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REF NO.: 136

SUBJECT: Fellowship awards for four Newfoundland doctors

DATE: April 16

The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) will award the Fellowship in Rural and Remote Medicine (FRRM) to four physicians in Newfoundland and Labrador during the 17th Rural and Remote Medicine Conference in Halifax this weekend.
Dr. James Rourke, dean of Medicine; Dr. Leslie Rourke, Family Medicine; Dr. Carl Robbins, Family Medicine; and Dr. Judy Ophel, a physician in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, will received the FRRM for their dedication to the profession and acquired expertise.
Drs. James and Leslie Rourke have been active rural family medicine doctors, practicing in Goderich, Ontario, for 25 years before moving to St. John’s. They authored the Rourke Baby Record, a system of well baby/child care for children from birth to three years of age that is widely used in Canada, and are heavily involved in rural teaching, research and development nationally and internationally.
Dr. Robbins’s early medical practice was at the Grand Bank Cottage Hospital from 1970-1972, followed by eight years in private practice in Labrador City. He served as the vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine in two different roles. From 1992-1996 he was vice-dean for administration and from 1996-1999 he 
served as vice-dean for professional development. From 1997-2005 he was also chair of the Telehealth and Educational Technology Resource Agency (TETRA).
Dr. Ophel, a doctor at the Labrador Health Centre, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was named the Family Physician of the Year for 2008.
Fellowships in Rural and Remote Medicine recognize doctors who have worked in rural and remote Canada for at least 10 years and are a member of SRPC for at least five years. Because rural doctors practice a distinct form of medicine that has many challenges and requires a varied skill set and an ability to work under sometimes difficult circumstance, the SRPC created the FRRM.

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