Rana McDonald: M.A. Sociology, 2008

Thesis Supervisor

Dr. Stephen Brickey

M.A. Thesis Committee

Dr. Elizabeth Comack and Dr. Dennis Bracken (Faculty of Social Work)

Current Position

eConsult Manitoba Research Coordinator/ Operations Support
Department of Family Medicine / University of Manitoba
Nine Circles Community Health Centre


I am the Research Coordinator for BASE™ (Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation) eConsult Manitoba.  eConsult Manitoba is a secure web-based tool that allows primary care providers (family physicians and nurse practitioners) to submit non-urgent, patient-specific questions to participating specialists and receive advice back within seven days.  BASE™ eConsult Manitoba is modelled after Ontario’s provincially funded Champlain BASE™ eConsult Service.  This service has been connecting primary care providers and specialist since 2010.  Our research is part of a national collaborative, Connected Medicine, with the objective to enhance primary care access to specialists.

eConsult is spreading to jurisdictions across Canada.  eConsult services are now operating in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

In June 2018, The College of Family Physicians of Canada expressed support for eConsult Methodology as a standard of practice across Canada.  Growing evidence has demonstrated that eConsult has tremendous benefits for patients.  The benefits include reducing wait times, delivering high levels of primary care provider, health care provider and patient satisfaction, and reducing costs.

As part of the local research team and research coordinator for eConsult Manitoba my job is a mix of project manager, researcher, communications coordinator and operations support for eConsult Manitoba.  My job consists of running the eConsult Manitoba platform, writing ethics applications, grant submissions, collecting and analysis statistics, applying quality improvement methodology, recruiting participants, coordinating and delivering training on the eConsult Manitoba system, coordinating and facilitating meetings, writing regional health authority applications and promoting eConsult Manitoba.   I am grateful to work with a supportive research team and to have a job that can make a difference in the lives of Manitobans.   

Our research has been part of a 2017 two-day Connected Medicine workshop, the 2018 Annual Science Assembly for the Manitoba College of Family Physicians and the 27th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research.  It will also be featured at the 2018 Family Medicine Forum (FMF).