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More Homegrown Physicians Practising in Saskatchewan

Released on January 22, 2015

Saskatchewan is making progress keeping more locally-trained family medicine graduates in the province. 

The retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has jumped by 11 per cent over the past year.  The increase - from 58 per cent to 69 per cent - means that more locally-trained medical graduates are deciding to stay and practice medicine in Saskatchewan.

“Physicians that are newly-trained in Saskatchewan play a key role in the health care system,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “We want patients right here in Saskatchewan to benefit from their expert training and homegrown leadership.  Our government will continue to look for new ways to make sure that Saskatchewan is where these valued health providers want to practice.”

“Recruiting, and most importantly, retaining, our own medical graduates continues to be our number one priority,” saskdocs CEO Dr. Dennis Kendel said.  “We’ve been working hard to engage with our University of Saskatchewan medical students and residents, to make sure they know about the many opportunities available to them right here in Saskatchewan and the positive work-life balance.  I think our efforts are paying off.”

“The U of S has been training Family Medicine residents in Prince Albert for over ten years, and the program retains more than 80 per cent of its graduates in rural areas,” College of Medicine Dean Dr. Preston Smith said.  “We know medical students and residents develop an affinity for the communities where they train, so the College of Medicine continues to expand learning opportunities across Saskatchewan.  Our training here in Prince Albert includes the only enhanced surgical skills program in Canada.”

The province has seen increased U of S medical training seats and medical residency positions.  More post-graduate medical education opportunities are now available outside Saskatoon - in Regina, Prince Albert, Swift Current, La Ronge, North Battleford and Moose Jaw.  Plans are being made for additional communities.

The number of physicians in Saskatchewan has risen 24.3 per cent (by 423 physicians) between March 2007 and March 2014, while overall physician turnover rates have decreased.  Saskatchewan offers one of the best physician compensation rates in Canada.

For more information about programs and opportunities for physicians, visit www.saskdocs.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: tmcmurchy@health.gov.sk.ca

James Winkel
saskdocs
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-933-5094
Email: james.winkel@saskdocs.ca

Laura Herman
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-262-6059
Email: laura.herman@usask.ca

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