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.

Bench @ 2:19 pm
Filed under: Economy andnews andSchool
Resident Doctors Lose Faith in Sask Party

Posted on Saturday 26 February 2011

News in the Star Phoenix that resident physicians have pulled their support from the “Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan”.  Not sure who the government is planning to target with their $3.5 million a year advertising budget then.  Not sure why the Sask Party government cannot see that their negative treatment of resident doctors, with no contract, and pay among the lowest in Canada, is a big part of the reason local medical graduates leave Saskatchewan for residency.

The Sask Party is obviously fouling up local medical graduate retention.  In 2010, over half the medical students graduating from the University of Saskatchewan left, the worst rate of retention in Canada.   Many blamed lack of a contract, and trying to pay off overwhelming debt on $10 an hour in Saskatchewan, while Manitoba, with a lower cost of living, pays substantially more (as does BC, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick).  Now, news that Saskatchewan’s resident doctors don’t support its retention strategy?  Citing lack of a plan after 2 years.  Citing a $2 an hour pay raise for 300 or so residents, that would cost less than the annual $3.5 million ad budget the Sask Party has to advertise to new doctors to stay…

The Sask Party’s actions seem down right hypocritical.  To state that “retention of local medical gradutes is a priority” but to refuse to pay them at the Canadian average, to refuse to pay them back pay, and to have more money for commercials, than to bump their 300 or so debt ridden residents above minimum wage… no wonder medical students would rather leave, than do residency in Saskatchewan!

And let’s not forget that Saskatoon is now the “most expensive city on the prairies” to live…

At least the media is finally holding the Sask Party to account for their hypocritical stance on physician recruitment and retention

Star Phoenix Editorial

Star Phoenix Article on Withdrawal of Support

Global TV News Article on Resident Awareness Day, and McMorris Cancelling

The worst part?  Don McMorris got away with blaming it on the U of S!  Too bad for him he’s finally being taken to task by the media, for neglecting and mistreating this large group of young doctors, 300 doctors who would stay in Saskatchewan, save for their disdain for the Sask Party and the treatment they’ve received while putting in long shifts to help the citizens of Saskatchewan.

Bench @ 5:38 pm
Filed under: Misc andnews
Sask Loses Over Half its New Doctors

Posted on Thursday 20 January 2011

In 2010, Saskatchewan lost over half of its local medical graduates, 33 of 59 left the province, the worst retention rate in Canada!

Saskatchewan loses more of its local medical graduates than any other province, leading to over 1/3 of its residency spots being left vacant.  This may be in part to Saskatchewan paying its resident physicians the third lowest in the country, ahead of only Quebec and Newfoundland.  This despite the Sask Party government’s stated goal to “recruit and retain its local medical graduates”.  In fact, the government of Saskatchewan refused to offer anything to its resident physicians for 23 months, and when it did, it was a “final” offer, with no retroactivity for graduates of the past 23 months (when the government refused to negotiate).  This final offer, would Saskatchewan residents the 4 th lowest paid, below the Canadian average for resident docs.  In fact, this offer put them ahead of only BC, Newfoundland and Quebec, and still well under the Canadian average.

Now, it seems, if the government of Saskatchewan was serious about keeping local doctors, they could at least afford to pay them the Canadian average.  After all, starting at about $10 an hour for their 80 hour weeks, its not like these resident docs are that highly paid, in fact, the resident docs are the lowest paid employee in the hospital (per hour), below even the Starbuck’s employees.

I see two possibilities,

1. Saskatchewan isn’t really “booming” and the government is just hype

2. The Saskatchewan Party is all about good sound bites, when it comes to recruitment and retention, but really doesn’t care about training local doctors.  Pretty telling as to why Saskatchewan has the fewest doctors per capita in all of Canada…

Solution?  Pay resident docs, all 300 of them, enough that medical students want to stay here to be resident doctors.  After all, Saskatchewan says they are “booming”.  Surely the government can afford to match Manitoba, New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia? If not Alberta and Ontario?  ALL of which pay more than the government’s most generous offer to its residents!  Otherwise, why wouldn’t they leave to make $7,000 more annually in Manitoba and $12, 000 more annually in Alberta?  Especially when the provincial government is bragging about retention efforts, but refuses to talk to resident docs for nearly 2 years, and even then, refuses to offer them the average Canadian wage, or match the Maritimes!

