RECC offers wilderness medicine, mentorship and health policy streams in 2014

RECC_2011_casting Casting will be one of several hands-on sessions offered at the 2014 Rural Emergency Continuum of Care (RECC) conference on May 30 + 31, 2014 in Penticton

The landscape will look very different at this year’s Rural Emergency Continuum of Care conference (RECC). Not only will this event be held in a new location – Penticton, BC – in 2014, but there will be two new educational streams for conference participants as well. Wilderness medicine, and mentorship and health policy will share the slate with emergency medicine this year, offering attendees a much broader range of accredited CME/CPD offerings.

Wilderness Medicine

“Several people requested that wilderness medicine be added to the 2014 RECC conference,” says Dr. Mary Johnston, Continuing Professional Development Lead for the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc). “Wilderness medicine is a natural fit for RECC because so many of our communities – Clearwater, Revelstoke, Golden – rely on wilderness tourism, and generate many of our medical cases.” Avalanche injuries, hypothermia, broken ankles, and impalings (from equipment and/or trees) are just some of the backcountry medical emergencies doctors are called upon to treat. Johnston points out rural physicians are often outdoors enthusiasts themselves, so there is a strong interest from these doctors to learn the skills required to treat patients in a backcountry setting before transporting them to a nearby health centre or hospital.

Wilderness medicine at RECC will be taught interprofessionally by doctors, and search and rescue personnel. Participants will be transported to an outdoor venue, and will spend a full day familiarizing themselves with equipment, and taking part in hands-on exercises and scenarios. Two separate full-day wilderness medicine sessions will be offered at RECC – each single full-day session will be limited to 24 participants only. Organizers strongly encourage interested RECC attendees to register early to guarantee a seat.*

Mentorship/Health Policy

Like the wilderness medicine educational stream, the mentorship and health policy development stream was developed as the result of a request from RCCbc Executive Director Dr. Granger Avery. Avery has been working as part of a provincial mentorship initiative to examine and explore how mentorship – both formal and informal – can support the recruitment and retention of health care professionals in rural BC. This group, consisting of representatives from health authorities, UBC Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD), and rural physicians, is interested in engaging RECC attendees in a larger discussion about mentorship. What is mentorship, exactly? Who should be receiving mentorship, and what should that support look like? What current mentorship programs are available? How can mentorship and preceptor programs be used to attract and retain physicians to rural and remote communities?

While the support for mentorship is positive and wide spread, there have been struggles to define the full scope of mentorship, especially in the rural BC context. For many rural practitioners, mentorship encompasses more than job shadowing, and formalized professional support. “It’s more than teaching a physician how to teach students,” says RECC conference organizer Laura Soles, “it’s also about how to make rural physicians and their families feel welcomed in their new community.”

Dr. Leslie Sadownik, obstetrician and Director of Faculty Development and Educational Support with UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, will lead off RECC’s mentorship sessions with her talk, “Why I Love to Teach.” Discussions about IMG/CSA supervision and/or mentorship, mentorship programs in BC, and facets of mentoring will follow Sadownik’s presentation.

Register early for the best choice of sessions and workshops

Conference attendees will be able to participate in sessions from all topical streams – emergency medicine, wilderness medicine, and mentorship/health policy development – during both days of the conference. However, several hands-on workshops and small group interactive sessions, as well as both full-day Wilderness Medicine sessions have limited enrolment. Physicians are encouraged to register early to ensure the best selection of sessions and workshops.

Workshops with limited enrolment for this year’s RECC include casting, joint injection, C-spine, procedural sedation, difficult airway, and chest tubes.

Pre-conference courses will be offered for attendees wishing to enhance and/or refresh their critical care skills. The CARE Course will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, May 28-29, 2014.  The Shock Course, and ACLS-EP will be offered on Thursday, May 29, 2014. After the RECC conference has concluded, The CARE-RR Course for Rural Residents will take place on Sunday, June 1, 2014. To register for these courses, participants MUST register using either the RECC conference registration form (available online in February 2014) or via the UBC CPD web portal at

If you are interested in receiving an RECC registration package via email in early February, contact UBC CPD at and request to be placed on the distribution list. The conference package will be distributed in early February 2014.

RECC 2014 is hosted by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC and is generously sponsored by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues. Additional support is provided by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada, and UBC Continuing Professional Development.


*Because of the expenses required for transportation, equipment, and insurance, participants should note that RECC’s Wilderness Medicine sessions will involve an additional fee, over and above the registration costs for the RECC conference.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *