The impact of urban-based family medicine postgraduate rotations on rural preceptors/teachers


  • Douglas Myhre University of Calgary
  • Jodie Ornstein University of Calgary
  • Molly Whalen-Browne University of Calgary
  • Rebecca Malhi University of Calgary



Background: The use of rural rotations within urban-based postgraduate programs is the predominant response of medical education to the health needs of underserved rural populations.  The broader impact on rural physicians who teach has not been reported.

Methods: This study examined the personal, professional, and financial impact of a rural rotations for urban-based family medicine (UBFM) residents on Canadian rural teaching physicians. A survey was created and reviewed by community and academic rural physicians and a cohort of Canadian rural family physicians teaching UBFM residents was sampled. Survey data and free-text responses were assessed using quantitative and qualitative analyses.  

Results: Participants with rural residency backgrounds perceived a negative impact of teaching UBFM (p = 0.02 personal and professional) and those in a primary rural environment (as defined below) perceived impact as positive (p < 0.001). Rural preceptors often held contrasting attitudes towards learners with negative judgements counter-balanced by positive thoughts. Duration in practice and of teaching experience did not have a significant impact on ratings.

Conclusion: Being a rural preceptor of UBFM residents is rewarding but also stressful. The preceptor location of training and scope of practice appears to influence the impact of UBFM residents.

Author Biography

Douglas Myhre, University of Calgary

Dr. Myhre is a family physician and has been involved in rural medical education for over 20 years. Currently he is the Associate Dean, Distributed Learning and Rural Initiatives and Chair of Admissions at the Cumming School of Medicine.  He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Rural Alberta South post grad family medicine program in 2000, developed and implemented the Rural Integrated Community Clerkship in 2007 and expanded the Distributed Royal College Initiative in 2010. He is responsible for the delivery of Faculty dev't and CME for rural clinical faculty across the province.  His research passion considers questions of social accountability for underserved populations. 



2021-11-02 — Updated on 2021-11-02


How to Cite

Myhre D, Ornstein J, Whalen-Browne M, Malhi R. The impact of urban-based family medicine postgraduate rotations on rural preceptors/teachers . Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2021 Nov. 2 [cited 2022 Jul. 4];12(5):6-17. Available from:



Original Research