SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Ten medical school seats which are currently offered to New Brunswickers through Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland are moving to Saint John. This move is part of a plan to increase the number of seats for New Brunswick medical students within the province.

Beginning in the fall of 2023, the ten seats will be offered at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick on the Saint John campus of the University of New Brunswick.

“We are committed to doing whatever we can to address the labour force challenges facing our health sector,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “Retention rates for physicians trained within New Brunswick have been much better than for those studying outside the province. This strategic move will improve our chances of having newly trained physicians stay and work here.”

As a result of these changes Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick will now be able to accept 40 New Brunswick students per year into their program.

The province provides funding for 70 medical students each year and as of the fall of 2023, 64 of these students will be studying within the province. An additional six seats remain available in Quebec.

“We understand the importance of providing the opportunity to train at home to more of our future physicians,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This is a step in the right direction in terms of securing more physicians for New Brunswick. We remain committed to searching for additional opportunities to get more resources into our health sector.”

This change will result in financial savings for the province. These savings will be reinvested, along with new funds, into additional medical seats in New Brunswick.

Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick and le Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick at the Université de Moncton are working together with the provincial government to create these additional seats.

“I am excited that the government has made the decision to invest in training ten more physicians here in New Brunswick,” said Dr. Jennifer Hall, associate dean, at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. “We play an important role in developing highly trained physicians and scientists who can help address health priorities that are specific to New Brunswick. I look forward to our continued partnership with the government, Horizon Health Network, and the University of New Brunswick in Saint John that will allow us to work together for better health care for the province.”

The provincial government has funded ten medical seats per year at Memorial University since 2000, when there were no medical programs available in the province. The final intake of students was this past September. The government will ensure funding continues to allow the students already enrolled to complete their program.

These changes support the new provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action which has five action areas: access to primary health care, access to surgery, create a connected system, access to addiction and mental health services and support seniors to age in place.