Medical students go unmatched despite doctor shortage
Getting into medical school in one thing, getting a residency placement is another.
This week, medical school graduates were learning their fate across the country, seeing if they were “matched” to a placement through the Canadian Resident Matching Service.
“All but three of Dal’s graduating medical students this year have matched and so will enter residency programs next. So that’s a very good year,” said Dr. Andrew Warren, Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education at Dalhousie.
The Maritimes’ only medical school graduates about 108 students from its Halifax and Saint John campuses.
Three unmatched students is better than other parts of the country. Last year, 149 students in total went unmatched across the country.
Going unmatched can make you feel lost, says Andrew Borodovski.
The Saint John native found himself unmatched last year, after four years at Dal. He then took what’s known as Med 5, another year at Dalhousie, adding more research and clinical work to his resume.
“On my second time around, I matched to pediatrics in Newfoundland. I’ll be going there and that’s what I’ve kind of been dreaming of since I got into medical school.”
Dr. Warren says Med 5 has had a 100 per cent match success rate.
Many wonder why, with the ongoing doctor shortage, medical students wouldn’t get placements.
In March, 3,398 people added their names to a Nova Scotia doctor waitlist, bringing the total to 45,555 – or five per cent of the population.
“The number of physicians we need to replace perhaps a 60-year-old physician retiring maybe more than just one. So there’s net need that keeps increasing and probably will increase,” says Doctors NS president, Dr. Manoj Vohra
Borodovski would like the chance to help fill that gap.
“I’ve really enjoyed growing up in Saint John, living in Saint John, so I’m really close to the Maritimes,” he said. “I like the people here, I like the feel here, so I think that as long as my career permits, I’d really like to come back.”
The goal is to have the newly trained doctors return to the Maritimes, but they have to make a match first.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown