The Tarrant Scholarship is awarded each year 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 by the Alberta Medical Association’s Section of Rural Medicine.

The scholarship funds one year of tuition and related fees for third-year medical students from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary who demonstrate a strong interest in and dedication to rural medicine.

The AMA celebrates the scholarship recipients for 2022.

Podcast: The AMA announces the Tarrant Scholarship recipients for 2022.
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Jesse McDonald, University of Calgary

Jesse McDonald is a third-year medical student at the University of Calgary (U of C) and is currently completing her training in the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship Program in the Crowsnest Pass.

Jesse grew up in Nakusp, BC, a remote rural community. This community inspired her to pursue a career in rural medicine. Growing up in Nakusp, she benefited from the intersection of rurality, community and health. She became interested in and passionate about health equity for rural and remote communities. Jesse values being an active member in her communities and feels like the best version of herself in a rural context. 

During medical school, Jesse has been an involved advocate for rural medicine in the Rural Medicine Interest Group at the U of C and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada Student Committee as the U of C liaison. 

Jesse holds a bachelor of health science degree in biomedical studies from the University of Northern British Columbia and an advanced diploma in rural pre-medicine from Selkirk College, which she pursued after her snowboard career ended due to injury. Her education focused on rural and Indigenous health and healing and, more particularly, how teachings from the Indigenous paradigm can be incorporated into the biomedical model for a more inclusive approach to health care. 

Jesse has worked at the Skookum Jim Friendship Center in Whitehorse and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society in Kelowna, specializing in Indigenous-supported child development and youth emergency shelter services. She has experience in youth facilitation around mental health and healing with Northern Indigenous youth and has hosted circles at the Jackson Lake Healing Camp in the Yukon Territory. She has spent time in rural South Africa as a project assistant with the Sinovuyo Teens Project, which aims to develop an evidence-based parenting and teen program for youth and their families who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Prior to medical school, Jesse worked for the Interior Health Authority as the Aboriginal Health Program Coordinator.

In her spare time, Jesse loves to be with her family, her partner and their adventure-loving golden retriever. She feels honoured to be recognized for her commitment to rural medicine and is excited about what the future will hold. 

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Darcy Bellanger, University of Alberta

Darcy Bellanger is currently enrolled in his third year as a medical student, and is completing this stage of his training through the integrated community clerkship program at the University of Alberta. Born in Lac La Biche and raised in Sturgeon County, Darcy is no stranger to rural life and the many opportunities and challenges inherent to it. 

Prior to medical school, he completed a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Alberta. While on campus, he was involved in student governance and community engagement through various positions on the faculty’s student council. As a kinesiologist, he believes exercise holds an important role in medicine and well-being. Fortunately, he was able to practice as a neuro-exercise specialist at ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre before beginning formal medicine education.

During summer months, Darcy has worked as a wild land firefighter with the Government of Alberta in the communities of Lac La Biche, Swan Hills and Rocky Mountain House. This work experience allowed him to witness the strength, resilience and generosity of many of Alberta’s most remote communities. 

More recently, Darcy moved to the town of Peace River, where he will be living and learning for the next nine months. He is looking forward to this next year of training and is grateful for the generosity of the Tarrant family as they continue to support students interested in rural medicine.