The province’s Family Medicine Sponsorship Program will provide funding for three medical students per year for a five-year pilot period. The funds will be paid directly to the students in the form of stipends to assist with their medical education expenses.
In return, students will be required to sign a contract for a five-year, Return-in-Service commitment to the province in the area of greatest need, as identified at the time the physicians enter the health system.
Minister of Health and Wellness Doug Currie announced the new pilot program Friday, saying, “The Family Medicine Sponsorship Program will enhance our already strong recruitment and retention initiatives.”
Students enrolled in a recognized Canadian Medical School who plan to practise family medicine can apply to the program at the end of their second year through a competitive application process, which is still being developed. Successful medical students will receive a $10,000 signing bonus at the end of their second year of medical school, $40,000 stipends in their third and fourth years, and an additional $10,000 in each year of their two-year residency training, for a total of $110,000 per medical student.
Preference will be given to Island students.
The Family Medicine Sponsorship Program will start in 2013. The first group of students will enter the Island’s health system in 2017.
“The program will increase the number of family physicians practising in our province and help alleviate the pressures placed on our walk-in clinics and emergency rooms,” added Currie.