Memorial University of Newfoundland - Family Medicine - Western Stream


Program Director

Dr. Russell Dawe


Intermediate Secretary

Renee Coughlin


Streams and Training Templates


Stream Lead: Dr. Erin Smallwood

The Western Stream (WestFam) of the MUN Family Medicine Residency Program, is based within the Western Region of the Island of Newfoundland and offers a two year Rural Family Medicine Residency that aims to train physicians to be confident and competent to practice within a wide range of rural settings.

The Western Region

Western Health's geographical boundaries serve a population of approximately 78 000 residents. The region spans from Port aux Basques southeast to Francois, northwest to Bartlett's Harbour and on the eastern boundary north to Jackson's Arm.

Western Health provides a broad range of programs and services to the people of Western Newfoundland. These programs and services are based in community and facility settings.

The region boasts community based services from 26 office sites, community based medical services from 26 medical clinic sites (including traveling clinic sites) and eight health facilities.

Educational Opportunities

With a broad range of medical illnesses, a diverse patient population and a variety of practice opportunities, the region is poised to offer rich training opportunities for family medicine residents.

The combination of inpatient and community based practices, involvement of specialty colleagues such as palliative care, general surgery, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology, with access to diverse practices in more remote communities all add to the educational opportunities within the Western Stream.

Teaching Sites

The Western Stream offers opportunities to engage in residency training within a number of teaching sites located throughout the Western Region including: Port Aux Basques, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Pasadena, Deer Lake and Bonne Bay.

All of these sites combined offer a distributed learning system with opportunities for Small Group Learning sessions, family medicine rounds and medical rounds.


Templates within the Western stream Will allow residents to work and live in several areas of the western region for the majority of their two-year training period collectively these sites offer a wide range of practical experiences with broad scope family medicine including:

  • shared care obstetrics

  • newborn, pediatric and adolescent care

  • women's and men's health

  • mental health counseling and psychotherapy

  • geriatric and palliative care

  • inpatient hospital care

  • occupational medicine

  • minor procedures

  • home visits, house calls (on a case by case basis)

  • emergency medicine

  • interdisciplinary care


In addition to the variety of training opportunities, the western region of Newfoundland offers a wide range of extracurricular opportunities in which to enhance your lifestyle and promote a healthy work life balance. There is so much to see and do in this area of the province, whether it is engaging in our rich arts community through theater, dance or visual arts, challenging yourself with our breathtaking, rugged terrain or embracing the diversity of our dynamic ocean playgrounds, all residents can become actively involved in almost any aspect.

The residency training program in Family Medicine at Memorial is an accredited residency training program through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. It leads to eligibility to sit the certification exam of the CFPC. This program uses the unique medical, geographic and cultural characteristics of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nunavut to train family physicians for rural/remote practice. Check out our website!

Why Memorial?

There are many reasons to come to Memorial for Family Medicine training! To name a few:

  • Urban, rural and remote training opportunities;

  • Often you are the only resident on service;

  • Tailored teaching given low learner to preceptor numbers;

  • Excellent learning opportunities;

  • Travel to and from training sites for core training is covered;

  • Dedicated preceptors;

  • 4 weeks of vacation per year;

  • $1000 towards conference leave or ATLS course completion.

What Are Our Unique Learning Opportunities?

  • Training is offered in urban, rural and remote communities

  • Remote opportunities in Goose Bay, NL or Iqaluit, NU

  • Flight medicine in Goose Bay or Iqaluit

  • Transfer medicine across many training sites

  • Point of Care Ultrasound Training (PoCUS)

  • Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training is offered, when possible. ACLS is offered through Eastern Health at a reduced rate. The Family Medicine Residency Training Program covers the cost of ALARM & NRP. Residents are provided with $1000 towards conference leave or ATLS course completion.

  • Stunning landscape

  • Outdoor activities across all training sites

  • Vibrant arts scene — culture, music, dance, film


Please refer to the Curriculum and Information sections.


Do we have an urban stream?

While we don’t have an ‘urban’ stream, our Eastern training stream provides the vast majority of training in our urban center — St. John’s, NL. Please see the Eastern Stream information.

Training Templates?

  • Once matched into a training stream, residents receive a list of choices that are centered around that stream.

  • All residents matched to the stream rank their template preferences and indicate any special considerations that should be taken into account.

  • The training streams allow residents to move to an area of the province and complete the vast majority of their training locally.

  • Residents will travel outside of their training stream if a learning experience is not available locally.

  • Templates that are based around program streams have resulted in much less resident travel!

Do we have any Enhanced Skills programs?

Residency positions are contingent on funding, but normally the following positions are available within the Enhanced Skills programs:

  • Emergency Medicine – 4-6 residents per year

  • Care of the Elderly – 1 x 12 month position per year

  • Care of Underserved Populations – 1 x 12 month position per year

The program information on this website is in the language that the program is offered in.