By Roman Hayter

A new program that is focused on showcasing rural and regional health centres in Saskatchewan, brought 22 medical students and family medicine residents to La Ronge.

The event is part of the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s Roadmap Program, which intends to showcase different rural and regional health centres in Saskatchewan in the hopes of increasing the number of locally trained physicians working in smaller communities.

Dr. Sean Groves, chair of the SMA’s Committee on Rural and Regional Practice, said that the program provided expose to early-career medical students to rural lifestyles and rural communities.

“Roadmap is a program that was established quite a number of years ago to try to expose early-year medical students to rural lifestyles and rural communities to try and give them a sense of what it would look like to be a doctor, not so much in the clinic but just in the community .it’s a way to connect medical students and rural physicians in a social setting to have discussions around why some of us got into rural practice in the first place and what our career looks like,” said Groves “It’s mostly meant to be a bit of a way of taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in rural communities.”

Some similar Roadmap programs have taken place in areas such as North Battleford, Swift Current, Prince Albert, and Moose Jaw.

“This is truly a snapshot of the community, and tomorrow we’ve got plans to get together for a welcome ceremony; we have a community elder coming in to talk to the students for a bit. We’ve got Norman McKenzie; he’s going to do a bit of a king trapper demonstration just to show them a bit of northern activities,” Groves said.

The Roadmap program took place in La Ronge this past weekend.