Undergraduate MD Program Details: Rural Ontario Medical Program Sites (ROMP)
Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) Sites
- Generalism is a key focus for seminars and education sessions in the community.
- Rotations are more individualized with respect to clinical content amongst the different sites.
- There is also a variety of weekly seminars available via the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
- These placements are only suitable for students with access to a car.
- Family Medicine Teaching Unit, Family Health Team, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
- Population: 145,000
Barrie is one of Canada's fastest growing communities and has much to offer both in recreation and profession. Ninety parks are scattered within the city; many follow the shores of Kempenfelt Bay and offer biking, rollerblading and walking trails. Georgian College is based in Barrie and has partnered with many universities to expand the programs provided.
The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre employs 2,500 staff and 400 skilled physicians who work together to provide care for the citizens of Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. Barrie is also home to the Barrie and Community Family Health Team and the University of Toronto/DFCM Family Medicine Teaching Unit.
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
- Level of service: secondary care
- Number of beds: 319
- Catchment area: 425,000
- Learner parking cost: $36 for 6 weeks
Anesthesiology (Royal College), community medicine, critical care medicine, dermatology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, gastroenterology, general pathology, general surgery, internal medicine, medical oncology, neurology, nuclear medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, paediatrics, plastic surgery, respirology, sports medicine, urology
Testimonial 1 - “I choose to do my family medicine core elective through ROMP in Barrie because I wanted to get a broader view of what family medicine would be like in different practice settings. Through my FMLE experience, I had an opportunity to experience family medicine in the GTA, and because I am considering it as a career, I thought it would be important to see what ROMP rotation would be like. I had an amazing experience; the best part about it was how it was set up like a teaching unit, with an strong emphasis on learner education. At the end of each day, there were teaching cases, and throughout the rotation, there were multiple presentations and teaching seminars which I found very useful. I had an opportunity to work with both staff and residents, which was helpful as everyone was happy and willing to teach. Also, given that many of the family physicians also had extra training in obstetrics, emergency medicine, and hospital medicine, I had opportunities to experience these fields from the family medicine perspective as well. Finally, I enjoyed living in Barrie. It was much different from Toronto, however, I liked the open space, ability to drive (and park) freely, and was able to find everything I needed. I had a chance to explore the waterfront, and the residents there were kind to invite us out to social events like basketball and board games night. If you want a unique and fantastic family medicine experience, I highly recommend the site”
Testimonial 2 - "To prospective family medicine clerks,
Choosing to do my family medicine rotation in Barrie was one of the best choices I had made throughout medical school! At first, I was incredibly nervous as family medicine was the first rotation of clerkship. I would have to move away from friends and family for 6 weeks and share a house with classmates that I didn’t know very well. But, looking back on my experience, it was some of the greatest weeks of my medical school career, and I would recommend this rotation option to everyone!
In Barrie, the family medicine you practice is technically considered rural family medicine. As such, the clinics I worked in and my scope of practice was far from the narrow sub-specialized clinics my peers in Toronto worked in. During my time working with the Barrie Family Health Team, I had the opportunity to excise skin lesions with supervision, assist in a C-section, and give countless vaccines to patients of all ages (including pediatric patients)! As one of three medical students working with the team that served all of Barrie, I got opportunities to tailor my clerkship experience to include anything I wanted, from inner city health to palliative care.
Aside from the wealth of opportunities I had, I also had the privilege of being taught by some of the best clerkship teachers I have ever met. Each of the physicians I worked with was incredibly passionate about teaching. At the start of the rotation, every supervisor asked me what kinds of specialties I was interested in and made a point of ensuring that I had the opportunity to help with cases related to that specialty. Similar to the staff physicians, the residents were incredibly supportive, motivated to teach, and incredible educators. Each resident allowed me to be as involved as I wanted to be with their patients, whether it was simply observing a complicated substance use disorder case or independently performing a well-baby visit.
Another huge benefit of choosing Barrie as the location of my family medicine rotation was the city itself. I had the opportunity to explore Barrie in the fall; it was absolutely stunning! The main teaching unit had window walls overlooking a small lake and a huge forest filled with fall colors. Furthermore, Barrie itself is a very welcoming, friendly community. In fact, by the end of my rotation, I had gone to many different social activities, including going to a local farm with the family medicine residents for apple picking!
