Dr. Alan Ruddiman, co-chair of the JSC, speaks with Jesse McDonald, a student in Selkirk College’s Rural Pre-Medicine program. Photo: Selkirk College
During their September 2014 meeting, members of the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) took a few moments to visit the inaugural class of Rural Pre-Medicine students at the Castlegar campus of Selkirk College.
The first cohort of 17 students commenced their studies this September. Physician members of the JSC were able to meet and speak with Rural Pre-Medicine students in mid-September, to offer both congratulations and encouragement.
RCCbc Interprofessional sector lead, Dr. Blair Stanley, joined the JSC during their tour of the Castlegar campus and noted that when he was a rural student, a rurally-based pre-medicine program was not available. He moved to Vancouver at the age of 17 to pursue a career in medicine. “Somehow I was able to struggle through. It would have been a lot nicer if there was a program like the one here at Selkirk,” says Stanley, “I would have jumped at that without blinking an eye.”
The Rural Pre-Medicine Program is led by Elizabeth Lund, PhD, and provides rural students the ability to study and prepare for medical school admissions in a community that is rurally-based, and closer to home. The program is unique in that in addition to providing students with the academic foundation to apply for Canadian medical schools and/or healthcare programs, it also train students in the areas of conflict resolution, small business management, and MCAT preparation.