Dalhousie Medical School is ready to welcome 16 additional undergraduate medical students over the next year, earmarking the positions specifically for individuals from Nova Scotia.
Guests packed into the atrium of the Life Sciences Research Institute building as the Honourable Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness, welcomed everyone before introducing the Premier of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Stephen McNeil, to announce the province's new investment. The seats are specifically for students from rural areas and for those with African Nova Scotian and Indigenous backgrounds.
“Today, I am thrilled to announce that we will be adding 16 additional seats to the medical school,” said the Premier (pictured). “This is exciting news for our province. It is where we believe we will get the best results of retaining those students in our province by ensuring that our medical school reflects who we are.
“This announcement will build on what Dalhousie has been doing, continuing to make sure that the institution reflects the population of Nova Scotia.”
Four of the 16 students will start their studies in the 2019/20 academic year, with the remaining 12 joining the medical school the following year. The investment comes at a time when access to family physicians is top of mind for many Nova Scotians, and the addition of 16 undergraduate medical school seats over the next year is a big step in addressing those needs.
“This is really exciting news for the university and the province,” said Dr. Teri Balser, interim Dalhousie president. “Dalhousie is fully committed to providing quality health care to communities across Nova Scotia. This investment will allow us to do even more to improve the health of our province’s population.”
The government is investing $300,000 this year to add the new seats. The annual investment will increase to $4.8 million by the 2023-24 academic year.
Dr. David Anderson addressing the crowd (Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia)
“I would like to thank the Government of Nova Scotia for their support and confidence in Dalhousie Medical School to train the physicians of today and tomorrow for our region,” said Dr. David Anderson, dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “We are very excited by this opportunity and we look forward to adding 16 gifted students to our medical school community.”
Also on hand for the announcement was Dalhousie Medical Students’ Society President, Freddy Lee (pictured), who provided a medical student's perspective to the increased capacity of the medical school.
“During my brief time as a medical student I have encountered passionate instructors dedicated to providing an excellent medical education, as well as ambitious and driven students who are enthusiastic about becoming excellent doctors,” said Lee. “There is no doubt that adding more opportunities for students to become doctors in Nova Scotia is positive news.”
With this expansion of 16 medical seats, Dalhousie Medical School is committed that their students in Nova Scotia will reflect the population balance between urban students in the Halifax region with those from communities around the province. With a focus on diversity and equity, community representation will lead to improved and more inclusive health care for all.
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