Overall, having the opportunity to do my family medicine rotation in Barrie was fantastic! I was able to get exactly what I wanted out of my rotation, all while getting to experience a beautiful, welcoming community. I would highly recommend choosing Barrie for family medicine to anyone who has the option!"
Testimonial 3 - "My experience in ROMP at the Barrie site for family medicine was excellent! The staff and residents were knowledgable, kind, and great teachers. The patient population was diverse and there were many opportunities for hands-on clinical work. Outside of clinic hours, there was plenty to do in the city. An overall excellent experience that I would highly recommend."
- Family medicine practices, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.
- Population: 17,000
At Collingwood, the Niagara Escarpment dips prominently towards Georgian Bay. This formation is known as Blue Mountain and has become one of the most popular ski destinations in Ontario. Wasaga Beach, the world’s largest freshwater beach, is only minutes away. When coupled with the region's unique geography, the picturesque town creates an ideal four-season destination.
Nearly 70 physicians work at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, which also serves the area surrounding Collingwood and employs 430 people.
Collingwood is home to the Georgian Bay Family Health Team.
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
- Level of service: primary care
- Number of beds: 72
- Catchment area: 60,000
- Learner parking cost: $20 deposit
Anesthesia (FPA), cardiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine
Testimonial 1 - “I would highly recommend a ROMP placement in Collingwood to all Medical Students at the University of Toronto. My Family and Community Medicine placement in Collingwood was an incredible experience, not only for learning but also for personal development and leisure.
My placement was at a clinic in Stayner, ON and I also worked at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. As a medical student, I approach my Clerkship Rotations with the intention of developing as a future clinician and cultivating professional relationships. My Preceptor was an incredible teacher and outstanding clinician. She was excited to teach and allowed me to grow as a medical student; she encouraged me to participate in decision-making and always made an effort to identify learning opportunities and support my growth as a future medical professional. I truly gained a better understanding of the responsibilities and role of a Family Physician working in Collingwood. My ROMP rotation in Collingwood allowed me to work one-on-one with my preceptor and to develop a strong professional relationship with her, which was great for learning and was also so much fun. The staff at the Stayner clinic and at the ROMP office were also outstanding, welcoming, and friendly.
The Collingwood area is beautiful. I grew up in Wasaga Beach and my parents still live there, and I always love returning to the Collingwood-Wasaga Beach area. Between the mountain, the beach, and downtown Collingwood there was always something fun and exciting to do with my downtime. While I was on my ROMP rotation I visited The Village at Blue Mountain, went skiing with friends, and spent some time at Sunset Point and the Terminals in Collingwood, where I enjoyed the views of the water and Blue Mountain. I explored the shops and restaurants in downtown Collingwood with family and friends. I also enjoyed the restaurants in the area with the Family Medicine Residents and local Family Physicians at Evidence-Based Medicine Rounds and Grand Rounds.
Between the incredibly friendly people, an amazing Preceptor, great patients, and the beauty and fun of Collingwood and surrounding area, my ROMP placement in Family Medicine was unforgettable. If I had the chance to go back and do another DFCM placement in Collingwood I would do it in a heartbeat. I highly recommend a Collingwood placement to any other medical students that might be looking for an excellent learning opportunity and a great time."
ROMP Kawartha Lakes
- Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative, City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team, Ross Memorial Hospital
- Population : 72,000
The City of Kawartha Lakes, located 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, is the rural paradise of south-central Ontario. Encompassing the communities of Bobcaygeon, Coboconk, Fenelon Falls, Kirkfield, Lindsay, Omemee and Woodville, the city boasts both small town charm and cottage country beauty. With over 250 lakes and rivers in the area, as well as links to the Trent-Severn Waterway, the City of Kawartha Lakes is a well-established tourist area wtih a myriad of year-round recreational activities. There is also a strong agriculture and business sector.
