University of Manitoba - Family Medicine - Northern Thompson


Program Director

Dr. Ian Alexander


Site Education Director/Site Medical Lead

Dr. Nathan Coleman

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Overview of Department

For more than 40 years, the University of Manitoba’s Department of Family Medicine has been positively influencing the health of individuals, families and communities across Manitoba. Through clinical work, teaching and innovative research, family medicine is making a difference.

This program, accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, promotes whole-person medicine through a combination of patient-centred care and structured seminars. During clerkship, learners are distributed in over 20 communities throughout Manitoba.

Training Passionate Family Physicians

After completing a four-year undergraduate degree in Medicine, students who enter the two-year Family Medicine residency choose a learning stream tailored to their practice interests.

Enhanced Training

In addition to the postgraduate program, Family Medicine also offers enhanced skills training which allows Family Medicine doctors to continually shape and reshape their careers.

Enhanced training is available in the following areas:

  • Addictions

  • FM Anesthesia

  • Cancer Care

  • Care of the Elderly

  • Emergency Medicine

  • Obstetrical Surgical Skills

  • Palliative Care

  • Sport & Exercise Medicine

This training requires an additional 6–12 months of study.

Residents finishing their second year and practicing family physicians may apply.

Integrative Medicine in Residency Program Option

The Integrative Medicine in Residency (IMR) program is a two-year program of study exploring the integration of Complementary and Alternative therapies with conventional family practice in an evidence-based manner. This program is being offered in conjunction with the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and is a 200-hour, interactive web-based curriculum that is completed longitudinally alongside the Family Medicine residency program. This program option is available to residents in all streams. Visit the Integrative Medicine in Residency Program page for full details.

Scholarly activities in our program include:

  • participation in monthly Journal Clubs

  • presentations at patient case rounds and regular guideline appraisals

  • didactic teaching

  • formal Quality Improvement curriculum

  • Critical Appraisal assignments

  • PEARLS exercises as offered through the College of Family Physicians of Canada

  • Academic Days throughout the year

  • additional core curriculum as mandated by PGME for all postgraduate program residents

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What about living and fun in Thompson and Northern Manitoba?

Thompson is a 750 km drive north of Winnipeg. Located on the traditional territory of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation the city has its roots as a mining town but has grown to become a City-centre for government, industry, health, education, commerce and culture for Northern Manitoba. Thompson has an extensive array of local amenities including a wide variety of local restaurants, multiple grocery and department stores, local malls, hardware stores, a theatre, a bowling alley, outdoor ice rinks, multiple gyms, an 18-hole golf course and a diverse variety of local retailers and service providers. It has a state-of-the-art community centre with indoor ice rinks, curling, playground, gymnasium, walking track and more attached to the University College of the North campus. Elementary schools are located centrally within each neighbourhood and the local High school boasts diverse curriculum and opportunities. There are many local day cares for those requiring child care. Opportunities for all ages abound including hockey, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, music, soccer, bowling, curling, and much more.

It is a well-connected community with second busiest airport in Manitoba with flights to Winnipeg and many surrounding Northern communities daily. It is easily accessible on foot with many walking trails encouraging an active lifestyle and also has taxi and bus service. The railway connects it with Churchill, Gillam, The Pas and Winnipeg.

The true richness of Northern Manitoba lies in its people and the land. Located within the breath-taking boreal forest with countless lakes, streams and rivers, the land provides an environment which cannot be replicated. Paint lake is 20 minutes south of Thompson and has picturesque views, a marina, lodge with restaurant, camp sites, yurts, boating, fishing and much more. Access to Manitoba’s 2 highest waterfalls (Kwastichewan Falls and Pisew Falls) are located at a 45-minute drive south of Thompson on Highway 6. Mystery Mountain Winter Park also allows ample access to outdoor winter sports with four lifts, eighteen runs and 10 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails. Surrounding the community are many kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails and countless sites for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing and much more. Many cultural events and festivals allow people to connect, learn and discover together including Nickel Days Festival, Canada Day Celebration, National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, Winterfest, Diwali Celebration, Community Powwows and much more.

Websites of interest


Northern Health Region

Travel Manitoba — Manitoba North

Heritage North Museum

Nickel Days — Weekend Festival

Thompson Online


Major Strengths of the Northern Thompson Stream

Training out of Thompson and surrounding area will provide you with a broad skillset to meet the needs of rural and urban communities across diverse practice settings.

We provide:

  • A comprehensive training experience based in northern Manitoba within an interprofessional practice.

  • Large clinical volumes with excellent variety of patients and plenty of opportunities for procedural skills.

  • Integrated Aboriginal Health exposure and training in collaboration with local communities, organizations and education partners.

  • Continuity of care within your preceptors with low preceptor to learner ratios.

  • Training in an area with high rates of chronic and complex disease with a high proportion of individuals affected by the social determinants of health which cultivates a broad knowledge base and robust skill development.

  • An integrated curriculum providing training in psychiatry, obstetrics, geriatrics, community medicine, cancer care, and nutrition.

  • Accessible local specialists for both inpatient and outpatient consultation and support.

  • Horizontal point-of-care U/S experience

  • Costs of travel to and accommodation at remote sites covered by the program.

  • Core rotations designed to support northern practice, including ICU, surgery, airway, pediatrics and addictions.

  • 2 days of Academic Curriculum per rotation with emphasis on simulation and procedural skills

  • ACLS, ATLS, ALARM, NRP, PALS and procedural sedation courses

  • Opportunities for participation in teaching, advocacy and research based on interests.

  • Training in fly-in First Nations communities within Northern Manitoba

Distributed training sites across the region offers experience in rural medicine within small (population less than 1000) to larger communities (population 13,000) giving broad exposure to diverse environments. Sites include The Pas, Flin Flon, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Lynn Lake, Gillam, Snow lake, Leaf Rapids, Wabowden, Thicket Portage, Ilford, Pikwitonei and others. All are located in beautiful natural environment with pristine forest, lakes and rivers and rich history and cultural heritage