Rural Northern Initiative (RNI)

About the program

The Rural Northern Initiative (RNI) is a joint project between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MoHLTC) and Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto.

We provide medical care in small northern Ontario communities facing a physician shortage and expose DFCM residents to the exciting and re-warding work available in northern Ontario. 


How it works

DFCM faculty members visit participating communities for 2-week locum style visits along with a PGY2 family medicine resident from U of T.


Faculty members are remunerated for their participation by the Ministry of Health.


Most visits begin on a Monday morning (which means travelling on Sunday) and finish the following Friday afternoon. You will be on call one of the weekend days. Work includes clinic-based family medicine, inpatient coverage, and some ER coverage. Obstetrical coverage and Minor Surgical Services (“lumps and bumps”) are optional.


Preparing your skills and certifications for RNI

 ACLS is required and ATLS strongly recommended. For faculty who commit to two trips per year the cost of recertification will be reimbursed by the program.


The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) website provides ACLS and ATLS courses. Use the links below to access their webpages about the courses, which include course schedule / dates, fees and the registration form.


Link to the ACLS Course schedule (Advanced Life Support Course)

Link to the ATLS schedule (Advanced Trauma Life Support Course) ]

In addition to the ACLS offerings at SHSC, UHN has many offerings please click the link below to see ACLS offerings at UHN:

The Postgraduate Medical Education Office (PGME) aslo has other locations where ACLS can be taken, click the link below for further details:


Additional, optional courses

The University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine, through Mount Sinai Hospital, provides a three month Supplemental Emergency Medicine Experience (SEME).


SEME is a program designed to provide family physicians with a three-month, full time, remunerated fellowship through a comprehensive, practical and hands-on EM experience. SEME includes eight weeks of rotations in emergency departments in Toronto and the option of supervised placements at rural- or semi-rural hospitals.


Finding a resident

Faculty members are welcome to choose a resident in their home pro-gram to accompany them.  Residents must be in their PGY2 year and on an elective or core family medicine rotation with permission from their program director.


Bringing a resident you know and trust can make the experience more fun for both of you. However, we can facilitate finding a resident for faculty members who prefer this.


Travel and accommodation

Faculty is responsible for booking their own travel and rental cars. The RNI office will put you in contact with the administrative contact person in the community to arrange local accommodations.


As a courtesy to our residents, we ask that faculty book and pay for flights, rental cars and accommodation for themselves and the resident. Reimbursement forms for these expenses are available from the RNI office and should be completed promptly on return from your trip.


Here is a link to the expense form that physicians need to complete in order to be paid.


Choosing a time to go

Any 2-week period (12 days from a Monday to the following Friday) qualifies for an RNI rotation. Give us your dates as soon as you have them so we can find you a community.


Hospital privileges

All participating RNI communities accept hospital credentialing through the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Locum Credentialing Application Program (LCAP).


Getting your cheque

Faculty participants are paid a daily rate for clinic days worked, depending on the rurality of the community and the level of need. In addition to this daily stipend an hourly rate is paid directly by the community for ER work.


Here is a link to the expense form that physicians need to complete in order to be paid

Why participate

• Adventure

• Remuneration

• Challenge

• Variety

• Sharpen skills

• Teach residents

• Help communities facing physician shortages


Communities involved

Communities are subject to change pending community needs as determined by the Ministry of Health. 


The RNI Handbook

View the PDF RNI Handbook for Faculty to help you prepare. The booklet covers: 

  1. Background information
  2. How to prepare
  3. About ACLS and ATLS
  4. CMPA coverage
  5. Applying for hospital privileges
  6. Booking  a date
  7. Putting your Toronto life on hold
  8. Choosing a community
  9. Finding a resident
  10. Travel and accommodation
  11. Resident learning objectives
  12. Tips on working with residents
  13. Preparing to work in the ER
  14. Preparing to work with inpatients
  15. Preparing to work in clinic
  16. Resources to bring with you
  17. How to get your cheque
  18. Expenses
  19. Expense form sample
  20. Contact information for RNI

View the PDF RNI Handbook for Faculty .


Contact information

RNI Administrative Contact:  Fadia Ayoub

RNI Faculty Contact:  Dr. Nadia Incardona


Phone: (416) 978-8530

Fax: (416) 978-8179