Cypress Health Region gains another doctor through SIPPA

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Saskatchewan residents are benefitting from better access to physician services. Another family physician is practicing in Cypress Health Region thanks to the most recent intake of the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA).

Dr. Loura Michael-Shehato is a successful graduate of the May 2013 SIPPA class and is practicing in Swift Current, one of 91 new doctors practicing family medicine in Saskatchewan since SIPPA’s inception in 2011. SIPPA assesses International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on their medical education and clinical ability before allowing them to practice medicine in the province. The program runs three times a year (January, May and September) and can assess up to 90 physicians annually.

“Our government has introduced a range of physician recruitment initiatives, and we’re pleased that over 300 more doctors have come to Saskatchewan in the past six years,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Randy Weekes said. “Recruitment of internationally trained doctors is an important part of stabilizing our physician workforce. I congratulate those who have passed their SIPPA assessment and are now providing care to Saskatchewan residents.”

“More doctors are hearing about SIPPA, which allows IMGs to apply for licensure here in Saskatchewan,” said Ed Mantler, saskdocs CEO. “It is encouraging to increasingly see more IMGs currently living within Canada applying. Our agency has been working hard at reaching out to those individuals within Canada to tell them about the opportunities that await them here.”

“SIPPA is a made-in-Saskatchewan solution, and it is working. We are delighted by the success of our candidates in their clinical field assessments. We will continue to work in partnership with saskdocs and our provincial government to ensure continued success for SIPPA and the IMGs who now have the opportunity to live and work in Saskatchewan” said Dr. Penny Davis, Medical Director of SIPPA for the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

A list of the communities and health regions where SIPPA graduates are practising is provided below. The September 2013 SIPPA intake is now underway, and an additional 25 physicians will be moving onto the clinical field assessment phase. These candidates were warmly welcomed by representatives of each health region and saskdocs staff when they arrived in Saskatoon earlier this month. Each candidate must now successfully complete SIPPA’s requirements with final results being known in January 2014.

In addition to IMGs, saskdocs continues to reach out to Canadian Medical Graduates here in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada so they too can take advantage of the opportunities this province has available.

saskdocs continues to recruit physicians to the province in collaboration with the health regions through: direct recruitment initiatives; establishing relationships with medical students and residents; advertising locally, nationally and internationally; and attending career fairs at home and out of province.

Family physician IMGs seeking more information on SIPPA and the opportunities that are currently available are encouraged to contact saskdocs at info@saskdocs.ca or call toll-free (in North America) 1-888-415-3627 or 306-933-5000.

Since its inception in 2011, SIPPA has resulted in a total of 91 new doctors practising family medicine in Saskatchewan. Nineteen physicians, part of the most recent SIPPA intake, passed the May assessment and are now practising in communities across the province.

Since Jan. 2011, there have been four SIPPA Physicians placements in the Cypress Health Region, two in Swift Current and one in both Leader and Shaunavon. Other health region to receive placements over the past two and a half years are: Prairie North (16), Kelsey Trail (14), Saskatoon (10), Sunrise (10), Prince Albert (8), Sun Country (7), Regina Qu'Appelle (7), Five Hills (7), Heartland (6), Cypress (4), and Northern Medical Services (2).

Organizations: Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Swift Current, Canada North America

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