Province announces support to expand number of medical school seats at Queen's
This story was originally published in The Queen's Gazette
Queen’s is among several post-secondary institutions named during an announcement today that is being marked as the provincial government’s largest expansion of medical education in a decade.
Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, highlighted the investment—as outlined in the province’s Budget 2023—during an event held in Oshawa at Lakeridge Health. She was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, and Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, for the announcement.
“We’re training the next generation of Ontario doctors right here at home,” says Minister Dunlop. “Expanding the number of medical seats that prioritize Ontarians will make it easier for the homegrown doctors of tomorrow to receive training and provide world-class health care where it is needed most.”
In May 2022, Queen’s and Lakeridge Health announced a new joint education and training program designed to address the ongoing family physician shortage in southeastern Ontario communities—a program that could receive further support from the newly-announced funding.
“We’re proud to collaborate with Queen’s University on the recent launch of the innovative Queen’s-Lakeridge Health MD Family Medicine Program that’s focused on training the next generation of primary care physicians,” says Cordelia Clarke Julien, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Lakeridge Health. “We recognize that access to family doctors is at the core of a healthy population. Today’s announcement goes a long way to addressing the chronic physician shortage, while fostering healthy communities in Central East Ontario.”
The project builds on a long-standing partnership between the two institutions. Twenty of the recently announced medical school seats will be allocated to the Lakeridge Health satellite campus where students will engage in classroom training and participate in clinical placements in communities in southeastern Ontario early in their education.
“Ontario is responding to the doctor shortage crisis by investing in the people, and the training, who will provide the care we need,” says Jane Philpott, Dean of Queen’s Health Sciences, who spoke during the announcement. “Queen’s new medical school seats, including those located at Lakeridge Health for our new MD Family Medicine Program starting this fall, will allow us to significantly increase the number of our graduates making a difference for patients in communities, clinics, and hospitals.”
The expansion of medical education also advances the university’s work to strengthen its local and regional presence and impact, as championed by its recent Queen’s Strategy.
“Communities across Ontario are facing a shortage of doctors, and Queen’s University applauds the government’s investments to create new spaces in the province’s medical schools,” says Patrick Deane, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s is pleased to be a partner in training more family physicians and other specialists to help provide the care that Ontarians need.”