Local doctor Diana Kelland was awarded the Rural Long Service Award at the 20th Annual Rural and Remote Medicine Conference held in Whistler, B.C. on April 27, 2012.
The honour was bestowed by her fellow doctors in the Society of Rural Physicians in Canada (SRPC) in recognition of her 20 years of work in rural Canada. Dr. Kelland was among 20 physicians to receive the award this year, nine of which were from British Columbia.
Over 700 physicians, residents, and students attended the conference in Whistler this year. Next year, the awards will be announced in Victoria as part of the conference.
The SRPC came into being in 1992 when rural manpower problems in medicine led to job action in Ontario at the same time a need was recognized for continuing professional development specifically for rural doctors in Quebec. Since then, the society has organized events and created a journal to promote networking and foster a sense of collegiality to combat the isolation that rural doctors often experience.
The requirement for medicine programs to have a rural component is currently under review, said Lee Teperman, SRPC Administrative Officer, who hopes it won’t result in a reduction or removal of the requirement.
Often doctors who end up going rural originate from smaller centres, said Teperman. Residents who get good exposure to rural medicine also often want to stay where they get that experience, he said.