Rural Medicine Initiative Network

The new Rural Medicine Initiative Network, within the OCFP’s Collaborative Mentoring Networks will support rural physicians who address and manage a wide range of health-care needs in their communities, including providing emergency care.

Areas of focus for the OCFP Rural Medicine Initiative Network include interprofessional education, development of a rural mentoring network, and support for locum development and retention.

An initial project around emergency care in rural and remote Ontario communities led to the Ontario pilot of The CARE Course in early 2018. Further, as part of the initiative, the OCFP conducted a needs assessment in February and March 2018, to help inform planning for rural locum professional development, including mentoring, to support current and potential locum practitioners.

We are pleased to share below insights from the Needs Assessment. Please watch for updates on this important work.

Steering Committee Chair: Dr. Sarah Newbery, Marathon

Related information

The Rural Medicine Initiative Network's Mission, Vision and Goals


To provide mentoring support and education that enhances and sustains the capacity of family physicians to provide comprehensive, high quality care in a rural generalist context.


Family physicians providing outstanding comprehensive care for rural, remote and indigenous communities


  • Supporting the vision for rural generalist practice through education, strong Communities of Practice and mentoring.
  • Improve access to high quality rural generalist care through support and education of family physicians in rural, remote and indigenous communities, including the locums who provide service too.
  • Support sustainable provision of care in rural communities and reduce isolation of providers
  • Enhance rurally relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  • Develop and deliver practical/focused CPD for FPs and the teams with which they work.
  • Increase the number of clinicians who feel supported, capable and confident to manage patients in a rural context, including in the emergency department.
  • Connect a cadre of rural generalist physicians who can help provide leadership regarding the importance of rural generalism for Ontario’s rural, remote and indigenous communities.
  • Support clinician resiliency and clinical courage through the creation of a compassionate “space” for mentor-mentee discussion.
  • Improve collaboration across the system and help connect rural generalists to education opportunities as they evolve including: the CARE course, ECHO, simulation based education, SRPC’s Rural and Remote, etc.

Comprehensive Approaches to Rural Emergencies (CARE) Course

The Care CourseThe OCFP is piloting The Comprehensive Approaches to Rural Emergencies (CARE) Course in Ontario as part of a rural medicine initiative of the Collaborative Mentoring Networks. The CARE Course is designed to offer healthcare providers working in isolated areas opportunities to hone their emergency response skills. In March 2018, the OCFP launched the Ontario pilot of The CARE Course, which originated in British Columbia. This project will continue over the next two years and will bring together nurses, family physicians and paramedics in rural committees throughout the Ontario.

The OCFP’s Collaborative Mentoring Networks receive financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The views expressed are those of the OCFP and do not necessarily reflect those of the funder.