The "Ross" is an accredited 158 bed community hospital. A blend of primary and secondary services is provided by a group of family physicians and specialists to address the complex needs of the community. RMH's mental health unit is a Schedule 1 facility.
Testimonial 1 "I applied to do my family medicine core rotation at a ROMP site, and I feel very lucky to have been placed in Kawartha Lakes. Being one of the only learners in Lindsay (the largest town in Kawartha Lakes) meant that I was always working with a staff physician. My placement was based out of a family medicine community clinic, where the hours were fantastic compared to the Toronto-based sites. The “commute” was a short walk from the cozy heritage home students stay in right next to the hospital. I was able to have half-day experiences in other specialties, such as Obstetrics/Gynecology, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Physiotherapy, where I was warmly welcomed by eager-to-teach staff.
One of the best parts about spending 6 weeks in Lindsay was getting to explore the community. A local volunteer organized a dinner and axe throwing night for the students, which helped me meet other medical students and residents in Lindsay. We were invited to continuing medical education talks at a local Italian restaurant (where we ate 3 course meals free of cost!). I frequented the local café and yoga studio with my new friends, and we explored the other local communities. Lindsay quickly began to feel like home.
I would highly recommend the family medicine core rotation in Kawartha Lakes. The medicine exposure was broad, the staff were welcoming, the program organizers were helpful, and I made great friends to explore the community with. People hoping to experience rural family medicine would be lucky to be placed at this site!"
Ross Memorial Hospital
- Level of service: secondary care
- Number of beds: 158
- Catchment area: 80, 000
- Learner parking cost is free - donated by the Ross Memorial Hospital
- Family Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Family medicine practices, Georgian Bay General Hospital
- Population (Midland): 17,000
- Population (Penetanguishene): 9,400
Midland is rich in culture and heritage. As the first Canadian settlement of the French Jesuits, Ontario's only Catholic pilgrimage exists at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons, named also for the First Nations people who first lived there. Midland is the urban hub of the Southern Georgian Bay Region.
Penetanguishene is Ontario's oldest community, with a rich heritage stemming from the Aboriginal, French and English settlers who first populated the area. As an active community year round, there are waterfront walking and cycling trails and numerous parks to enjoy in the summer.
Georgian Bay General Hospital operates sites in Midland and Penetanguishene. Approximately 625 staff work between the two hospitals.
Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, located in Penetanguishene, is a fully accredited psychiatry hospital, employing approximately 1,100 staff. The facility provides the province's only maximum security forensic hospital for clients who are served by both the mental health and justice systems. Internationally recognized for its contributions to scientific knowledge on violence and the assessment and treatment of mental disorders, Waypoint has a clear focus on education and research.
Midland is home to the North Simcoe Family Health Team.
Georgian Bay General Hospital (Midland)
- Level of service: primary care
- Number of beds: 80
- Catchment area: 50,000
- Learner parking is free for learners (donated by the Rotary Club of Midland)
Two core clerkship tutorials for well baby and prenatal care, core educational experiences, clinical evaluation exercises
Anesthesia (FPA), community medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, hospitalist (FM), ophthalmology, psychiatry
ROMP New Tecumseth
- Family Medicine practices, Stevenson Memorial Hospital
- Population 35,000
Stevenson Memorial Hospital is located in the community of Alliston, in the Town of New Tecumseth, just one hour north of Toronto. The area is rich in nature, yet has urban areas with growing and vibrant communities; ideally situated between the excitement of the city and the beautiful relaxation of cottage country.
Stevenson is a fully accredited facility, offering a wide scope of medical and surgical services with a vision to champion your care ... every step of the way.
Our physicians, staff, students and volunteers achieve our vision by caring with compassion, being consistently respectful, leading with integrity, embracing teamwork and being accountable for everything they do.
The region's largest employer is Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM). The manufacturing facility has an annual capacity of 390,000 units and employs approximately 4,000 Associates.
Stevenson Memorial Hospital offers many regional services to the surrounding communities, with 118 Physicians, Dentists, Midwives and Extended Class Nursing providing those services.
Alliston is home to the Alliston Family Health Team, Tri-Med Family Health Organization as well as Alliston Family Physicians.
Stevenson Memorial Hospital
- Level of service: primary and secondary care
- Number of beds: 38
- Catchment area: 55,000
- Learner parking cost: $7.00/day, $28/week, or $32.50/ month
Anesthesia (FPA), Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Testimonial 1 - “Last summer I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a rural family medicine core rotation in New Tecumseth, Ontario. I had the best time working with the team at the Stevenson Memorial Hospital. I spent the majority of my time in the emergency department, and the doctors and nursing staff were all so friendly and welcoming. My supervisor always advocated for me to get involved in interesting cases and hands-on experiences, and encouraged me to further my own knowledge by participating in surgeries and OB procedures. I was excited to come to work each day, and felt like a valued member of the team. The ROMP program also took great care in finding me a place to stay in town and answering all my questions.
New Tecumseth is such a beautiful town with a main street filled with cute shops, an old-fashioned movie theatre, and tons of unique exercise classes. There is even a local pool and if you’re there in the summer, you won’t want to miss the potato festival! I learned so much on this rotation, significantly improved my procedural skills, and had a great time in the town all the while. I can’t recommend this experience enough!"
Testimonial 2 - "My 6-week core family medicine rotation at Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) in New Tecumseth was one of the highlights of my medical training at the University of Toronto. Working with Dr. Safar, I not only experienced the practice of medicine outside of an urban academic setting, but also saw first hand the breadth and depth of family medicine. I had the opportunity to see patients in a family medicine clinic, do numerous shifts in the emergency department, and attend to newborns in distress upon delivery. As this was the last core rotation of clerkship for me, the patient and case exposure along with the support of the team really allowed me to utilize, apply, and further develop the skills and knowledge I had built earlier in the year. The entire medical team at SMH were extremely welcoming. I would highly recommend this site!"
- Family Medicine Practices, Halton Healthcare Services - Headwaters Health Care Centre
- Population: 30,730
Orangeville is a vibrant community that is proud of its exceptional lifestyle, amenities and culture. Orangeville offers a safe, welcoming setting for those who value a work/life balance. Orangeville has lots to offer from the downtown core filled with one of a kind shops and restaurants to scenic landscapes from trails or canoeing at Island Lake Conservation Area.
Headwaters Health Care Centre is an acute and complex continuing care facility, offering both inpatient and outpatient services, as well as an Emergency Department with 24/7 coverage. The hospital is home to a wide variety of family practice and medical practitioners, as well as specialists in a range of healthcare disciplines like anesthesiology, diagnostic imaging, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and paediatrics.
Halton Healthcare Services – Headwaters Health Care Centre
- Level of service: secondary care
- Number of beds: 83
- Catchment area: 135,000
- Learner parking cost: FREE
Anesthesiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics.
Testimonial 1 "I completed a six week family medicine rotation in Orangeville this past fall and would highly recommend this opportunity. I was welcomed into the clinic by a multidisciplinary staff who were all very friendly and excited to have students interested in rural practice. The clinics provided comprehensive care, including a number of procedures done in-office, as well as a diversity of practice where many physicians provided more than just family medicine (for ex. palliative care, surgical assist, anaesthesia and more). This placement also highlighted some of the unique and rewarding components of working in a small town. Within only six weeks I had the opportunity to see patients multiple times and begin to appreciate the benefits of that continuity of care. I also had the pleasure of attending some of the local community events, which I could then discuss with patients in the office leading to an effective rapport. Finally, outside of the clinic I was provided excellent accommodations that were within a 5-10 minute drive of my placements. In addition Orangeville is surrounded by a number of beautiful hiking trails and conservation areas full of wildlife that I was able to explore during my free time. Overall, this is a unique and excellent learning experience that I would recommend to all clerks!"
- Family medicine practices, Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital
- Population 32,000
Orillia is nestled between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching and is the business centre for many of the small surrounding communities. The region's largest employer is Casino Rama, located on the nearby First Nations Reserve. Orillia also hosts the headquarters for the Ontario Provincial Police.
Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital recently expanded their hospital to offer many regional services to the surrounding communities. There are 132 active and associate staff physicians.
