Neill said, "and it's not easy to change your mind
if you don't like what you're doing.
"Students have a lot to consider when approaching these decisions."