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Discovery Week brings rural and regional medicine front and centre

Six million Canadians live in rural and remote communities, making up almost 18 per cent of the population. The Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that less than ten per cent of physicians practise in those areas.

Research has shown that one of the four factors which increases the likelihood of a physician choosing to practise in rural and remote communities is a positive exposure to rural practise in medical school. At Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Discovery Week is one opportunity for medical students to work alongside health care practitioners and physicians in rural and remote areas to better understand what it means to practise there.

This unique learning opportunity provides medical students with the chance to be embedded into the health care environment in communities across the region for a week, providing a first-hand look at the diverse experiences which impact health and wellness.

Discovery Week 2022 takes place in Exeter and Grand Bend during May 30-June 2. The 33 participating communities extend from Windsor to Wiarton.

This year four first-year medical students from Schulich Medicine & Dentistry will shadow physicians and visit patients at Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre and South Huron Hospital Association, including South Huron Medical Centre.

“Discovery Week allows our students to understand the opportunities and challenges of rural and regional medicine,” said Dr. George Kim, Assistant Dean, Distributed Education at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “We are so pleased to be able to work in collaboration with our partners across the region to provide future physicians with this important learning opportunity.”

To arrange interviews with Dr. Kim, please contact Jennifer Parraga. For information on Discovery Week in your community please contact Heather Klopp.   519 494 6975.

MEDIA CONTACT (Schulich Medicine & Dentistry): Jennifer Parraga, Director, Communications and Marketing, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, t. 519.661.2111 ext. 86415,

Western University delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.