November 25, 2015

More University of Saskatchewan Medical Graduates Calling Saskatchewan Home

Thirty new University of Saskatchewan (U of S) family medicine graduates are practising in Saskatchewan, adding to a growing physician workforce, delivering health care services to residents of the province.

Overall, the retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan has jumped by 17 per cent over the past two years – from 58 per cent to 75 per cent.

“I’m delighted these medical graduates are choosing to stay and practise in Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “We value our locally-trained physicians, and we want patients right here in Saskatchewan to benefit from their training and expertise.”

These new physicians join a provincial physician workforce that has grown by more than 500 since 2007.
Dr. Janessa Grosenick is one of these graduates; she is now practicing in Weyburn.

“I feel very privileged to be able to come back to an area close to where I grew up,” Grosenick said.  “The community has made me feel very welcome already and, so far, my fiancé and I feel this is like home.  All of the physicians here are very supportive and have made my transition into practice easier.”

“We value our close, working relationship with these physicians,” Saskdocs’ CEO Dr. Dennis Kendel said.  “Over the past year, the agency has made great efforts to reach out to our U of S medical graduates to make sure they know of the opportunities available to them right here at home.  We look forward to working closely with future graduates to ensure they too are welcome and encouraged to practice medicine in Saskatchewan.”

“The College of Medicine’s distributed medical education model means we are continuing to expand training opportunities for medical residents in sites across the province,” University of Saskatchewan Dean of the College of Medicine Dr. Preston Smith said.  “It is gratifying to see these young physicians choosing to establish their professional practices in communities across Saskatchewan.  Seeing physician retention rates on the rise illustrates the college is on the right path, and is making positive contributions to Saskatchewan’s health care system.”

Some of Saskatchewan’s physician recruitment and retention initiatives include:

  • A competitive compensation package for physicians – one of the best in Canada.
  • The number of post-graduate physician training seats at the College of Medicine has doubled – to 120 – and the number of undergraduate medical education seats has expanded from 60 to 100.
  • The Rural Family Physician Incentive Program provides recent graduates with up to $120,000 over five years if they set up practice in a community with fewer than 10,000 people.
  • Training more family medicine residents in sites outside Regina and Saskatoon (Prince Albert, Swift Current, La Ronge, North Battleford and Moose Jaw).
  • A rural physician locum pool, to provide additional physician coverage and assistance to rural family physicians.
  • Reward rural physicians who adopt a full scope of practice by providing a 10.5 per cent premium on their earnings.

For more information on retention and recruitment, contact the province’s physician recruitment agency atinfo@saskdocs.ca or call 306-933-5000 or 1-888-415-3627 (toll-free in North America).