Awarded to third-year medical students from the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta who demonstrate a strong interest in studying and developing a career in rural medicine. It is bestowed each year by the Alberta Medical Association Section of Rural Medicine.

The two most recent worthy recipients are Wade Walters and Kirk Reid. They accepted their 2018 Tarrant Scholarships at a luncheon on October 4 in Edmonton.

(L to R) Dr. Alison M. Clarke, President, AMA; Kirk Reid, U of A recipient; Dr. Edward J. Aasman, President, Section of Rural Medicine.
Kirk Reid, University of Alberta

Kirk is a third-year medical student at the University of Alberta who was raised in St. Paul, Alberta. As he was growing up, Kirk took part in his family’s business and participated in many sports throughout school, including hockey, volleyball, soccer and basketball. 

Throughout his youth, he developed a desire to help others and began volunteering and speaking at public events such as concerts or sporting event fundraisers. More recently, Kirk joined his older brother in the St. Paul Skate Park Initiative to fundraise and build a new skate park for St. Paul. Their goal was to encourage healthy outdoor activities and hopefully diminish the allure of drugs and alcohol in their community.

Kirk began to shadow local doctors after graduating from high school to gain exposure to the medical field while he did his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. In his first two years of medicine, he continued to shadow rural doctors and took part in clinical skill weekends in rural Alberta as part of the Rural Medicine Interest Group. As part of the Rural MD Ambassadors student group, he did presentations at rural schools to educate kids about how they could become rural doctors and – more importantly – why they should.

As he progresses into his last two years of medical school, Kirk plans to return to northern Alberta after completing his training. He hopes to use his career to increase health advocacy and accessibility in rural communities and on Indigenous reserves.

(L to R) Dr. Alison M. Clarke, President, AMA; Wade Walters, U of C recipient; Dr. Edward J. Aasman, President, Section of Rural Medicine.
Wade Walters, University of Calgary

Wade is a third-year medical student at the University of Calgary who never imagined he would end up becoming a doctor. 

After graduating from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in social studies education, Wade and his wife, Amber, moved their young family to Cardston where he took a job teaching junior and senior high school religion classes. They fell in love with the community and settled on an acreage outside of town where their family grew to six children. 

In addition to teaching, Wade was actively involved in the community. He is an ordained minister in his church, organized the first Cardston community food drive, chaired the Moses Lake community clean-up committee, coached minor soccer and volunteered with Scouts Canada. 

In 2012, Wade moved his family to Calgary where he taught religion courses as a chaplain at Mount Royal University for three years. While his professional life in the city was very satisfying, they missed living in a rural community. After more than a decade of teaching, Wade applied to medical school with the goal of returning to Cardston as a rural family doctor. Throughout school he has been a member of the Family and Rural Medicine Interest Group and has sought out rural family medicine electives in Lethbridge, Cardston, Stand Off, Raymond and Pincher Creek. 

Wade and his family live on a small farm near Cardston, where he feels fortunate to spend his last year of school participating in the University of Calgary Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship program. He plans to apply to the University of Calgary Rural Alberta South Family Medicine Residency Program.

Banner photo credit: Bess Hamiti,