Our Vision

Excellent health care close to home for all rural Canadians.

Our Mission

Championing rural generalist medical care through education,
collaboration, advocacy and research.

2022 Executive


Dr. Sarah Lespérance - MD, CCFP
Petitcodiac, NB

Dr. Sarah Lespérance is a rural generalist physician, currently practicing in Petitcodiac, NB. After completing residency at Dalhousie University, she practiced for several years in northern Canada, first performing locums in the Yukon, Labrador and Nunavut. She then moved with her family to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador, and then to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where her generalist practice expanded to include work as a TB program physician. More recently, she has returned to New Brunswick where she continues to practice rural medicine. She has been actively involved in medical education over the years and currently teaches LIC students and family medicine residents for Dalhousie and Memorial Universities. She is involved in research, and true to the generalist mindset, this has included such areas as: rural physician wellness and resilience, latent tuberculosis treatment in Nunavut, competency-based curriculum for rural operative delivery, and factors impacting womens' choices of maternity care provider.

Sarah is married to Fraser, who has been actively involved in the SRPC's Partner Network. They have two children and when she is not working, she can be found heading out with them hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or moving water canoeing.

Past President

Dr. Gabe Woollam - MD CCFP FCFP FRRMS
Happy Valley Goose Bay, NL

Dr. Gabe Woollam has been a rural generalist physician in Goose Bay, Labrador since 2008. Originally Duncan, BC, he completed his undergraduate degrees at UBC. He completed residency training at Memorial University. Gabe has been actively involved in leadership roles in the SRPC since 2008.

Gabe is married to Jodi and has four young children. He enjoys running and raising backyard chickens.


Dr. Gavin Parker - BSc, MSc (Med. Ed.), M.D., CCFP (FPA), FRRMS
Pincher Creek, AB

Dr. Gavin Parker is a full scope rural family physician and GP-Anesthetist that has practiced in Pincher Creek for over a decade. He is the father of three wonderful children and husband to even more wonderful wife Jennifer.  He has chaired numerous national medical educational conferences, has obtained an M.Sc. in medical education, and holds a position as Assistant Professor with the University of Calgary.  He serves his community through positions such as medical director for the visitor safety program in Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Mountain Ski Resort, is vice chair of the St. Michael's School Council, and Jennifer and Gavin run the Barracuda Judo club in town.  He hold black belts in karate and judo, enjoys golf and soccer, and is proud of the medical team in his community.


Dr. Elaine Blau - MD CCFP FCFP FRRMS
Tobermory , ON

Dr. Elaine Blau is a proud U of S alumnus ('91), rural doc, assistant clinical professor, McMaster Dept of Fam Med and SRPC member. From 1994-2015 she spent 10 years in comprehensive rural practice, 5 years at McMaster in teaching practice then 6 years rural locums including work in ON & Inuvik, NWT. >From 2004-2016 she was Rural Residency Director at McMaster, instituting a SIM med day annually for rural residents and successfully doubling rural residency CaRMS spots over that period while building, supporting and encouraging rural faculty teaching within that program. She has been back living rurally since 2015, enjoying rural generalist clinical practice and teaching on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula where she is also Lead Physician for their two-clinic Family Health Team. Since residency, she has been a member of various CFPC committees on family medicine rural curriculum and competencies, involved in program evaluations & accreditation. Dr. Blau enjoys mentoring colleagues and does her best to sit at local, provincial and national tables to make a difference for rural communities where possible while enjoying life with her husband Brian who works for Parks Canada. She is sustained and guided by their dog Thurman, enjoys knitting, painting, photography, hiking, kayaking and paddle-boarding from her front doorstep.


Dr. Merrilee Brown - B.A&Sc(Hon) CCFP  FCFP  FFRMS
Assistant professor Queens, Lecturer UofT, NOSM

Port Perry, ON

Dr. Merrilee Brown is an enthusiastic rural Family Physician who has worked in Port Perry for nearly 25 years. She continues to do palliative care in hospital, hospice and the community, do walk-in clinic and ER shifts, OR assist, hospital inpatient care as well as office & retirement home. She is a self described teaching mercenary who has appointments at UofT, Queens and NOSM. She is other Cochair of her local COVID assessment Centre and the CAEP Rural Section. She is happily married to Her husband Steve Gray who has been CoChair of the Durham Region Pandemic Committee. She has two nearly launched kids and a goofy Golden Doodle. Before COVID, she played a mean French Horn, sung in a chamber choir before that was a high risk activity and loves to ski, hike and cook for large numbers of people.
Merrilee Brown Sent from my iPhone


Medical Officer | 12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance | Canadian Armed Forces  39 Canadian Brigade Group
Sechelt, BC

Dr. Paul Dhillon is a rural physician in Sechelt BC. He completed medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and met his wife Sarah in the pub down the road from RCSI. He now lives and works in BC with his 2 wee boys. After completion of residency in Regina, Saskatchewan he worked as a rural locum across Saskatchewan and the NWT before settling back in BC. He completed further training in Disaster Medicine, Tropical Medicine, and enjoys working as a Reservist Medical Officer with 12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance. He was the editor of The Surprising Lives of Small-Town Doctors which contained many stories from members of the SRPC in it's pages. 


Dr. Sarah Giles - BSc(Hons), MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP. FRRMS, DTM&H
Kenora, ON

Dr. Sarah Giles is a family/ER/humanitarian physician who has spent her career in under-serviced rural and remote communities in several different countries. Dr. Giles completed medical school at Dalhousie University and her residency in Thunder Bay under McMaster’s Northern Ontario Medical Program. A volunteer clinical lecturer at the University of Ottawa and an Assistant Clinical Professor at (NOSM) Northern Ontario School of Medicine, she is an enthusiastic educator and particularly enjoys mentoring learners through the publication of a series of procedure articles for the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine. Dr. Giles considers SRPC to be her professional home and she is thrilled to join the Council as the member-at-large. When she isn’t working, you can often find her outside playing with other people’s dogs.

Officers of the society are elected as per the bylaws at the annual meeting. Other volunteers from across the country help to make the work of the Society of Rural Physicians happen. These are your contact people. Please pass information, questions and problems through them for discussion at our monthly teleconference. The outcome will come back to you via the rural news, this website, the RuralMed mailing list, or directly via your representative. We can always use more manpower and ideas. If you have feel you have something to contribute, let us know!

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