Sites – Philosophy

The Memorial University Faculty of Medicine mission is to “enhance the health of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador by educating physicians and health researchers; promoting lifelong learning; conducting research in biomedical, clinical, applied health sciences, community health and medical humanities; engaging communities and decision makers; and collaborating to apply the best available evidence in the formulation of policy and the organization and delivery of care.” 

The Discipline of Family Medicine embraces this mission by ensuring that students have multiple opportunities to learn in all regions of the province, as well as in their home province if they are from New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island. There are three mandatory rural rotations in the Undergraduate curriculum. The Community Health Visit in Phase 1, the Rural Family Medicine Core Clerkship rotation in Phase 3 and the rural Selective in Phase 4 (any generalist discipline).

Family Medicine sites are chosen to allow students to learn with family physicians who have a broad scope including clinic, inpatient, emergency, obstetrics and many other areas of practice. Preceptors identify when they can take students in their practice, then students are provided a template from which they can rank their choices.  We make every effort to accommodate special circumstances brought to our attention during the ranking process.  

Rural Family Medicine Clerkship 

Rural Family Medicine is an eight-week core rotation during clerkship. Students are matched to rural family medicine practices with a primary preceptor and are exposed to the multifaceted practice of family medicine including office based primary care, ER, inpatient care, special procedures and home visits.  These exposures, as well as others such as cancer care and management, remote medicine and industrial medicine, are site dependent.  During the eight-week block students participate in ongoing educational sessions in the weekly academic half- day (AHD) as well as online cases.  Assessment is via direct observation, miniCex, weekly clinic cards, participation in AHD, and a written exam at the end (optional), as well as midterm and final ITARS.

Progression to Practice (P2P)

P2P is a twelve-week longitudinal rotation in a rural area during selective time in 4th year.  Currently the Newfoundland sites offered include Goose Bay, Grand Falls and Burin, as well as sites in Summerside, PEI, and Waterville, New Brunswick.  This twelve-week selective includes exposure to family medicine and surgical areas as well as allowing students to identify areas of interest in which they would like to gain more experience.  In addition, the learner can identify objectives they would like to achieve during their selective time.  One of the main goals of this program is for learners to follow patients through multiple levels of care and experience continuity of care:  for example, seeing and assessing a patient in the ER with abdominal pain with the ER MD, then referring to surgery and seeing the patient with the surgeon, attending any OR and being involved in the inpatient post-op care and finally seeing them in follow-up with the family physician.

Academic Half-Day

During the Rural Family Medicine rotation students participate in Academic Half-Day. This is a two-hour online interactive session which currently happens on Thursday morning.  Attendance is mandatory and students are required to co-present twice during their eight-week rotation. The case-based presentations cover mandatory topics for the rotation.  Students are evaluated weekly on their presentations and their participation in these seminars by the family medicine facilitators.  Sessions are recorded and can be reviewed on D2L.


During the 4th year of medical school, students are required to complete a four-week rotation in a rural area. There are specific areas that students can choose from, with Family Medicine being a popular choice.  When choosing a site, please contact the Undergraduate Medical Education Office as many of the sites are also used for core rotations and as such space may be limited.