A growing number of medical students aren’t getting matched into residency programs across the country.

These are educated students eager to start their career, and without residency they can’t practice.

“We all remember the day we got into medical school and how excited we were,” says Stephanie Smith, a second year medical student. “I think if you can’t follow through with that dream it can be pretty devastating.”

But the Canadian Armed Forces believe they have a prescription for the problem.

They’re reaching out to medical students and schools, to announce they have tripled their intake to give an opportunity to learn and serve.

“I want family docs who want to deliver primary care,” explains Major Michael Strawson, flight surgeon and advisor for the medical officer training program. “I want family docs interested in emergency medicine. I want family docs interested in aviation medicine and under the sea. I’ve got a whole bunch of jobs and I need fantastic people to do them.”

Officials say there is major financial incentive to joining the program, but candidates have to pass basic training and commit to serve four years in the forces.

Medical student Stephanie Smith is enrolled in the program.

“There was the opportunity to travel and potentially do missions,” she says, “and help out in places in the world where people need the help most.”

At home, a CAF physician sees a maximum of 20 patients a day, where a civilian family doctor might attend up to forty.

They can also start their career guided by a full medical team that can help them as they pursue their life’s work.

“They want to passionately care for patients,” adds Smith.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.