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Simcoe (Rural Stream)

Simcoe (Rural Stream) overview

Part of Norfolk County, Simcoe is located on Ontario’s southern Gold Coast, on the north shore of Lake Erie. Family Medicine residents are taught in a multi-disciplinary Family Health Team and are closely connected to the Brantford site as many rotations are done in Brantford and academic sessions are held at the Brantford hub.

Program Highlights

There are many opportunities in Simcoe, such as specialty rotations, teaching and research. There are great elective opportunities, such as ICU, Palliative Care, Anaesthesia and OR assisting. The OB rotation offers office gynecology experience for those who are interested. For teaching, residents can teach local PA and nursing students or can help the MD program in Hamilton. Simcoe faculty are also involved in clinical trials so research opportunities can be found for those interested.

Community website: Norfolk County

Key info

CaRMS Positions: 1

Preceptors: 24

106 bed hospital with catchment area of 60,000

350 births per year and 30,000 ER visits per year


Natalie Graham

Senior Education Program Associate

Bill Thorogood

Site Lead

Resident Perspective

“The Rural Simcoe program is a comprehensive program designed for the independent resident who desires competence in rural generalism in a small but comprehensive hospital. This is not a remote program by any means: Hamilton, Brantford and London are all accessible, as is the health infrastructure of Southern Ontario. However, primary care and emergencies are managed largely by family doctors who are dedicated to Simcoe and Norfolk County. The program is connected to the residency program at Grand Erie Six Nations in that all academic sessions are completed in Brantford with the community-based residents. This also means that the Simcoe resident gets offered access to the Emergency Department Echo (EDE 1) Bootcamp alongside the GE6N residents at a very good rate. Additionally, the Brantford General Hospital has a top notch group of ER doctors who have built a simulated education program for the GE6N and Simcoe residents.

Specialist rotations largely take place in Brantford, with the exceptions of ER, OB/GYN and many interesting horizontals. Importantly, the OB/GYN in Simcoe who takes residents has a specialty in pelvic pain which is very useful in primary care.

Teaching opportunities are available. The 2015/2016 first year resident got to teach local PA and nursing students and also was able to teach clinical skills to McMaster’s MD program students almost all year as Hamilton is close enough. Research opportunities are not particularly abundant but most of the specialists in Simcoe are connected to cardiovascular and respiratory clinical trials in Hamilton Health Sciences. Opportunities can be crafted.

As for weaknesses, there is a lot of driving but anyone interested in rural medicine is probably tolerant of long drives. With independence can come loneliness, so if you are keen to have the hustle and bustle of a teaching hospital, Simcoe is not for you but neither is rural medicine. ER preceptors are still getting used to their role as teachers, and some of them do not take easily to this role so scheduling ER shifts with specific doctors becomes crucial. In general, Simcoe residents are very independent, mature and curious learners who want to have comprehensive primary care practices.”