Active Research and Publications

The creation of the Rural CPD program was based on a province-wide assessment of the learning needs of physicians living in British Columbia RSA Communities.  RCPD continually evaluates all courses and events that are offered through the program to ensure that they meet participants' learning needs and preferences.  Periodically, RCPD also conducts more in-depth studies that are similar to the Needs Assessment that was conducted in 2005.  These in-depth studies allow RCPD to look more closely at specific issues and needs that are relevant to rural physicians and to design programming that responds to these needs.

Rural Emergency Medicine Needs Assessment 2015

The Rural Emergency Medicine (EM) Needs Assessment research study was conducted through the Rural CPD Program of UBC CPD. The study investigated the needs of rural Emergency Medicine (EM) providers in British Columbia and determined the system, workplace, and educational factors that impact recruitment, retention, comfort, and confidence of rural EM physicians. To learn more about this needs assessment and access the Rural Emergency Medicine Needs Assessment Report and Executive Summary and Recommendations, please click here.

Rural Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Needs Assessment

The goal of the Rural Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Needs Assessment is to better understand the necessary supports for effective practice improvement (PI)/quality improvement (QI) in rural and remote communities in BC. This needs assessment considers factors beyond classical CPD including physician engagement, recruitment/retention issues of relevance, and system support issues. The findings from this assessment will assist in determining how best to support rural physicians to more fully engage in effective PI/QI activities. There has been support for this project from members of the Rural CQI Needs Assessment Advisory Committee and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc).

For full study details please visit the Rural CQI Needs Assessment homepage. Please contact if you would like more information about this study. 

Rural Physician Mentoring Program: Evaluation

This study aims to investigate the impact of the Rural Physician Mentoring Program on transition to rural practice for new to rural practice physicians in British Columbia (BC). Mentors and mentees from the program are asked to complete one pre-program survey and two post-program surveys. Additionally, post-program semi-structured telephone interviews are conducted in which mentors and mentees reflect on their experiences with the program and its impact on relationship-building, personal and professional satisfaction, and integration and retention in rural BC communities. The mixed-methods approach allows for a comprehensive evaluation that will inform the design of future mentorship programs and initiatives that respond to rural workforce needs.

Please contact if you would like more information about this study.

Clinical Coaching for Excellence

Lifelong learning for physicians has been recognized as a crucial component to ensuring that knowledge and skills gained during formal training is maintained as evidence grows and changes; even the top trainees can become rusty or out-of-date over time, particularly when practice is isolated. Thus, there has been increasing interest in understanding physician learning after completion of their formal training. Clinical coaching, in particular, has become popular as a model of tailored educational delivery and there is some evidence of its effectiveness. It is thought to address the unique individual needs and contexts of physicians in practice. However, little is known about the mechanisms behind that effectiveness: how it works, for whom, and under what conditions. Such an understanding is crucial to developing clinical coaching as well as other types of CPD that meet the needs of individuals, given the high degree of variability in physician needs and practice contexts.

This study aims to explore these issues in the context of the Clinical Ccoaching for Excellence program, which supports interventions for rural family physicians who have a specialization an in anaesthesiology or surgery,: family practice anaesthetists (FPAs) and family physicians with enhanced surgical skills (FPESSs). This group is of particular interest given the high degree of isolation inherent in their practice. This qualitative study draws primarily on data generated through one initial and one delayed follow-up interview to explore:

  • How FPAs, FPESSs, and their specialist coaches interpret their roles and coaching interactions
  • What FPAs hope to accomplish through the program, including the changes they hope to make in their practice as a result of the feedback that they receive
  • The individual and contextual factors that can inhibit or facilitate FPAs and FPESSs in making different types of changes in their practice

For more information about the Clinical Coaching for Excellence program, please contact Emily Boardman (

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