Residency training programs extended to southeastern Sask.
To bring more doctors to the southeastern part of the province, the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are expanding their residency training programs.
Dr. Kathy Lawrence, the provincial head of family medicine for the University of Saskatchewan and the SHA said the expansion is a good opportunity to move into the region
“We really haven’t had an opportunity in the past to move into the southeast, so this is a great opportunity to bring residency training to that part of the province and for our residents to learn about health care in the communities that are there,” said Lawrence.
Although most people have family doctors, there are not very many of them. Putting residents in real communities could entice them to stay
“Longer term we know that people are more likely to stay where they train,” said Lawrence. “So bringing future doctors into the community is an important step from a recruitment perspective too.”
The expansion will provide opportunities in 12 rural communities including Estevan, Humboldt, Moosomin, Weyburn and Yorkton. With significant training in surrounding areas like Melville, Esterhazy, Indian Head, Redvers, Strasbourg, Watrous and Wynyard.
As Dr. Kevin Wasko who is a physician executive integrated rural health with the SHA said while relocation can have challenges, giving residents a real experience over an urban one also has its benefits.
“It changes the culture of the setting where it’s about sharing ideas learning from each other being better trying to follow the latest evidence and best practice guidelines,” said Wasko.
Dr. Lawrence agrees with Dr. Wasko.
“Physicians come to the communities, but they don’t have the resources and supports to stay there they don’t have the practice community that builds from there,’ explained Lawrence, “There is a lot of work being done with the health authorities and communities to try and build that.”
There are currently 48 family medicine residency spots available in Saskatchewan. This expansion will allow four more residents to pursue training in the province, bringing the provincial family medicine residency total to 52.
The program will welcome residents to the new training site in July 2022.