Crossing borders

- April 30, 2007

For the first time, students in New Brunswick will be able to access internal medical training from Dalhousie. An internal medicine residency training program, the first specialty medical training program in New Brunswick, will be established in Saint John this year.

The training program is a joint initiative between the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation (AHSC) and Dalhousie University. Dr. Iqbal Bata, program director of internal medicine, and Dr. Eric Grant, site director of internal medicine, worked closely with AHSC to make this happen. Under the program, trainees will come to New Brunswick for the first three years of their specialty training in internal medicine. The fourth and fifth years of their training would be completed at Dalhousie.

"Initially, the program will be predominantly based in Saint John, but the plan is to eventually use all New Brunswick regional hospitals to provide this training," said Health Minister Michael Murphy. He added that the new training program is a big improvement from the previous one, in which residents did a rotation in New Brunswick of between six and nine months.

"Dalhousie's medical school is a Maritime medical school, and this new program is indicative of our close working relationship with New Brunswick," said Dr. Martin Gardner, associate dean for postgraduate education at Dalhousie Medical School. "This important step acknowledges the growth of medical education in New Brunswick and in particular, the resources, faculty and quality of care at the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation."

Beginning this summer, the program will see two residents training in New Brunswick in each of the three study years - for a total of six residents once fully implemented in three years. To support the program, the province of New Brunswick has agreed to fund an additional post-graduate seat at Dalhousie University. The province will also pay salary costs for residents while training in New Brunswick, and for doctors who provide the training. Murphy said the new program is part of the government's efforts to improve training opportunities for physicians in New Brunswick. 


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