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Health region targets medical bursaries

Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) has changed its medical bursary policy.

Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) has changed its medical bursary policy.

This fall, the Region will target its generous medical bursaries to third and fourth year medical students in the family practice stream, and first and second year residents in family medicine.

They will be offered up to $100,000 in exchange for four years of service. Smaller amounts are available in exchange for fewer years of service.

"We need family physicians, now and into the future and we see this as a good way to ensure we have the doctors we need when we need them," said Human Resources Vice-president Don Ehman.

The Region announced the policy to a group of medical students at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon this week.

"We've been seriously recruiting for the past five years and realized we need to change our focus," said Ehman. "We need to be more successful in our search, and quicker. It can take up to 18 months to get a foreign-trained physician through the immigration process and into the area."

About six communities in SCHR are short of doctors right now.

Ehman said one of the things the Region will look for among bursary applicants will be rural backgrounds and a desire to work in a small community for the long term, not just for a few years.

"Students who come from the South East of the province and are familiar with living here, and are convinced they want to come back here to practice, will be the first on our list to receive a bursary," he said.

For information about bursaries in SCHR, contact Mark Arthur, SCHR recruitment director.

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