Physician retention meeting provincial goals

In a press release last week the Ministry announced that since 2007 nearly 650 doctors began practicing in the province

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The healthcare community in Saskatchewan continues to grow – and according the Ministry of Health, a substantial amount of that growth is in the form of locally trained physicians.

In a press release last week the Ministry announced that since 2007 nearly 650 doctors began practicing in the province, which amounts to a 40 per cent increase in the number of licensed physicians – a number that currently sits at 2,300.

“While the growth of international physicians has helped our overall physician supply, I am happy to say that we are now seeing more locally trained physicians stay in the province after graduation,” said Health Minister Dustin Duncan in the release. “Overall, the retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan has jumped by 17 per cent over the past two years – from 50 percent to 75 per cent.”

The College of Medicine has long been focused on helping to improve health care in the province, and has made rural health care a priority.

“Our mandate is to ensure we train the right doctors for the right communities across our province,” said Dr. Preston Smith, dean of the College of Medicine, in response to the news from the Ministry. “We work with government, Health Regions and communities throughout Saskatchewan to serve the medical needs of all communities.

““The growth in this plan is an incredible opportunity for the CoM and the province to both retain our superb graduates and attract the best from elsewhere to grow our education and research missions and be the pre-eminent ‘small’ medical school in Canada.”

The release revealed that the growth rate in the number of physicians in the province has exceeded what was recommended in the government’s ‘A Planning Tool for Physician Resources in Saskatchewan’ report. The document forecasts that a further 350 additional physicians will be required in the province by 2022.