Volume 9, Number 1 August 10, 2001

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Medicine quota hike approved by Council

At its June 21 meeting, University Council approved an increase in the admission quota to the College of Medicine to 60 per year, up five from the previous quota of 55 new students.

Council did so in an effort to address a looming need for new doctors to replace oncoming retirees, and on the suggestion from Michael Atkinson, Vice-President Academic & Provost, that the provincial government has indicated it is committed to providing the required $50,000 per additional student.

Former Dean of Medicine David Popkin said there has been a problem getting enough instructors for entry level courses for student-doctors, so "the first use of that $250,000 additional will be to hire three new staff."

Economics Prof. Glen Beck told fellow councillors he understands that $50,000 per student is a bare minimum funding. so is this being done so that "the new students will be just as starved for resources as the others?"

Popkin told Council the retention rate for Saskatchewan-trained doctors has improved dramatically in recent years.

It has risen from 40 per cent of U of S trained doctors retained in the province in 1993-94, to a retention rate of 86 per cent in the past three years. He said this is twice as many family medicin doctors being retained now.

Popkin added that of the 1,500 doctors in Saskatchewan today, about 600 are U of S graduates. Almost all specialists in the province are graduates of the U of S.

The former dean said the College of Medicine had already accepted 55 students for fall 2001 and had additional applicants on a waiting list, waiting for funding to allow the admission number to rise to 60 students.

The quota increase as passed by Council will go to the October 2001 meeting of Senate for final approval.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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