Dr Shabnam Asghari (MD, MPH, PhD) is an Associate Professor with the discipline of Family Medicine and is the Research Director of the Centre for Rural Health Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada). She worked as a general practitioner prior to obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Health. She holds a PhD in Epidemiology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Population Health and Geographic Disparity. Her research interests include healthcare accessibility, rural health workforce trends and spatial epidemiology. Dr Asghari is leading a rural health research capacity-building program that engages a variety of learners including physicians who practice in rural and remote communities. One of the main components of this capacity-building program is a model of learning through research activities and a self-paced research project that is relevant to their community and/or practice. This program fosters socially accountable research through its partnerships with patients, communities and decision makers and facilitates the transfer of innovative ideas from clinical and community settings to research questions that address the needs and priorities of rural patients.