More doctors to be trained in Brandon, rural communities


It was announced on Wednesday that more doctors will be trained in Brandon and other rural communities, as the province accepts all recommendations from the Brandon Medical Education study."The Brandon Medical Education study provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for training and recruiting more doctors to serve patients in rural and remote communities," said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby in a release.

"We want to ensure we are training doctors for families in all corners of Manitoba and by implementing all 10 recommendations from the medical education study, we will see more doctors training in Brandon and other rural communities across the province."The medical education study recommended creating more rural medical residencies starting next year. However, the province has created six new family medicine residencies in Brandon, Steinbach and Morden/Winkler this year as part of the government's plan to ensure every Manitoban has access to a family doctor by 2015."By training more doctors in Brandon and other rural communities, we will help families across Manitoba have better access to a family doctor when they need one and close to home," stated Health Minister Theresa Oswald. "We are pleased to start implementing the recommendations ahead of schedule by creating six family medicine residencies this year in Brandon, Steinbach and Morden/Winkler."The study recommends focusing first on post-graduate medical training in Brandon and other rural communities by creating more medical residencies, the last stage of training for doctors following medical school. Other recommendations include creating community campuses with clinical teaching units for third- and fourth-year medical students interested in rural practice.The study also means that Brandon University will not be getting its own medical school. However, the study does encourage further assessment of whether additional medical school seats are required in the province and the potential for those seats to form a satellite medical campus in Brandon and possibly other rural communities in the future. A rural medical education working group will be established including representatives from the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba, Brandon University and other partners to support implementing the recommendations from the study.Since 1999, the provincial government has worked with the University of Manitoba's faculty of medicine and other partners to increase the number of doctors being trained in Manitoba and recruited to rural communities by:* increasing the number of medical school seats by nearly 60 per cent, to 110 seats from 70, the second highest number per capita in Canada;* adjusting the admissions criteria to give consideration to rural applicants, which in the last three years has resulted in nearly half of the students admitted to medical school having rural roots; and* creating a new grant program to offer free tuition to medical school students who agree to work in rural and northern communities most in need of a doctor after their graduation.

Manitoba news release