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Medical program a go for 2010

- June 4, 2008

Recent Dal grad Amy Hughes is a member of the implementation committee for the Dalhousie medical education program in Saint John. READ: Class of 2008. (Nick Pearce Photo)

A site has been secured to deliver the proposed English-language medical education program in Saint John, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty announced yesterday. The Dalhousie University program will be delivered on the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Saint John campus in the building currently housing Saint John College.

"As a result of this development, I am pleased to announce that the Government of New Brunswick will sign the tripartite agreement with Dalhousie University and UNB to bring English-language medical education to the province," Mr. Doherty said. "Our government is committed to improving primary health care in New Brunswick, and training physicians in this province will help address this goal. This English-language program is going to be an ideal complement to the current French-language medical undergraduate program in place with the Université de Sherbrooke at the Université de Moncton."

The agreement will enable Dalhousie University to deliver its four-year undergraduate medical program beginning in September 2010. Dalhousie will supply and deliver the curriculum, while UNB Saint John will provide services such as student support and library services.

"This has been an exceptional example of commitment and partnership," said Harold Cook, dean of medicine at Dalhousie University. "Over the last 10 months, all partners have been engaged in a collaborative process that ensures a top-quality medical education program in New Brunswick. We are very excited about this new program moving forward, because it will mean that more physicians will be trained in New Brunswick, for New Brunswick."

Mr. Doherty also announced the Government of New Brunswick will invest $622,000 towards development of the medical education program and recruitment of staff to prepare for the first students in the fall of 2010.

"This agreement is a solid example of regional co-operation among universities, the provincial government and the community, with the goal of delivering the best possible outcomes for education, physician recruitment and the people of New Brunswick," said John McLaughlin, president of UNB. "We look forward to working closely with our partners to move the health agenda forward in New Brunswick."

"I want to commend Dr. Cook, Dr. McLaughlin and Dalhousie president Dr. Tom Travis on their valuable collaboration, as well as the hard-working members of the departmental committees who helped us reach this final agreement," Mr. Doherty said. "Numerous business and community leaders from around the province also deserve praise. This has truly been a team effort in every sense of the word. It is exciting news for future anglophone medical undergrad students who have dreamed of the opportunity to be trained here in New Brunswick. By recruiting and training doctors here at home, we will be in a better position to achieve our goal of achieving self-sufficiency by 2026."

A formal signing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 10, in Saint John.


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