Distributed Medical Education

Strategic Plan Update – DME Vision/Initiative


Distributed Medical Education (DME) encompasses a broad range of medical educational activities that occur at multiple sites beyond (and often distant to) the walls of institutions traditionally associated with Faculties of Medicine.

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) uses the following as a definition of DME….

“Educational events and activities which involve learners and teachers who are at multiple locations outside of the usual classroom or clinical site. For example, medical students may be assigned to different hospitals for clinical experiences and to family physicians’ offices distant from the university site. They may complete their education at hospitals or in communities outside the university teaching centre.”

DME at the University of Manitoba’s Department of Family Medicine (DFM) is specifically defined as education of medical students and/or residents that takes place outside the three dedicated Family Medicine teaching units within the city of Winnipeg (i.e., Family Medical Centre, Kildonan Medical Centre and Northern Connection Medical Centre (NCMC)). To a considerable degree, DME has been an integral part of medical education within the DFM for decades.


The following principles have been accepted by the Department:

  • Development
    of a comprehensive system of DME that considers all aspects of the educational process and is not merely a distribution of students/residents to sites outside our teaching clinics
  • Development
    of a curricular program that not only meets the educational objectives and core competencies of the CFPC, but provides an understanding and appreciation for the unique aspects of practicing Family Medicine in rural and remote Manitoba
  • Assist
    in building site capacity for distributed education placements in collaboration with communities and Regional Health Authorities,
  • Creation
    of a framework for the recruitment and retention of preceptors and faculty for all learner streams
  • Provision
    of ongoing faculty development and preceptor evaluation on a regular basis
  • Continue
    to develop and implement consistent policies and practices across all sites with respect to accommodations, travel, preceptor remuneration, etc.
  • Ensure
    that appropriate facilities and infrastructure are available at each site…. teaching equipment, communication technology, accommodations, transportation
  • Employ
    principles of equity and transparency across all teaching sites
  • Secure
    appropriate and sustainable funding in support of all DME activities within the department.

Current DME Activities/Sites

At the present time, distributed sites include the Northern/Remote FM residency program (with an urban base at NCMC), the longstanding Parkland family medicine residency program (based in Dauphin); the bilingual program (with rural experiences in Ste. Anne and Notre Dame); and the more recently created FMEDECs (family medicine enhanced distributed education centres) in Steinbach, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, and Winkler/Morden.

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