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April 30, 2004
For immediate release

Medical Residents Day

Health and Social Services

Tuesday, April 20, 2004, was the fourth annual Medical Residents Day. This day is part of a national awareness campaign by member organizations in the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents. Prince Edward Island joined other Atlantic provinces in recognizing medical residents who work in hospitals and health centres throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Residents are doctors enrolled in postgraduate training after receiving their medical degrees. A residency is an apprenticeship, a time during which doctors take their theoretical skills and apply them, practicing their clinical skills.

Family practice residents apprentice for two years while residents in other specialities spend from four to seven years acquiring their expertise.

Medical residents spend time with preceptors – qualified doctors who mentor them. Health and Social Services Minister Chester Gillan sees medical residencies as opportunities to show what the Island has to offer.

“Encouraging residents to complete clinical rotations on Prince Edward Island provides the Island with an opportunity to have an influence on the resident’s choice of where they would like to practice medicine,” Gillan said in the Legislature earlier this month.

Dr. Peter MacKean, a family physician in Kensington, says that working with medical residents is not only beneficial for the apprentice but for the preceptor too.

“Teaching students and residents is one of the most rewarding aspects of medical practice. I have been involved with teaching medical students since 1987, and family medicine residents since 1997. Teaching helps one demonstrate pride in one’s craft, helps sustain the discipline as a whole, and aids in recruitment efforts,” notes Dr. MacKean.

The Medical Education Program administered under the Department of Health and Social Services works closely with Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax to provide training opportunities. Residents in medical schools across Canada are also welcomed by available teaching physicians.

The Island currently has one medical resident completing a three-month family medicine clinical rotation, Dr. Denisa Cepica, who is working with Dr. Randy MacKinnon and Dr. Alfred Morais at the Parkdale Medical Centre. Over the past year, eight medical residents have come to PEI for training in Family Medicine, Urology, Psychiatry, and Surgery.

Media Contact: Sara Underwood
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