Ontario universities are helping Ontarians access care closer to home thanks to distributed medical education, says new COU report

Ontario universities’ are bringing health care closer to home thanks to distributed medical education that is training doctors in small and large communities across the province, a new Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine report has found.

The new report, Distributed Medical Education in Ontario: 2014 Report – Bringing Care Closer to Home, highlights the value of Distributed Medical Education (DME), an approach to teaching and learning that educates medical learners in a diverse range of communities and facilities where health care is provided.

About 10 years ago, the Ontario government and the Ontario Faculties of Medicine partnered together to address Ontario’s doctor shortage. The shortage was particularly acute in rural, remote and northern communities. The integration of a distributed approach to medical education led to significant change in the number of communities in Ontario participating in medical education, and allowed more Ontarians to access care closer to home.

The Distributed Medical Education in Ontario: 2014 Report – Bringing Care Closer to Home looks at the context, strategy and outcomes associated with the widespread adoption of distributed medical education at Ontario Faculties of Medicine, and features stories of the impact DME has had on patients, learners, teachers and local communities. The associated Distributed Medical Education in Ontario: Program Compendium looks at each of the unique DME programs at Ontario’s six Faculties of Medicine, and their regional and community partners and initiatives.

Quick Facts:

  • More medical students have chosen a career in rural, remote and northern medicine thanks to curriculum that exposes learners to community medical practice.
  • DME is the new norm for medical education in Ontario with more than 300 Ontario communities and thousands of community physicians now involved in educating the next generation of doctors.
  • Family medicine programs are now graduating more than 500 family physicians a year (up from 200).
  • 2.1 million Ontarians now have access to primary health care services and are no longer “unattached” patients.
  • An integrated network of medical education sites outside urban areas provides medical students and residents with the knowledge and skills they need to practise in rural communities.
  • A pipeline has been created for communities to recruit physicians who will help them meet their local health care needs today and in the future.

Read the Distributed Medical Education in Ontario: 2014 Report – Bringing Care Closer to Home.
Read the Distributed Medical Education in Ontario: Program Compendium.

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