The new seats will be for Nova Scotians and mean more doctors will be educated in the province. The focus will be on students from three groups: rural communities, Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous peoples, and African Nova Scotians. This will complement the medical school’s existing education equity programs.
“Adding more seats at the Dalhousie Medical School is an important part of our work to recruit and retain doctors in our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
“Our public services should reflect our communities. These additional seats will help support more African Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous, and rural students to become doctors, and that will benefit our entire province.”
Four seats will be added this school year, which starts at the end of August, and 12 more will be added for the 2020-21 school year for a total of 94 seats for first year students.
“I am thrilled government is making this significant investment in undergraduate medical education in Nova Scotia,” said medical school dean Dr. David Anderson.
“Dalhousie Medical School plays an important role in developing highly trained physicians to provide excellent and sustainable health care in Nova Scotia, and the addition of 16 undergraduate medical school seats is a big step in addressing the needs of Nova Scotians.”
Government is investing $300,000 this year to add the new seats. The annual investment will increase to $4.8 million by the 2023-24 academic year.
“This is really exciting news for the university and the province,” says Dr. Teri Balser, interim president of Dalhousie University. “Dalhousie is fully committed to providing quality health care to communities across Nova Scotia. This investment will allow us to do even more to improve the health of our province’s population.”
Other efforts to train, recruit and keep doctors in Nova Scotia include financial and education incentives such as tuition and debt relief programs, additional residency seats and a new family medicine practice ready assessment program to help internationally trained doctors practice here.