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Rural Stream

The program is designed to prepare residents for rural practice by providing a combination of core and elective postgraduate training to meet the individual needs of the resident.  Residency training is structured around core educational objectives with emphasis placed firmly on organized self-learning with appropriate faculty assistance for guidance and supervision.  Sites within the rural stream vary by size and local resources, which allows to choose a site and develop appropriate skills, based on the community they wish to practice in in the future.

Applicants are encouraged to consider the importance of obstetrical and emergency care provision in rural settings as they plan their rural residency and future careers.  Inpatient care is a daily part of rural medicine and this will be reflected in your residency training.  The Rural Stream Program will do everything possible to ensure excellent training for residents committed to comprehensive care provision.

Rural Stream training at McMaster provides you with:

  • A choice of six different communities in which you live and learn during your two years of family medicine
  • Excellent specialty rotations in rural/regional hospitals
  • Complete academic program delivered mostly by videoconference or other virtual means
  • Enhanced emergency room skills-development
  • Opportunity to train in remote area in PGY2 year
  • Experienced rural family physician teachers who are skilled at in-patient care while providing obstetrical and/or emergency and/or anaesthesia care to their communities
  • Curriculum options to increase time spent in your community and reduce commuting/travel
  • The training and mentorship to build skills and clinical courage necessary to pursue a successful career in rural medicine

Typical Rural Training at McMaster

There will be some local variations in rotation organization.


  • 20 weeks Rural Family Medicine (broad scope exposure in-, out-patient and community rural family medicine)
  • Eight weeks each of Internal Medicine/Hospitalist, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics in-patient and out-patient, and Emergency Medicine


  • 20 weeks of Rural Family Medicine (same practice as PGY1 year improves continuity and building independence across settings)
  • Eight weeks each of Internal Medicine/Surgery, Remote/Rural rotation
  • Four weeks Care of the Elderly,
  • 12 weeks Family Medicine Electives

Across both years: longitudinal exposure to Rural Family Medicine and Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (MHBS)

It is a program requirement that residents live in the community for their Family Medicine blocks throughout residency.

The McMaster Rural Stream program is run collaboratively with the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster’s Community and Rural Education Program (MacCare) and the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP).

All rural applicants are required to submit a rural addendum as part of their CaRMS application. Addendums are scored separately.  It will have an adverse effect on your overall rural application score if the addendum is not included in your application.

Learn more about our rural sites:


Dr. Wade Mitchell
Site Director


    • McMaster University Department of Family Medicine
    • David Braley Health Sciences Centre
    • 100 Main Street West, 6th Floor
    • Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6
    • Map / Directions