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Medical Student Involvement in Ontario's HHR Planning

Endoresed in:

April, 2019

Paper Type:

Position Paper

Authors:

  • Hassaan Abdel Khalik (McMaster University)
  • Fizza Manzoor (University of Toronto)
  • Austin Yan (University of Ottawa)
  • Silvio Ndoja (Western University)

Background:

More Canadian medical graduates than ever went unmatched in 2018. Even more alarming is that the decrease in residency spots relative to medical school graduates is more pronounced in our province, Ontario, relative to the rest of Canada. This issue was recently the focus of the OMSA Lobby Day in 2018. The boost in 33 additional residency spots in 2018 was a one-time commitment by the MOHLTC. A retroactive approach to medical residency spots in Ontario is not sustainable, and is compounded with an unstable political climate that does not provide medical students with a clear outlook on how the MOHLTC continues to address the rise in Ontario’s unmatched medical graduates. The reality is that changes in funding to our medical education infrastructure is closely tied with political agendas. As Ontario continues to iterate on its health workforce planning tools, medical students should be informed about changes to their government’s HHR tools. As Ontario’s future physicians, medical students should be included in these larger discussions about the province’s healthcare system, allowing students to be actively engaged in decision making and also inform students on how they can best support and adapt their career in the changing healthcare landscape.

Recommendations:

  • The MOHLTC should directly involve medical students in the consultations for HHR planning.
  • The MOHLTC should inform medical students of changes to health human resource planning and postgraduate training spot allocations in a clear and timely manner.
  • Policymakers should advocate for greater student involvement in Ontario’s HHR planning in time for the 2020 R1 Match.
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