The Rural Pre-Medicine Program (RPM) was launched in 2014 with support from the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues – a committee comprised of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health.
It was designed to help address the underrepresentation of rural students in professional health care programs. RPM pairs academic excellence with mentoring and community service opportunities while providing students with the support they need to apply competitively to medical school as well as programs in pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, and more.
RPM offers students an effective pathway that does not require them to begin their academic journey by moving to a large urban centre. Graduates from the program experience great success moving forward in the health sciences. For example, in the past three years seven of the program’s former students have already received offers of admission to medical schools in Canada. RPM students have also successfully entered programs in Optometry and Doctor of Pharmacy as well as BSc and BHSc programs throughout BC. The program continues to celebrates the success of its graduates as many of them work towards future careers in rural health care.
The RPM Program aims to function as an open door through which individuals, even from historically underrepresented groups, can enter upon a pathway towards a professional career in health care. To date, over 85% of students who have entered the program have come from a rural or remote community. Although the majority of these students hail from the Kootenay Boundary Region, each year, the program receives an increasing number of applicants from other rural communities.
College President Angus Graeme:
“Rural and remote communities across Canada are experiencing real challenges finding physicians and other health professionals who are committed to and passionate about careers in quality health care in small communities. Our Rural Pre-Medicine program is an innovative, high quality preparedness program in the rural context for students who want to work as physicians and health professionals in remote and small communities. To me, this is one of Selkirk College’s unique and exciting contributions to supporting professional health care in Canada.”