The Rural Physician Mentoring Program is a program for physicians who are new to rural practice in British Columbia. The goal of the program is to facilitate physicians’ transition to rural practice for the first time and, in doing so, help to improve retention of physicians in rural communities.
What qualifies as a “rural community”?
Communities covered by the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement or RSA. More information on this agreement can be found on the BC Ministry of Health website and a list of RSA communities can be found here.
How are mentees and mentors matched?
Mentees are provided with profiles of the available mentors and rank their preferences for who they would like to be matched with. We will do our best to match mentees with their first choice mentors but due to volume of requests, this might not always be possible.
How long is the program?
The program duration is 10 months from the date of your first meeting with your mentor/mentee.
How many cohorts do you run per year and when do they start?
We typically run 3 cohorts per year, beginning in April, August and November. Specific start dates and application deadlines for the next cohort will be posted on the website.
Is there a research component to this program?
Yes. This program involves a research component to establish the effectiveness of the program and also to assess and improve program design. We ask participants to agree to allow the program to use their information for these purposes. All the forms that you complete through the course of your mentoring relationship will be kept in the strictest confidence and all findings will be completely anonymized when they are reported. We are eager to learn about your experience with the program and use the feedback we receive to improve on successive programs.
I haven’t yet completed my residency. Do I have to wait until I’ve graduated to enter the program?
We will accept individuals who are nearing the end of their residency in the program, as long as you will be entering practice in a rural community shortly after the beginning of the cohort. So if you graduate in June, you could apply for the April or August cohorts as long as you’re committed to entering a rural community upon graduation.
I’m doing rural locums – is this program appropriate for me?
Absolutely! A few of our mentors are locums themselves, and we’ve heard from past locum mentees that this program has helped provide a sense of stability and continuity that can be difficult to achieve when you’re only in each community for a short time.
I already have a mentor in mind. Could we join the program together?
Yes, there is a field on the application form for you to enter the name of someone you already have in mind as a mentor. Please include their name and email address and program staff will be in touch to arrange the details
What will be expected of me in this program?
There are pre- and post-program evaluations that all mentees must compete in order to participate in the program. As far as your relationship with your mentor, you will be able to negotiate the terms of your relationship (including things like scope, frequency of meetings, goals) yourselves.
What happens at the check-in calls? Do I have to attend?
There are 3 check-in calls per cohort. These are attended by your fellow mentees and facilitated by one of our physician leads and a member of the program staff. They’re an opportunity for you to connect with other participants, talk about your experiences and also to voice any questions or concerns you might have. The check-ins are optional and everything discussed is completely confidential.
We’re looking for rural physicians who are experienced and well-established in their communities and are keen to share their knowledge and expertise to support a new colleague. No coaching or prior mentoring experience is required!
What is expected of mentors in the program?
There are pre- and post-program evaluations that all participants must complete. In terms of your relationship with your mentee, you will be able to decide on the terms of your relationship (ie: scope, frequency of meetings, preferred mode of contact, goals) yourselves.
How much of a time commitment is this?
Approximately 20 hours over the duration of the 10 month program, including training and program check-in sessions. We recommend about 10 meetings with your mentee, but this is not strictly mandated.
What if I’m not selected by a mentee?
The program is set up so that the mentees choose their mentors so there is no guarantee that you will be selected in the first cohort you sign up for; however we do run 3 cohorts per year so you might be selected next time! Program staff will be in touch to let you know whether or not you’ve been matched.