Half of uOttawa's 2012 MD grads choose family medicine as their specialty

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nearly fifty percent of the 155 students graduating from the MD program of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine (FoM) will be entering the discipline of family medicine and improving health care in Ottawa, following today's Ceremony of Professional Engagement and Convocation, taking place at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

According to preliminary 2012 results from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), through which Canadian medical students enter a highly competitive process for a variety of residency training disciplines across the country, the FoM not only saw a four percent increase in matches to family medicine but is now eight percent higher than the required national average of 40%.

“When people think of family medicine, they think of the traditional office practice, but it is so much more than that, because you can tailor your practice to whatever aspect of medicine you're interested in,” says graduate Austin Gagné.

Austin and his brother Owen are two of the 20 graduates who have chosen family medicine residencies in the Ottawa area. In fact, Ottawa stands to benefit from over one quarter of this year's grads, who are staying in the nation's capital to contribute to improving the health of our community.

“I think it's the most dynamic specialty in medicine, and I think the various group models that have developed here in Ontario have improved practice conditions for family doctors in the province. Personally, I've had a strong interest in global health throughout medical school, and I felt that the family medicine field would allow me to continue to pursue that interest.”

This year also marks the celebration of many firsts for the Faculty. The Class of 2012 is the first cohort to graduate having completed the revised MD curriculum, which earned the FoM its highest accreditation results ever, leading to its ranking of as one of Canada's best medical schools. In addition, the Faculty will confer its first honourary doctorate at a Convocation ceremony; the recipient, Dr. Axel Kahn, is a world-renowned cancer researcher.

Dr. Kahn's work is focused on gene control, genetic diseases, cancer and nutrition. He is the current Director of Research at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) in Paris, and was the head of INSERM's Institut Cochin from 2002 to 2008. He serves on a number of international committees, and has authored several books and nearly 500 original articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Nature, Cell and Genetics.

The University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine's (FoM) Undergraduate Medical Education Program was awarded its highest accreditation results ever in 2010, with 127 out of 131 standards met. It was accredited for a full eight years, the longest period possible.

The Faculty of Medicine is also nationally recognized as a leader in medical research. Through their intense research activities, the FoM and its affiliated research institute partners have contributed significantly to the following uOttawa milestones: second highest growth rate in overall Tri-Council Funding (all programs) since 2003; second in Canada for medical science grants (Maclean's magazine); and the third highest growth rate in Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding for universities with medical schools since 2003.

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