Bench @ 4:52 pm
Filed under: Economy andMisc andnews
Saskatchewan economy below average

Posted on Friday 5 November 2010

Saskatchewan’s economy shrunk 3.9% in 2009 – substantially worse than a 2.5% contraction nationally. Manitoba on the other hand broke even.  In fact, Alberta and Newfoundland were the only 2 provinces to perform worse than Saskatchewan.

Not that bad… but weren’t all the local media types, and politicians, claiming Saskatchewan would continue to “lead” Canada in growth?  Looks like below average 2009, to follow up a worst in west 2007 when it was also predicted to lead Canada in GDP growth, and worst in all of Canada 2006… in fact, the only recent year Saskatchewan’s economy grew and exceeded the national average was 2008 – the one year Saskatchewan actually “led Canada” in economic growth.  Some boom.  Some leading economy.  It lasted one year.  Then back to below average in 2009.  Not to mention Manitoba continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in Canada… Maniboom?

Bench @ 11:05 pm
Filed under: Economy andhousing
New tower for Regina’s skyline

Posted on Saturday 29 May 2010

Looks like the Plains is getting an upgrade!

Bench @ 4:37 pm
Filed under: Parties
Box Wine Party

Posted on Thursday 6 May 2010

Box Wine Party Friday May 7
Old Folk’s Party room

Bench @ 2:51 am
Filed under: Parties

Posted on Saturday 13 February 2010

For medal counts, events day by day

For BC tourism info

Bench @ 9:56 pm
Filed under: Parties

Posted on Thursday 28 January 2010

Late for anyone being too worried about it, but thought an interesting link.  Evidence based information on H1N1 and the vaccine.

Bench @ 5:54 pm
Filed under: Parties
Saskatoon remains “Seriously Unaffordable”

Posted on Tuesday 26 January 2010

Saskatoon remains “seriously unaffordable” according to ” the 6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey” 2010.  Affordability is based on a multiplier, that is the years of the median income used to pay for the median priced house. “historically…. median house prices being generally 3.0 or less times median household incomes”.  Saskatoon currently stands at 4.4 years of median income (down from 4.6 last year) enough to keep it “seriously unaffordable”.  Here’s how many years income it costs to buy the median house elsewhere.

Least Affordable

Vancouver 9.3 years income

Kelowna 5.9 years income

Toronto 5.2 years income

Montreal 4.9 years income

Dublin 4.7 years income

Calgary 4.5 years income

Saskatoon 4.4 years income

Edmonton 4.1 years income

Ottawa, Denver, Washington DC 3.8 years income

Kingston, Tuscon Arizona!! Richmond Virginia, Spokane WA 3.7 years income 

3.7 years median income = National Canadian Average

Halifax, Quebec City, Madison Wisconsin 3.6 years income

Regina 3.5 years income

Chicago 3.4 years income

Winnipeg 3.3 years income

Boise Idaho 3.0 years income

St. John NB, Minneapolis 2.8 years income

Green Bay, Kansas City 2.6 years income

Moncton 2.5 years income

Thunder Bay, Indianapolis 2.2 years income

Most Affordable Bit long, but interesting read, surprising some of the cities significantly cheaper than Saskatoon

Basically, save for Vancouver, Saskatoon is nearly as expensive as other most expensive markets in Canada, and in Saskatoon, it takes 0.7 years more income than the national median to buy a house, or 19% more than average, once income is accounted for.  Makes the current local housing market seem unsustainable as the rest of Canada emerges from a recession – and Saskatoon continues to lay off, with anticipated “near term” job losses, and of course that large provincial deficit.

Bench @ 7:14 pm
Filed under: Economy andhousing andnews
Fiacco charges for mayoral debate

Posted on Wednesday 21 October 2009

Well not quite, but the only debate all 3 candidates will attend is a $45 a plate Chamber of Commerce dinner (only $25 for Chamber members). This VIP event does little for everyday Regina residents.

Fiacco has stated he is too busy to attend a free debate. Guess his schedule is jam packed campaigning. Too bad he forgot about the average Reginan.

Not a bad idea though, Fiacco has some small to moderate scandals and broken promises, a high approval rating, and no namish competition. Why give them the opportunity and publicity of a debate??

Still, you’d think voters would be at least a little critical that Fiacco isn’t going to even ONE free and accessible debate. Says a lot about what he stands for doesn’t it?

Bench @ 11:24 pm
Filed under: Parties