Congrats to Largest Med School Class in History

May 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hat_toss_webLast week’s Class of 2014 Faculty of Medicine Convocation was an auspicious occasion – we celebrated the graduation of 109 MDs, the University of Manitoba’s largest medical school class on record!

Furthermore, so many -90 graduates in all- will continue their residency training here at the University of Manitoba.

We see our role as the province’s only medical school to educate and train physicians to serve all Manitobans.

We are working together with Manitoba Health, our regulatory bodies and regional health authorities to figure out what our health human resource needs will look like in the future.

This in turn will help us plan on the allocation of residency positions and focus on the growing need, for instance, of more generalists like family physicians versus specialists.

Students are noticing and many are opting to pursue careers in family practice.

Thirty-four graduands of the Class of 2014 will be completing a residency in Family Medicine in Manitoba including 19 in rural areas and one in the bilingual stream.

We are also expanding our distributed medical education sites and this year will have family medicine residency positions based in rural areas of Manitoba including Brandon, Morden/Winkler, Steinbach, Dauphin, Portage and the North.

We know that where doctors earn their MD degrees and complete their residency training influences where they will practice. Over 80 per cent of our graduates are staying in Manitoba for residency programs which bodes well for us meeting the health care needs of Manitobans across the province.

Among this year’s graduates are Ju-Yoon Yoon and Nicole Lovat who will earn MD/PhD degrees. Individuals enrolled in the MD/PhD program must successfully complete the requirements for two independent degrees.

The MD component develops the skills necessary for a career in the practice of medicine, while the PhD component develops research skills and provides the experience required for biomedical research. We have not had an MD/PhD graduate in recent memory so having two among our graduating class is quite inspiring.

Honorary degrees were bestowed upon local community pioneer and pediatrician Dr. Joseph Du; and the trailblazing woman who facilitated the establishment of a national organ donation system Ms. Leah Hollins, Chair of the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors. Dr. Patricia Martens, Director of the Manitoba Centre of Health Policy for 10 years and an internationally-acclaimed researcher was awarded Distinguished Professor.

Ms Hollins urged graduates to “stay connected to the things and values that made you want to be a doctor…Ask yourself how can I make a difference today? How can I be more communicative, more collaborative? You can be the type of physician who goes the extra mile."

I congratulate each of our graduates on fulfilling his/her dream to become a doctor and wish them all great success in their roles as caring, compassionate physicians – and hope they will always go that extra mile.

What message do you have for our newest MD graduates?