Saskatchewan gets D in retention

Posted on Wednesday 9 March 2011

For 2011, Saskatchewan is again losing almost half of its newly graduated medical doctors

The government of Saskatchewan is touting the 2011 CaRMS match as a record, but their claims are misleading.  Of 72 graduates from Saskatchewan, 42 matched to Saskatchewan to start residency next year.  By our calculations, that’s 58% retention of local medical graduates.  Granted, that’s an improvement from last year’s 45% retention, but will likely still leave Saskatchewan last in Canada at keeping its new doctors here for residency training.

Some other numbers:

79 of 107 spots were filled in the first round, that’s 74% of spots in Saskatchewan were filled by some one who wanted to be here at all, most residents would rank their top 5 to 10 choices for the “first round”.  That’s well below the Canadian Average of filling 90% of spots in the “first round” of CaRMS.  In 2010, Manitoba matched 97% of their spots!  Tops in Canada, while Saskatchewan did the worst.  At 74% 2011 may not see Saskatchewan do the worst at filling residency spots, but given a historical 90% national average, Saskatchewan will likely again do the well below the Canadian average at recruitment into resident doctor positions, and very well may be worst in Canada again.

So while the government brags about “record number of residencies fill” that is the total, as they offered more spots, largely because they’ve been increasing enrollment at medical school.  A closer look, shows that 42 of 72 graduating local medical students chose the U of S among their top choices, 58%, likely again, the worst rate of local medical graduate retention in Canada.  Last time we checked, 58% is a D.  So not sure why the Sask Party is so proud of their D.

Looks like Don McMorris is failing at his attempts to retain local medical graduates.  The Sask Party doesn’t seem to realize that treating resident physicians with respect, and paying the 343 or so of them the “Canadian Competitive Average” is a lot cheaper than building a huge new medical school, predicted to cost between $200 and $300 million, and only retaining 58% of graduates, in a good year.  If Manitoba can fill 97% of their residency spots, why can Saskatchewan in a “record” year only fill 74%?

Saskatchewan is not just getting out done by Alberta and BC and Ontario in resident compensation and retention, it’s getting schooled by Manitoba, and the Maritimes!

For the record, a starting resident makes $48,000 a year in Saskatchewan, for an average of about 80 hours a week.

5 Comments for 'Saskatchewan gets D in retention'

    March 10, 2011 | 5:31 pm

    CaRMS First Round Match Data for 2011

    Percentage Unmatched Spots
    Saskatchewan 27% unmatched

    Canadian Ave 10% unmatched

    U of A 11.6%
    Manitoba 4.1%
    U of C 3.3%

    So, Saskatchewan has almost three times as many vacant residency spots as the Canadian average? Almost 10 times more than Calgary!? Sure, they will fill these spots with International Medical Graduates in the “second” (choice) round, but don’t the people of Saskatchewan want locally trained doctors? Instead of more foreign trained doctors, many who are very good, but who come from third world countries, where they don’t know much about heart disease, and stroke, and obesity, because no one lives long enough?
    As well, the person most likely to stay after residency, is some one from Saskatchewan, not some one who is only here to become qualified, before moving on to BC.

    Saskatchewan should be able to achieve the “average”
    Especially when Alberta and Manitoba, with similar demographics, economies and culture seem to be able to be much more attractive than average to resident doctors.

    March 11, 2011 | 12:44 pm

    Apparently the Sask Party and McMorris have 40% over 2 years so they can pay their CEO $400,000 a year, but can’t pay their 300 resident doctors above minimum wage? You wonder why we leave when we’re done? Think its being screwed around with by the provincial government, that says the province is doing well, and recruiting local grads is a priority, but can’t pay resident doctors the same as BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Halifax?

    March 11, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    When is the Sask Party going to figure out they are the one’s chasing us away from Saskatchewan?

    $400,000 for Davies? I should have went into Admin! Had a good time in undergrad, no 90% average, no MCAT required! Went and got a masters in public health, and at 24, settled into some nice middle management job in the health region, full pension and benefits, then after 10 years, when all my buddies were done residency, I could become a VP of something, out earn a family doctor, and work 8 to 5 pm plus overtime for meetings, and when my buddies got successful, I could have become a 40 something CEO, who blogs at work, and has never actually been seen in a hospital!

    Don McMorris has messed up health spending priorities, when he can give his CEO’s 40% over 2 years, but can’t give us 15% to bump us past Manitoba and the Maritimes. Newsflash bozo, filling 3/4s of residency spots is not good! Even if it’s better than 65% last year! Wonder if you treating us like garbage is part of that?

    March 14, 2011 | 12:31 am

    CaRMS 2011 Match Results as per Dr. Alika Lafontaine
    5 year losing streak continues

    March 15, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    Check out the link to CTV news story from March 14, 2011.
    Shows an exchange between the NDP and Health MInister Don McMorris
    The PAIRS response at the end is really good

    Starts at about 6 minutes in, great for any JURSI’s, Residents or just some one who likes seeing a minister put their foot in their mouth!

Leave a comment



Information for comment users
Line and paragraph breaks are implemented automatically. Your e-mail address is never displayed. Please consider what you're posting.

Use the buttons below to customise your comment.

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI