A record number of medical school graduates from across Canada will soon commence their residency training at teaching hospitals and clinics around the province through University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine’s postgraduate medical education program.
Ninety-five per cent of the 308 postgraduate positions were filled in the first round of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), which matches graduating MD students with postgraduate programs nationwide. UBC has increased entry-level residency positions from 163 in 2003, to 308 in 2013.
“Medical trainees are more likely to practice in the communities they trained in,” says Faculty of Medicine’s Dr. David Snadden, executive associate dean, education “This is why, as part of our overall strategy to increase the number of doctors in B.C., UBC’s Faculty of Medicine has dramatically increased the number of residency training positions and distributed them across a wide range of settings from urban hospitals to rural community health clinics.”
To become a doctor, students complete four years of undergraduate medical education, followed by postgraduate training, which ranges from two years for family medicine, to seven years for specialties. In the past 10 years, the UBC Faculty of Medicine has more than doubled the number of undergraduate medical students and created clusters of academic and clinical learning on Vancouver Island, in Northern B.C., the Interior and the Lower Mainland. Postgraduate residencies have also increased around the province.
“We have increased positions in Family Medicine, and generalist specialties such as Internal Medicine, in response to BC’s most urgent needs. And we are also adding positions for International Medical Graduates,” says Snadden.
The expanded Family Medicine program will train more than100 new residents across B.C., and new training sites in Fraser Health (Emergency Medicine), Vancouver Island (Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine) will receive their first residents in the coming year.
Ninety-six per cent of UBC’s 256 graduating medical undergraduate students have matched to postgraduate training programs in the first round, with the largest percentages matching to family medicine (40%) and generalist specialties, internal medicine (18%), and pediatrics (18%) – areas identified by the Ministry of Health, health authorities, and UBC as a priority for improving BC health care. More than 50 per cent of Island Medical Program, and Northern Medical Program graduates matched to family medicine.
A second round of the CaRMS match for the 16 remaining unfilled positions will be held in April.