Stay connected with the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada's newsletter

April 2020

SRPC Is Here To Support You During COVID-19

The SRPC would like to express our support for all of those responding to COVID-19 who are committed to providing safe and quality care to patients across Canada.

If you haven't already, we encourage you to join the RuralMed and/or Rural Anesthesia Listservs.  A lot of good, detailed COVID-19 information continues to come from these and has proven to be a great resource.

SRPC has formed a working group with representatives from provinces and territories that have isolated fly-in communities to share concerns and offer advice and support.  SRPC President, Dr. Margaret Tromp has been involved in conversations with Indigenous Services Canada about how we can collaborate our efforts for under-served areas.

Together we can work towards keeping everyone connected, safe, and up to date.

SRPC - CAEP Press Release

SRPC and CAEP released a joint statement asking for increased attention to rural access to care during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Full Press Release Available Here

CMF Issues Statement Regarding PPE

The CMF calls on governments to immediately develop guidelines to support best practices in PPE use by healthcare providers and mobilize Canadian PPE production in order to protect healthcare providers and limit the spread of the disease.

Full Statement Available Here

Indigenous Services Canada Needs Your Help

SRPC and Indigenous Services Canada are collaborating their efforts and are looking for experienced rural colleagues who can help with the following two initiatives: 

  1. Increase surge capacity:  Indigenous Services Canada is making plans for temporary tent hospitals where patients can be cared for should the numbers of sick requiring hospitalization surpass the capacity of the hospitals.   It is anticipated that these tent hospitals will be in the centres that residents fly out of for their final flights to their communities.  Should these tent hospitals be required, physicians and nurses will be needed to staff them.  We are aware that if COVID-19 affects all areas of the country at the same time, it will be difficult for physicians to leave their home communities.  However, the fly-in communities have instituted quite strict isolation requirements before residents fly home and it is our hope that this will delay the onset of COVID-19 in these communities.
  2. Friendly voice on the phone:  Most fly in communities have a nursing station, but not all these nurses have an established relationship with a physician.  We are looking for physicians who would be willing to develop a relationship with a nursing station, have some phone calls over the next week or so to get to know what resources they have etc., so they can be the “friendly voice on the other end of the phone” for the nurses when COVID-19 hits.
If you can help us with either initiative, please contact Jennifer Barr (

    Rural and Remote 2020 - Cancelled...

    SRPC Executive was faced with the unfortunate, but necessary, decision to cancel this year's Rural and Remote.  At this time we have no plans to offer virtual sessions.  

    While Rural and Remote is a time for us to meet up with colleagues and old  friends, recharge our rural batteries, and get is some great CME, it's also a major revenue source for the SRPC.

    If you have not yet advised us how to process your refund, you can do so here.

    We would like to thank those that have supported the SRPC by donating your registration fees back to the Society and those that kept them as a credit on account for next year's conference.  It is certainly appreciated and will help us to continue advocating for rural on your behalf.

    We are looking forward to seeing you all at Rural and Remote 2021 in Niagara Falls, April 22nd - 24th.  

    Virtual Care Playbook for Physicians from CMA, RCPSC, and CFPC

    One of the outcomes of COVID-19 has been the increase in virtual care (or telemedicine) use between patients and health care providers — especially physicians.

    In response to this new reality, the Canadian Medical Association recognized that there are still a lot of unknowns around the use of virtual care in daily medical practice. In collaboration with Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the CMA commissioned the development of a Virtual Care playbook. This playbook will support Canadian physicians as they introduce virtual patient encounters into their daily practices.

    The playbook, which is an extension to the recommendations put forward by the Virtual Care Taskforce earlier this year, covers key considerations for physicians to help them succeed at providing safe, effective and efficient virtual care.

    Virtual Care Playbook

    Intensivist Support for Rural Providers Managing COVID-19 and Other Viruses

    If you’re a Canadian rural healthcare provider who is managing a suspected case of COVID-19, there is a real-time virtual support available for you.

    The Rural Outreach Support group (ROSe) is a team of BC rural intensivists who are working with Dr. John Pawlovich and the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) to provide a wide range of advice and/or support to rural physicians looking for a consultation/second opinion about a patient. This group has previously supported BC rural physicians with urgent and emergent care 24/7, and recently expanded their scope of support to include patients with acute, non-urgent, or chronic conditions.

    If you are looking for advice about how to test or treat a patient with an unknown virus or a suspected case of COVID-19, call the intensivists at ROSe for additional information, support, or guidance. There is a compassionate person at the other end of the line who understands the challenges of the rural context and is committed to working with you through your case.

    The ROSe group has agreements in place with other provinces in Canada and has capacity to handle calls nationally. Videoconference capacity is being organized – check back for additional updates. If you are in Northern Ontario, you also have access to Virtual Critical Care support through OTN.

    SRPC's Featured Member - Dr. Caroline Shooner

    Dr. Caroline Shooner grew up in Montreal and completed her medical degree at McGill University (1996) and her Family Medicine residency at Memorial University (1998). She spent the first years of her medical career traveling and working across the country, while also recording music and performing as part of the original folk duo Her Sweet Time. ​​

    In 2007, Caroline joined the Queen Charlotte medical team and has been practicing on Haida Gwaii ever since. ​

    Caroline is interested in how the Arts and Humanities can help promote health and allow us to look more critically and meaningfully at how we practice medicine. She has always thought of medicine as “Applied Humanities.”

    In 2015, she completed a MSc in Medical Humanities at King’s College London. During this year, she was introduced to the field of Graphic Medicine and started drawing cartoons, inspired by the comic side of small town medicine: The Boon Docs.

    Twitter handle

    Upcoming Events

    (Know of a rural relevant event?  Send us the info and we'll add it to our calendar of events.)

    SRPC Physician Membership Contest

    We need your help to reach 2020 members in 2020!

    SRPC is currently 1930 members strong with 214 new members since January 1st, 2020.

    If you are named as a referral source on a new MD membership your name will be entered in the draw for a complimentary one year membership. Every referral equals one ballot in the draw.

    Share our newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to join the SRPC today.  Remind them we are advocating for rural health care.

    Member Benefits Page

    Need a locum or looking to fill a position?  Let us help you!
    Place an ad in the CJRM or on our Jobs & Ads
    board today.

    Follow the SRPC on Facebook and Twitter for information relevant to the rural physicians. 

    We welcome your suggestions.  If you see something we should know about please email us.

    The SRPC’s Mission - Championing rural generalist medical care through education, collaboration, advocacy and research.

    The SRPC's Vision - Excellent health care close to home for all rural Canadians.    877-276-1949   P.O. Box 893 - 383 Rte 148   Shawville QC  J0X 2Y0