A new provincially funded program to mentor and support physicians in the first five years of their practice will help Manitoba retain and recruit new doctors, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today.

Every Manitoban deserves quality care, close to home. To make sure that happens, we need to attract more doctors and keep doctors already in our system working here in Manitoba,” said Asagwara. This initiative will make sure all doctors new to practicing in Manitoba get the assistance and encouragement they need to thrive and provide excellent care to Manitobans. It shows the profession that we understand the demands of their job, particularly at the outset, and are here to help.”

The New to Practice Program is a new partnership between the province and Doctors Manitoba. With provincial funding, Doctors Manitoba will create support networks within the health-care system to mentor and collaborate with physicians in the first five years of their practice in Manitoba. The program’s goal is to reduce physician burnout and isolation, while also improving patient care by creating an environment where new physicians thrive as they grow their practices, noted the minister.

Doctors Manitoba will develop and administer the New to Practice Program with $300,000 in annual funding from the Manitoba government. The group will establish the program’s content together with stakeholders including established physicians, University of Manitoba staff, clinic managers, health authorities, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and other members of the health-care system. Today, Doctors Manitoba began recruiting an advisor position to lead this work.

We appreciate this new funding from the government of Manitoba to support doctors as they begin and grow their medical practices in Manitoba, an important step as we work together to address the critical physician shortage,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, president, Doctors Manitoba. For both recent Manitoba graduates or established physicians new to Manitoba, our New to Practice Program will help with establishing and maintaining a strong practice and foundation of support, with the goal of reducing burnout and isolation while improving physician recruitment and retention.”

Under the direction of the program advisor, programming, mentorship opportunities, collaborations and resources will be developed to create a supportive and welcoming environment for new doctors, noted the minister.

Practical support for new doctors includes:

  • assistance settling into a practice;
  • help building connections to the existing physician community;
  • information on successfully navigating, escalating and resolving challenges; and 
  • settlement support for physicians’ families.

The minister noted the program is intended to complement, not replace, other existing physician well-being initiatives including physician peer support, the work of the Manitoba Association for Safety in Healthcare and the new well-being portfolio led by Shared Health.

Work to improve physician retention and recruitment continues to be guided by the profession including responding to concerns about workplace culture and supports for new doctors, the minister noted. This includes the ongoing work of the task force jointly led by Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba government to reduce the administrative burdens faced by physicians.

Doctors Manitoba is the professional association with the mandate to ensure every physician has the support they need to deliver exceptional care to Manitobans.

For more information about Doctors Manitoba, visit https://​doc​tors​man​i​to​ba​.ca.

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