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My journey down the medical school path is complicated but I am headed to Rural Pre Med program at Selkirk college come September. I chose this program because I am passionate about working in rural medicine and working with underserved populations. Furthermore, in my later years in life, I have found myself wanting to escape my city roots and move to a rural area. I am from a larger city in Ontario and have always lived in a city. To be honest I had always thought I was going to be a city kid until the last few years when all my passions/hobbies became rurally orientated. I have been planning a move for a while and the RPM program was a perfect excuse to escape the city and move rural. In anticipation of my application to UBC rural stream I looked over the rural application. 

The section that asks you to provide three rural mentors is difficult for me. I have none and not sure what to do. I have worked as a rural community care paramedic and as a paramedic at a safe injection site (not rural, but underserved populations, aka lots of similar challenges to rural populations). These experiences made me passionate about rural medicine but they were brand new programs that had never been done before so my interaction with other health professionals regularly was limited. We sort of designed the program as we went (that was my managers style). Further to that there were zero health care resources in the town I was working, I was literally it, so I couldn’t find anyone to be a mentor. In terms of addictions I had occasional interactions with true addiction health care warriors but most of my time was spent with clients. 

Some of my clients from these experiences I could say were “mentors” in that the relationships I built with them really showed me the unique sense of community working there but Due to privacy I don’t see myself being able to list them as mentors. Further to that, some are dead (nature of opioid epidemic and old age). They also don’t fit the classic mold as a “mentor” in that they were clients.

I do recognize not having lived in rurally will be a major hinderance for my rural suitability score but I am going to put in for the rural stream regardless because that is where I want to be. I can’t help that I was born in a city sadly! 

Any advice would be great! Thank you.

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31 minutes ago, Brockolli911 said:

The section that asks you to provide three rural mentors is difficult for me


You don't have to provide any rural mentors to complete the rural portion of the application. The maximum you can include is 3.  :)Perhaps some of your professors at Selkirk will become mentors for rural practice in the future? 

Best of luck! 

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I anticipate finding some mentors at Selkirk for sure! I just feel “obligated” to provide some as it’s listed on the application. Especially since my rural experience is essentially work related, I feel someone may wonder how I didn’t end up with any mentors working in rural health! 


I appreciate the response and wishes of luck :-)

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I think that it will not hinder you too much at all! I think what would hinder you would be to put someone as a mentor who isn't actually a rural mentor to you and who wouldn't be able to speak to that on your behalf. I believe I only put two and one of them was a student I took classes with who is in medical school in the pursuit of rural medicine. 

If you have any other questions about the rural section or anything else, feel free to message me !

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