Student programs

The J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit has offered Early Exposures, third-year medical student core rotations, elective placements for fourth-year medical students, and electives for international medical students for over 30 years.  The program has introduced many physicians to the strengths of Aboriginal communities and has simulated an enduring interest in northern and remote medicine in many of the participants.

Medical students are placed in First Nations communities that have health care facilities consisting of nursing stations, health centres, hospitals, or both.  The student will have the opportunity to contribute, learn, and become involved in comprehensive health care in a northern First Nation community and to learn about health care issues from a cross culture and community perspective.

Summer student program—early exposure

Open to Med I, Med II, and School of Medical Rehabilitation Students enrolled at the University of Manitoba

Undergraduate Medical and School of Medical Rehabilitation students elect to spend ten days in a First Nation or Inuit community.

The program provides students with the opportunity to not only study and become involved in comprehensive health care in a remote/rural northern First Nation community but also foster an ongoing interest in this aspect of Canadian medicine.

Students are encouraged to become involved in the community as much as possible both clinically as well as culturally.  The number of students accepted to this program each year is based on funding as well as whether or not a community is able to accommodate a student for the summer.

Orientation is provided for the students prior to leaving for their respective communities. Accommodations are typically located at the Nursing Station or Health Centre itself and are arranged by the Northern Medical Unit. Travel is also arranged and paid by the Northern Medical Unit.

Application form.

Early exposure (paid program)

Open to Med II students enrolled at the University of Manitoba

Up to eight students are placed in a community for nine weeks.  The program usually starts at the end of May and goes until the beginning of August.  If you are interested in applying for the NMU early exposure paid program please complete the application and submit it to either Kathy Risk or Amanda Abele before March 3.

Application form.

Undergrad—third-year clerkship

Medical students have the unique opportunity to participate in health care delivery in a remote, rural, or northern community during their final two years of training.

  The experience of medical students is broadened by learning about the historical, cultural, and socioeconomic context of life in northern and rural Canada.

The student will:

  • learn about life in an First Nations or Inuit community including the culture, geography, climatic conditions, history, demography, and economic base by living in the community and through assigned readings;
  • participate in the delivery of primary health care and public health in the community through ambulatory clinics, inpatient care, home visits, as well as community and public health activities;
  • understand the health status of an First Nations or Inuit community and the interrelationships of health and health care to other aspects of community life through clinical work, home visits, and community work.

Anyone interested in a 3rd year core rotation with the NMU please contact the department of Family Medicine.

Postgrad—fourth-year elective

Post-graduate opportunities exist for residents primarily in our hospital based areas.

  • Clinical Experience -  There are a variety of hospital and community based opportunities.
  • Preceptors - All preceptors are Physicians affiliated with the University of Manitoba. Depending on the specific community there may be one or more preceptors involved in the elective.
  • Availability - Dependent on availability of accommodations.
  • Supports - Transportation, accommodation, and living allowance are provided.

Elective for international medical students

If any fourth-year international medical students wish to do an elective with the Northern Medical Unit please contact the UGME office at:


At this time the NMU is unable to accept any observerships.

For more information contact:

Kathy Risk, Student Assistant
Phone: 204-789-3598
Toll free: 1-877-789-3711
Fax: 204-774-8919

Lori Thiessen, Specialists Travel Coordinator
Phone: 204-789-3474
Toll free: 1-877-789-3711
Fax: 204-774-8919