Since the launch of the Physician Resource Planning Committee, the MSA has sought student feedback in consulting members through town halls, MSA Council meetings, in-person, phone, and email outreach.
In December 2016, our first round of consultation was held on the priorities and principles that students felt should guide the physician resource planning process. A summary was presented at the January PRPC meeting, and the pdf may be downloaded here.
Key points from the consultation:
- Clear communication and transparency should be prioritized throughout the consultation process and upon implementation of the policy.
- Efforts should be made to develop a long-term strategy and minimize uncertainty amongst students at the outset of their career.
- The physician resource plan should be evidence based, with data shared openly and transparently with stakeholders.
- Efforts should be made to best achieve a balance between social responsibility and physician autonomy.
- The physician resource plan should aim for equity among members of the profession, including new graduates and experienced physicians.
- Sustainable medical school education and recruitment strategies addressing areas of greatest need should be included in the long-term physician resource plan.
In March and April 2017, the MSA conducted a second round of consultation, asking students what decision making factors guide their career choices, and what points along the trainee timeline they potential interventions could address physician distribution to underserved areas, and how they would like to stay engaged and updated as the plan develops. The draft summary was presented to the PRPC in late April, and may be downloaded here.
The top decision making factors identified by medical students were the following:
- Proximity to partner and family
- Flexibility in working hours and conditions, availability of supports such as time off
- Autonomy in choosing location, preferred size of community
- Job prospects in their chosen field
Students identified potential interventions at each stage of medical training that could help address Alberta’s areas of greatest need. Students emphasized the importance of early communication on underserved areas, job availability statistics by specialty and geography, and anticipated changes in residency positions or practice conditions.
In May, the MSA submitted feedback on the government’s proposed draft regulatory framework, and highlighted areas of concern or impact on students. As the plan continues to develop, we are committed to further garnering feedback and bringing student input to the PRPC.