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New doctors to begin pracising in Canora and Preeceville

Access to physician services continues to improve for people all across Saskatchewan.

            Access to physician services continues to improve for people all across Saskatchewan. A new family doctor will be practising in Canora, thanks to the most recent results of the January 2016 Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) intake, said a release from Sunrise Health Region.

            Dr. Seema Ahmed will join many other International Medical Graduate (IMG) colleagues already practising in Saskatchewan, the release said. SIPPA is a unique made-in-Saskatchewan program that assesses IMGs on their education and clinical ability before allowing them to practise medicine.

Since the program began in 2011, more than 190 new family physicians have completed the assessment and are currently practising in the province.

“People in communities across the province are benefitting from better access to doctors as a result of successes in the SIPPA program,” said Greg Ottenbreit, Rural and Remote Health Minister. “This program, along with other recruitment incentives initiated by our government, has increased the number of doctors practising in the province by nearly 650 more than there were nine years ago.”

In addition, a total of 10 new international medical graduates from the May intake of SIPPA are now completing their field assessments, it said. If successful, these family physicians will begin practising across the province this summer. This includes a physician recruited to Preeceville who, if successful, will begin practising this fall.

“The program is moving in a positive direction and I truly believe that we are helping to create a sustainable physician workforce that we can be proud of for the people of Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Jon Witt, SIPPA Medical Director for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “We continue to improve the program, with recent additions such as a simulation session for candidates that’s run by STARS and an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support course.”

“Saskdocs works closely with each one of the SIPPA candidates from each iteration from the day they arrive to when they begin to practise medicine,” said Dr. Dennis Kendel, the saskdocs CEO. “It is great to see them make it through to the next stage of their career and reassuring to know that they have made it through this rigorous program and are delivering quality, team-based care to the people of this province.”

In addition to attracting IMGs, Saskatchewan is making progress in keeping more locally-trained family medicine graduates in the province, it said. The retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan has jumped by 17 per cent over the past three years, from 58 per cent to 75 per cent.

Physicians interested in working in Saskatchewan are encouraged to contact saskdocs directly at