The Tarrant Scholarship is awarded to third-year medical students from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary who demonstrate strong interest in studying and developing a career in rural medicine. It is bestowed each year by the Alberta Medical Association’s Section of Rural Medicine.
This year’s four worthy recipients are David Edgeworth, Allison Farfus, Deanna Fernandes and Meaghan Ryan. They accepted their 2019 Tarrant Scholarships at a luncheon on October 16 in Calgary.
University of Alberta
David was raised on a farm northwest of Grande Prairie. Since the age of 15, he has been volunteering in his community as a firefighter and medical co-responder.
Being a first responder showed him first-hand the frustrations of managing acute trauma and chronic illness away from urban centers. This rural upbringing ignited his passion for rural medicine.
Rural and remote is where David is happiest – enjoying the wide-open prairies and mountains. While growing up on the farm and at the fire hall, he learned the immense value of being a generalist – and in medical school, he learned this is an attribute exemplified by rural health care practitioners.
David is excited to begin clerkship in Whitecourt, which will give him the opportunity to experience broad-scope medicine. Although he is not sure what rural area he hopes to settle in, he feels returning to a rural setting is definitely in his future.
Deanna grew up on a cattle farm near Athabasca. She began spending time volunteering at the hospital and long-term care centre, where she found her passion for providing care to those in need. After finishing high school, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the U of A and continued to follow her passion for rural and remote care by participating in international volunteer trips to rural Ecuador and Guatemala to assist in constructing clean-burning stoves for families in need.
ln her first three years of medical school, Deanna participated in multiple rural medical skills weekends in northern Alberta locations and became the co-leader of the U of A Rural Medicine Interest Group. She created a rural mentorship program for U of A students interested in rural medicine, while continuing to shadow doctors in Athabasca. ln her third year of medical school, she spent 10 months in Whitecourt, where she was able to learn rural medicine from experienced rural and remote doctors.
Moving into her final year of medical school, Deanna plans to continue her education in rural medicine by doing multiple electives in rural care and applying to a rural residency program. Her future aspirations are to work as a family physician in a northern Alberta community, with a special interest in women’s health and emergency medicine.