Friday, May 14, 2010

Manitoba Graduates Record Number of Doctors

The University of Manitoba has graduated a record number of doctors this year, and hopes are high that they will stay in the province to practice.

Dean of Medicine Dr. Dean Sandham said 104 medical students collected their diplomas after a Thursday ceremony at the school's Bannatyne Avenue campus.

According to Sandham, 63 of them have agreed to do their residency training in the province.

He said it took a lot of effort to convince that many to remain.

"[It took a] tremendous effort on the part of Manitoba Health and our provincial government to make this a desirable province … to do residency," Sandham said.

The government has made efforts to boost salaries for doctors in recent years, and there are also programs in place to forgive as much as $40,000 in student loans if a graduate chooses to work in Manitoba.

The average annual salary for a family physician in the province is $200,000. Specialists average about $250,000.

Class valedictorian Joe Kim wants to stay and work in Manitoba, which is what the provincial government is hoping grads do. (CBC)Class valedictorian Joe Kim said he's eager to work as a family doctor in Portage la Prairie, a town about 80 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

"I just love rural family medicine. I get distracted very easily and get bored really easily," Kim said with a smile.

"So I need a little bit of everything, and that's what rural family medicine offers - a little bit of everything. You get to work in emergency, family clinic, maybe assist in [an] operating room, it's just really fun," he said.

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