Orillia is home to the Couchiching Family Health Team as well as the Orillia Family Health Network.
Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
- Level of service: primary and secondary care
- Number of beds: 200
- Catchment area: 100,000
- Learner parking cost: $50 per month
Anesthesia (FPA), emergency medicine, general medicine, internal medicine, nephrology, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, paediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry, urology.
Testimonial 1 - "My experience at the ROMP Orillia site was exceptional. From Day one, I felt welcomed by the staff at both the Soldier’s Memorial Hospital and the clinic where I was placed. The breadth of family medicine in Orillia is incredible - I gained experience in the office, doing procedures in hospital, on emergency medicine shifts, the walk-in clinic, home visits and on the internal medicine ward. These opportunities helped broaden my skills and prepare me for future rotations. The best part however was the mentorship and teaching I received from my supervisor who always took the time to coach me as I grew into my role."
Testimonial 2 - "Starting clerkship, there is great fear, excitement and trepidation in how to learn the most, impress the best and maintain a seemingly normal life while being both like a full time employee and full time student. In exploring my options, I opted to complete my family placement in Orillia, and that truly helped me achieve those goals and more.
The staff in Orillia, not only know your name, but have an intrinsic interest in who you are as a person, your future success and your learning goals in Orillia. In this context, I could find myself in one day hopping from rounding on admitted patients, clinic, OR assist, emergency room, low risk deliveries to palliative care home visits.
Seems almost overwhelming, and yet in such a supportive environment, you are able to learn and grow in multiples practice settings, and even decide where you spend more time, for example if you want to work in the ER, you can take on those extra shifts, if you want some OR assist, you can make that happen. In such an incredibly supportive environment, I entered the OR for the first time, where my family medicine preceptor walked me through scrubbing in, the anesthetist engaged me in the intubation and the surgeon had me assist in the actual surgery.
On top of all this, the family health team in Orillia is in tune with the public health system and thus are engaged in quality improvement work, such that within my rotation, we were able to pilot a poverty screen quality improvement project in keeping with the family health teams goals, and the local LHIN.
Outside of work hours, I lived in a house with residents and medical students who had all come for placements. This meant, you had people to meet, debrief and be mentored from in less traditional settings. There's an adorable waterfront, really cute cafes and you can even rent a bike (for free!) for your time there. And if you're missing home, just two hours North of Toronto, I was able to visit my family and friends as needed on weekends. Big bonus - ROMP supports the experience financially, making it also the cheapest block thus far.
All in all, I left the rotation feeling more confident in my skills, supported in my professional and personal development and excited to find a workplace in the future that was as supportive and forward thinking."
Testimonial 3 - "Completing my Family and Community Medicine clerkship rotation in Orillia was an outstanding experience. The diverse clinical opportunities, the excellent teaching and the welcoming community culture makes Orillia an excellent site to experience family medicine and I would highly recommend this placement to all medical students.
Throughout my six weeks in Orillia I had the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical experiences. I spent the majority of my time in the family medicine clinic and emergency department at Soliders’ Memorial Hospital. I also had the chance to visit patients in long-term care homes and participated in palliative care home visits. These diverse experiences allowed me to acquire new skills, and better appreciate the breadth of family medicine in a more rural setting.
Additionally, I received wonderful teaching while in Orillia, both by my preceptor and from the numerous other physicians that I encountered along the way. There are fewer learners in Orillia, which gave me the chance to see high volumes of patients and the opportunity to be more involved in patient care. My preceptor loved teaching and would set time aside to review topics and answer questions from patient encounters. Furthermore, physicians other than my preceptor would actively seek me out if they had an interesting patient case or needed assistance with a procedure.
Lastly, I truly felt welcomed into the community of Orillia by all healthcare professionals, patients and community members. Orillia is a beautiful town nestled between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. I would spend my time off running/biking along their beautiful trails and exploring the local shops and restaurants. It truly is a lovely place to spend 6 weeks.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity to experience medicine in Orillia. The diverse clinical experiences, outstanding teaching, welcoming community and scenic environment created a family medicine rotation that I will never forget!"