Deny­ing young doc­tor’s dream is soul-crush­ing

Toronto Star - - WORLD -

Re Haunt­ing epi­taph: ‘What good is a doc­tor who can­not prac­tise?,’ June 17 This story broke my heart. The sac­ri­fices Robert Chu made to get into med­i­cal school and then the study and de­ter­mi­na­tion to grad­u­ate were mon­u­men­tal. At the fi­nal stage, eight years later and hun­dreds of thou­sands in debt, to be de­nied your dream is soul crush­ing. I would urge both sides to come up with a so­lu­tion in the new On­tario Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment, be­fore any talk of fi­nances. Dr. Doug Hep­burn, Oshawa There is a sim­ple so­lu­tion to the On­tario’s per­ceived over­sup­ply of doc­tors, which is to de­crease the num­ber of stu­dents ad­mit­ted to med­i­cal school. A stu­dent’s am­bi­tions should not be thwarted af­ter en­dur­ing the aca­demic and fi­nan­cial costs of med­i­cal school. The ma­jor­ity of suc­cess­ful med­i­cal school can­di­dates are the best of their gen­er­a­tion. The num­ber of res­i­dency po­si­tions should match the num­ber of med­i­cal stu­dents. Dr. Gail Hi­rano, Mis­sis­sauga The prov­ince in­creased med­i­cal school spots with­out in­creas­ing res­i­dency spots. Not sur­pris­ingly, 7 per cent of our grad­u­at­ing class went un­matched ini­tially. De­spite work­ing tire­lessly and ex­celling for three years in med­i­cal school, Robert was viewed as a fail­ure and a pariah by his own med­i­cal com­mu­nity. Ap­pli­ca­tions from un­matched stu­dents are read with ex­treme sus­pi­cion. Robert wrote ev­ery pro­gram that re­jected him for feed­back. Two replied. Robert’s death is no mys­tery. He was aban­doned by the very in­sti­tu­tions that in­vested in him. Lau­rence Bat­mazian, Toronto It’s a fi­asco for uni­ver­si­ties to in­crease en­rol­ment with no as­so­ci­ated in­crease in res­i­dency spots. The num­ber of res­i­dency spots needs to di­rectly cor­re­late to med­stu­dent spots. Com­pli­cat­ing the is­sue is that in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal school grad­u­ates are slowly chip­ping away at res­i­dency po­si­tions. Uni­ver­si­ties should take some re­spon­si­bil­ity for the job prospects of their grad­u­ates. Dr. Philip Kubara, Nel­son, B.C.

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