The Tarrant Scholarship is awarded each year to two third-year medical students, one from the University of Alberta and one from the University of Calgary, who demonstrate strong interest in studying and developing a career in rural medicine. The Alberta Medical Association’s Section of Rural Medicine bestows the award annually. This year’s worthy recipients are Rodger Craig from the University of Alberta and Chantal Serwatkewich from the University of Calgary. They accepted their 2020 Tarrant Scholarships via a virtual presentation on October 14.

Rodger Craig, University of Alberta

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Rodger Craig, University of Alberta

Rodger is a medical student at the U of A; prior to that, he worked in research positions at the Institute of Health Economics and at Public Health Ontario. He previously completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Toronto and his undergraduate studies at Cornell University on an athletic scholarship, where he was a member of the men’s varsity hockey team. 

A number of significant factors drive Rodger’s pursuit of rural practice including family interests, his own professional and intellectual interests and their alignment with rural practice, and finally, the opportunity to be part of a community and to serve and make meaningful contributions within that community.

Rodger and his wife grew up in families that farmed. He has lived in a number of small towns across southern and northern Alberta, first when he was a junior hockey player and later when he worked as a rig-hand in the oil and gas industry. 

He is drawn to the diversity of medicine that rural physicians practice and to the ability to work and provide care in settings ranging from family clinic to the emergency room and even the operating room. 

He is excited by the opportunities to pursue additional training in specialties such as anesthesia or obstetrics, among others, to augment his skills and learning, and to provide services that help meet the specific needs of a community. 

Rodger recently moved to Sylvan Lake with his family to complete his third-year core clinical rotations as part of the U of A’s rural integrated community clerkship program.

Chantal Serwatkewich, University of Calgary

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Chantal Serwatkewich, University of Calgary

Chantal was born and raised in Fernie, BC, and worked as a rural registered nurse for nine years before applying and being accepted to the medical program at the University of Calgary in 2018. She enjoys living and working in a rural community and the challenges it brings on a day-to-day basis. As an RN, she practiced in several areas: the ER, medical and surgical, labor and delivery, and palliative care. 

As a physician, she hopes to continue this and work in small communities in southern Alberta and BC. Chantal would also like to work in remote communities in northern Canada. She loves living and working in the same community and getting to know her patients on a more personal level. Being a rural family physician brings a diverse array of opportunities, and she looks forward to experiencing all that rural medicine has to offer.

She has completed electives in rural family medicine in Alberta and BC and is currently participating in the U of C Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship program in Crowsnest Pass.

Being able to live and work in such a great community close to where she grew up is a wonderful opportunity, and Chantal feels very honored to receive this scholarship as it will significantly help her continue with her studies.