Mayors invited to look at creating resident opportunities

More than 500 men and women from B.C. are studying to be physicians in Australia and other English-speaking countries

Mayor John Harwood will accept an invitation to attend a meeting of B.C. mayors with Dr. Moira Stilwell, MLA for Vancouver-Langara. Purpose of the meeting will be to scope out practical steps to create more residence opportunities for medical students in B.C.

First, however, he will meet with local medical staff to ensure there is the capacity here to host a medical resident.

Harwood added that he has met with several Canadians who are studying medicine in Australia and who would be interested in coming to Clearwater for their residencies.

In a letter to the mayors of B.C., Stilwell pointed out that more than 500 men and women from this province are studying to be physicians in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and other English-speaking countries.

The challenge they face is finding a B.C. residency position after they graduate.

Stilwell noted that at the same time, mayors in this province face the challenge of finding doctors to serve the needs of their communities.

All medical school graduates and immigrant physicians must complete a Canadian residency to become licensed.

Residencies vary from two years for a family physician to several years for surgeons or specialists.

The Vancouver MLA and physician said her goal is to increase the number of training residency positions across the province.

“Some of your colleagues have told me they are ready to invest financial resources in creating more residencies,” Stilwell wrote. “Physicians and health authority leaders have told me they are ready to move on creating more residencies. Together we can make this happen!”