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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 176-185

Evaluation of a pilot rural mentorship programme for and by pre-clerkship medical students


1 MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
2 Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISE, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
3 MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Department of Emergency Medicine, Alberta Health Services and the Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary, AB, Canada
4 MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON, Canada
5 MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Department of Family Medicine, Queen's University School of Medicine, Kingston, ON, Canada
6 MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Department of Family and Community Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
7 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Office of Education Scholarship, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Temerty Faculty of medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
MD Jasmine Waslowski
MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_82_20

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Introduction: While medical school interventions can help address rural physician shortages, many urban Canadian medical students lack exposure to rural medicine. The Rural Mentorship Programme (RMP) is a 4-month pilot initiative designed by medical students to bridge this gap by pairing preclerkship medical students at an urban medical school with rural physician mentors to provide exposure to rural careers. Methods: A realist-influenced methodology evaluated perceived benefits and challenges of RMP, assessed how RMP influenced mentee perceptions and intentions towards rural careers, and investigated factors leading to success. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through evaluative pre-, post-, and 4-month post intervention surveys, mentor interviews and a mentee focus group. Likert scales assessed satisfaction, attainment of objectives and mentee changes in perceptions and intentions. Results: 18/23 mentees and 11/15 mentors completed at least 1 survey; 5 mentees joined the focus group and 3 mentors were interviewed. Most mentees were of non-rural backgrounds and initially neutral about pursuing rural practice. RMP helped mentees better understand rural careers. They especially valued the mandatory community clinical visit and forming relationships with mentors. Mentors enjoyed teaching, reflecting on their careers and demonstrating the merits of rural practice. Transportation and scheduling were major programme challenges. Conclusions: This pilot suggests that structured mentorship programmes can improve understanding of, and provide exposure to, careers in rural medicine for urban medical students. Results will inform future programme development.


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