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School of Medicine helps improve access to primary health care

By Communications Staff

Ontario’s medical schools including Queen’s School of Medicine have transformed family medicine in the province, says a new report from the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

[Family medicine]A resident in Queen's Belleville-Quinte Family Medicine Program examines a young child.

The Family Medicine Expansion Report, produced by the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM), highlights the results of a decade-long effort by Ontario’s medical schools and the provincial government to deal with a shortage of family doctors.

Some of the key findings are:

• Ontario’s family medicine programs graduate more than 500 family doctors per year, up from just over 200 per year a decade ago
• More medical students are choosing a career in family medicine because of investments to enhance medical school curriculum
• New partnerships mean more than 155 communities across Ontario have recruited new graduates
• 2.1 million more Ontarians now have access to primary health care
• Many communities have donated generously to support family medicine education infrastructure, saving the government millions of dollars

“This is a good news story,” says Dr. Glenn Brown, Head of Queen’s Department of Family Medicine. “As a result of strategic and collaborative actions with government, we were able to graduate 1,900 more doctors in Ontario in the last decade. The primary care reform has facilitated family doctors working within team environments to ensure millions of Ontarians have access to comprehensive primary care.”