Thinking about applying to med school in Canada? Your chances just got a little worse. This fall, fewer spots will be open to medical students at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary. Last month, there was talk about possibly losing 50 spots out of the planned 190 at uAlberta’s med school and 40 out of the 180 at uCalgary.
Canada needs more doctors, and losing med school spots won’t exactly help the situation. However, due to budget cuts, uCalgary and uAlberta might not have a choice. Rithesh Ram, a second-year med student and president of the Calgary Medical Students’ Association, along with 100 other med students, signed a petition asking for more provincial funding. “We have a decreased physician workforce as it is. And it will continue to worsen. It’s a national problem, but it’s even worse in Alberta,” Ram said in an interview with the Calgary Herald.
According to an article from the Edmonton Journal, Advanced Education and Technology Minister Doug Horner said the universities wouldn’t be allowed to cut seats without his permission. “In order for them to pull back on the number of positions we’ve already paid for, they’d have to get our approval,” he said, claiming that it’s “premature” to talk about cutting seats.
A month later, things are looking a little better. With additional funding from the province, fewer seats will be cut from both schools, with uAlberta accepting 167 students compared to last September’s 188, and uCalgary accepting 170 compared to last year’s 180. “So we’re not quite what we were last year, but we’re pretty close,” said Dr. Tom Feasby, dean of uCalgary’s faculty of medicine, in the Calgary Herald.
Of course, it’s still a step in the wrong direction. Cutting 31 med school seats means 31 less future doctors.