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The program is designed to prepare residents for rural practice by providing a combination of core and elective postgraduate training to meet the individual needs of each resident with a recognition of varying patterns of practice in different rural family practice settings.  Residency training is structured around core educational objectives with emphasis placed firmly on organized self-learning with appropriate faculty assistance for guidance and supervision.  Sites within the program are of varying size with varying local resources. This provides residents with the ability to choose a site and develop appropriate skills for the type of community for which they wish to provide care in the future.

Applicants are encouraged to consider the importance of obstetrical and emergency care provision in rural settings as they plan their rural residency and future careers.  Inpatient care is a daily part of a rural medicine life and this will be reflected in your residency training.  The Rural Stream Program will do everything possible to ensure excellent training for residents committed to comprehensive care provision.

Rural Stream training at McMaster provides you with:

  • A choice of six different communities in which you live and learn during your two years of family medicine.
  • Excellent specialty rotations in rural/regional hospitals.
  • Complete academic program and EBM delivered by videoconference.
  • Enhanced emergency room skills-development.
  • Opportunity to train in remote area in PGY2 year.
  • Experienced rural family physician teachers who are skilled at in-patient care while providing obstetrical and/or emergency and/or anaesthesia care to their communities.
  • Curriculum options available to increase time spent in your community and reduce commuting/travel.
  • The training and mentorship to build skills and clinical courage necessary to pursue a successful career in rural medicine.

Typical Rural Training at McMaster

There will be some local variations in rotation organization.

PGY1: Eight weeks each of Internal Medicine/Hospitalist, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics inpatient and outpatient, and Emergency Medicine

  • 20 weeks Rural Family Medicine (broad scope exposure in-, out-patient and community rural family medicine)

PGY2: 20 weeks of Rural Family Medicine (same practice as PGY1 year improves continuity and building independence across settings)

  • Eight week Internal Medicine/Surgery, eight weeks elective, eight week remote/rural rotation
  • Four weeks Care of the Elderly, four weeks Family Medicine Selective (selected from each of the FM-Rural sub-specialty areas)

Across both years: longitudinal exposure to Rural Family Medicine and Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (MHBS)

It is a program requirement that residents live in the community for the blocks of their Family Medicine rotation for two years.

The McMaster Rural Stream program is run collaboratively with the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster’s Community and Rural Education Program (MacCare) and the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP).

All rural applicants are required to submit a rural addendum as part of their CaRMS application. Addendums are scored separately and will have an adverse effect on your overall rural application score if it is not submitted as part of your application.

Learn more about our rural sites:


Dr. Wade Mitchell
Site Director


Natalie Graham
Rural Stream Education Associate
(519) 751-5544 ext. 2615



McMaster University Department of Family MedicineMichael G. DeGroote School of Medicine