Fifteen new doctors are practising in Saskatchewan, thanks to the most recent results of the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program.
Since the program began in 2011, close to 180 new family physicians have completed the assessment and are currently practising in the province.
SIPPA is a made-in-Saskatchewan program that assesses International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on their medical education and clinical ability before allowing them to practise medicine in the province.
“We welcome these new doctors and their families to our growing province,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said. “SIPPA is one of many ways we’re ensuring Saskatchewan residents get better access to physician care. In total, there are more than 400 more doctors practising in the province than there were eight years ago.”
“The SIPPA program is really about addressing the needs of Saskatchewan patients, and our IMG graduates are building their family medicine practices in rural communities across the province,” SIPPA Medical Director for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan Dr. Jon Witt said. “The College of Medicine is pleased to continue our partnership with these communities, saskdocs, and the provincial government to create opportunities for IMGs to practise medicine in Saskatchewan.”
In addition, a total of 11 new IMGs from the May intake are now completing their clinical field assessments. If successful, these family physicians will begin practising across the province this summer.
“Collectively, we are making great strides at retaining our own, University of Saskatchewan trained medical graduates whom I think are increasingly realizing the benefits of practising medicine as teams with doctors like the 15 that just graduated from SIPPA,” saskdocs CEO Dr. Dennis Kendel said. “This collaborative approach to delivering care to the people of Saskatchewan is strengthened with the arrival of these new doctors in many communities throughout the province.”
In addition to attracting IMGs, Saskatchewan is making progress keeping more locally- trained family medicine graduates in the province. The retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan has jumped by 17 per cent over the past two years – from 58 per cent to 75 per cent.