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Medical school earns national recognition for excellence in producing rural doctors

By Sharon Gray | March 6, 2013
The Faculty of Medicine at Memorial has been honoured by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) with the Keith Award, given annually to the Canadian postgraduate medical program which has excelled in producing rural doctors.
This year’s Keith Award looked at the largest number of graduates practising in rural areas 10 years after graduation. Family medicine residents were identified through the Canadian Post-MD Educational Registry and the practice location was taken from the Canadian Medical Association database 10 years later.
“On behalf of the people of rural Canada, I thank you for creating an excellent program which is producing much-needed rural doctors and sets a standard that I hope other programs will aspire to,” wrote Dr. John Wootton, chair of the SRPC nominations and awards committee, in a letter to Dr. James Rourke, dean of medicine at Memorial, informing him of the award.
This is the fourth time Memorial University has received the society’s prestigious Keith Award since it was introduced in 2000. Memorial has also received the society’s Rural Education Award in 2009 in recognition for excellence in producing MD graduates headed to a career in rural medicine.
“This is an outcome that really matters,” said Dr. Rourke, who received a Rural Leadership Award from the SRPC in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding leadership in rural medicine and education. “It reflects on our commitment to produce the kind of doctors we need in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada. This is the equivalent of a gold medal for medical schools from the SRPC.”