Rural Education

The following education programs support the training needs of both practicing rural physicians and future rural physicians.

Rural Continuing Medical Education

Rural Continuing Medical Education (RCME) provides funding grants to BC's rural physicians to continue their medical training. This helps physicians acquire and maintain the medical skills and expertise for effectively practicing in rural communities.

Under the RSA, this program offers eligible rural physicians with up to $7,800 per year for continuing medical education, depending on community isolation and duration of practice. This funding is available to physicians living and practicing in rural communities, in addition to the educational grants available to all BC physicians.

Please see the Rural Continuing Medical Education Policy (PDF, 206KB) for information on eligibility criteria, communities, funding and benefits, as well as the application process. A community eligibility list is available at Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement Community Designation & Rural Retention Program Point List (PDF, 14KB).

Rural physicians should contact their regional health authority regarding eligibility and applying for funding

Rural Education Action Plan

The Rural Education Action Plan (REAP) supports and facilitates the training of physicians in rural practice, provides medical school students with experience in rural communities, and increases rural physicians' participation in the medical school selection process.

For an overview of initiatives and programs, see Overview of REAP and REAP Sponsored Programs (PDF, 167KB). There are several programs that are administered and delivered by the provincial government, Doctors of BC (DoBC) and the University of BC (UBC). An application form is available here for the REAP Advanced Skills and Traineeships (PDF, 203KB).


Lisa Oliver
REAP Program Administrative Coordinator
Suite 300 - 5950 University Blvd
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3

Tel 604-827-4188
Fax 604-822-6950

Rural Post Secondary Medical Programs

A variety of medical post secondary opportunities are available across B.C. These programs are delivered with a rural context to inspire the next generation of medical practitioners. 

UBC’s distributed Doctor of Medicine Undergrad Program allows students to complete their medical training at one of three distributed medical education sites: The Island Medical Program at UVic in Victoria, The Southern Medical Program at UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna and The Northern Medical Program at UNBC in Prince George.

Distributed Medical Education aims to address regional shortages of physicians in B.C., particularly in rural and small communities. Medical education opportunities outside of urban centres allow students to complete their training in rural and undeserved communities, where, as studies suggest, they are more likely to return to practice once their training is complete. This province-wide approach is made possible through robust information technology that allows instructors and students in many locations to interact simultaneously. Graduates of this program receive a UBC Doctor of Medicine Degree.


Selkirk Rural Pre-Medicine Program Associate Degree

Selkirk College in Castlegar offers a 90 credit rural focused pre-medicine program to ready students for the MCAT. Curriculum courses are those required for entrance  into the undergraduate MD program and courses are laddered with universities in B.C. to facilitate a Bachelor of Science degree in a little as two semesters. Graduates of this program will receive an associate of science degree in rural pre-health and an advanced diploma in Rural Pre-Medicine.