P.E.I. residency program recruits new doctors, says province

P.E.I.'s family medicine residency program has brought more than a dozen new doctors to the province, which is a big change from when it began seven years ago.

16 of 25 graduates have chosen to remain on P.E.I. to practise

2016 Family Medicine Residency program grads Dr. Jaclyn O'Brien (left) and Dr. Lori Cheverie with program director Dr. George Carruthers. (Government of P.E.I. )

P.E.I.'s family medicine residency program has brought more than a dozen new doctors to the province, officials said in a written release. 

Since the program began in 2009, 25 medical students have completed their two-year residency training in PEI and 16 of those have remained on the Island to practice family medicine full time.

"And we are expecting to increase this number in 2016," P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said in the release. 

Health PEI purchases five seats in the Dalhousie Family Medicine Residency Program each year. It's is seen as a way to get young doctors to experience the province and hopefully stay once they're fully certified. 

They look after patients in family medicine clinics, do clinical rotations in the hospital and conduct research while they're on P.E.I.

Better than before

After its first cohort of five graduated in 2011, none of the program's new doctors remained on P.E.I.

But officials said now that it's more established, it's attracting more people with P.E.I. and Maritime connections. 

All five graduates this year are from the Island. However officials don't know yet how many of them, if any, will choose to stay and practise.

"The success of our program has been made possible in large part by the dedication and commitment of family and specialty physicians who supervise and teach residents the clinical and professional skills needed for success in independent practice," said program site director Dr. George Carruthers. 

"We acknowledge with appreciation the extra time and effort provided by many of our experienced physicians who help prepare young doctors in training for their new careers."

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