SFU new medical school in near future

SFU provides update on coming medical building

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By Shashi Goel

The creation of British Columbia’s first new medical school in 50 years received an injection of $4.9 million, Premier David Eby announced Monday.

The school, to be established at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, was first promised two years ago in the provincial election. The interim funding will go to support the development of medical school and hiring the interim dean Dr. Roger Strasser.

Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, said “we are taking real action to solve the healthcare challenge here in B.C.”

The SFU medical school will accommodate the growing demand of physicians in B.C. and the next generations of doctors, according to Kang.

What the future will bring

SFU is planning its first intake of students in the new medical school in 2026. But for the near future, SFU will be focusing on admitting new students with no prior medical education.

“Our focus would be on recruiting undergraduate students into undergraduate programs, so we will not be focusing initially on education for foreign credentialed physicians,” SFU President Joy Johnson said.

Although it will take time to affect the current healthcare crises, SFU is taking its first few steps to improve public health in the coming years.

“We are ready for the future, and we are working hard, and we are working with the province,” Johnson said.

Creating waves

In addition to the new SFU medical school, the province is expanding UBC’s existing medical school to train more physicians. This includes 602 new nursing seats and 322 allied health seats, including paramedics, dietitians and physiotherapists added to the public post-secondary institutions in B.C., according to Kang. The goal is to increase the number of seats for international medical doctors from 32 to 96 in the existing “practice ready assessment” program.

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