Ontario Helping More Students Become Doctors in Durham Region

Historic number of undergraduate and postgraduate training seats now prioritized for Ontario residents

Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop makes an announcement (image source: X / @JillDunlop1)

DURHAM REGION — The Ontario government is expanding the number of undergraduate seats and postgraduate medical school positions to ensure there are enough doctors to meet the health care needs of Durham Region’s growing population. Prioritized for Ontario residents, new medical seats will be allocated to Queen’s University, and many of the new seats will be designated to Queen’s University’s collaboration with Lakeridge Health to help address the shortage of family doctors.

“Medical education expansion is a key part of our government’s plan to connect Durham Region’s growing population to health care closer to home,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “We’re training the next generation of Ontario doctors right here at home. Expanding the number of medical seats that prioritize Ontarians will make it easier for the homegrown doctors of tomorrow to receive training and provide world-class health care where it is needed most.”

Queen’s University will be allocated 14 new undergraduate seats and 22 new postgraduate medical training positions, bringing the total number of spots at the university to 134 undergraduate and 178 postgraduate seats by 2028.

The new positions are part of the government’s provincewide plan – announced in Budget 2023 – to create another 100 undergraduate medical school seats starting in 2023 and another 154 postgraduate medical training positions beginning in 2024 and will help more Ontario students become doctors in their home province.

This expansion is part of the government’s Your Health plan, which includes initiatives to hire more health care workers.

“Increasing the number of doctors and other health care workers trained in Ontario will enhance access to care for communities throughout the province,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Whether these students go on to work in primary care, a hospital or in the community, this investment is another part of our plan to grow our health workforce and help connect Ontarians to convenient care for years to come.”

“Our government is adding more doctors in Durham Region so that we can connect more people in the community to the care they need where and when they need it,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Our government has the right plan to build a strong Ontario, supporting people young and old today while laying a strong foundation for future generations.”

The Ontario government’s 2023 budget, Building a Strong Ontario, is helping to drive economic growth, attract jobs and investments, and build key infrastructure projects faster. The government’s plan is also training skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs, keeping costs down for those that need it the most, and providing better health and public services for Ontario families.

Quick Facts

  • This collaboration between Queen’s University and Lakeridge Health is a first-in-Canada medical education model designed to focus on training family physicians.
  • This new investment in Budget 2023 builds on the expansion of 160 undergraduate and 295 postgraduate medical training seats announced last year, the largest expansion of Ontario’s medical school system in over a decade. The government is investing $100.8 million over three years to support the rollout of those seats.
  • Five of Ontario’s six existing medical schools across Ontario will be allocated 14 new undergraduate seats and 22 new postgraduate medical training positions including Queen’s University, McMaster University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. Western University has been allocated 16 new undergraduate seats and 22 new postgraduate medical training positions.
  • 60 per cent of the new postgraduate training seats will be in primary care and 40 per cent will be in specialty care.
  • The new medical expansion will bring the total number of undergraduate seats and postgraduate training seats to 1,212 and 1,637 respectively, by 2028.


“Communities across Ontario are facing a shortage of doctors, and Queen’s University applauds the government’s investments to create new spaces in the province’s medical schools. Queen’s is pleased to be a partner in training more family physicians and other specialists to help provide the care that Ontarians need.”

– Dr. Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University

“We’re grateful for the continued support of our government partners. At Lakeridge Health, we’re committed to creating a strong, integrated system of care through partnerships. And we’re proud to collaborate with Queen’s University on the recent launch of the innovative Queen’s-Lakeridge Health MD Family Medicine Program that’s focused on training the next generation of primary care physicians. We recognize that access to family doctors is at the core of a healthy population. Today’s announcement goes a long way to addressing the chronic physician shortage, while fostering healthy communities in Central East Ontario.”

– Cordelia Clarke Julien
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Lakeridge Health

“Ontario is responding to the doctor shortage crisis by investing in the people, and the training, who will provide the care we need. Queen’s new medical school seats, including those located at Lakeridge Health for our new MD Family Medicine Program starting this fall, will allow us to significantly increase the number of our graduates making a difference for patients in communities, clinics and hospitals.”

– Dr. Jane Philpott
Dean, Queen’s Health Sciences

SOURCE Province of Ontario

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