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Province Adds Seats for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians at Memorial University’s Medical School

Press Release

June 7, 2022

The Provincial Government has expanded the number of seats available to Newfoundland and Labrador residents in Memorial University’s Undergraduate Medical Education Program, beginning September 2023. Premier Andrew Furey made the announcement this morning at the School of Medicine where he was joined by Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and Dean of Medicine, Dr. Margaret Steele.

Five additional spaces will now be available to eligible Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, bringing the total available seats to 65. The Faculty of Medicine accepts 80 students annually into the four-year undergraduate program, including three seats, which are reserved specifically for Indigenous students.

Research shows that students who study and complete their medical education in their home province have a higher rate of staying in that province as a practicing physician. Increasing the number of reserved seats for students from Newfoundland and Labrador will provide an opportunity for more learners from this province to study medicine right here at home.

The addition of seats is the latest effort by government to recruit and retain health care professionals in the province. This includes the creation of additional seats for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Studies and Licenced Practical Nursing program; two new pilot projects to attract more medical graduates to family practice; expanded virtual care; and an Office of Health Professional Recruitment and Retention, as well as an Assistant Deputy Minister position to lead this effort.

Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine has also recently been granted two awards by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada for its efforts in graduating physicians to work in rural areas of the province – the Keith Award and the Rural Medical Education Award.

The Keith Award is presented to a Canadian post-graduate program that has excelled in producing rural doctors. It identifies the university with the largest number of graduates practicing in rural Canada for the most recent 10 years after graduation.

The Rural Medical Education Award is presented to a Canadian medical school that encourages students to pursue further training in rural medicine. It is awarded to the medical school program matching the most graduates to rural family medicine residency programs for the preceding year.


“We know that doctors from Newfoundland and Labrador who are trained here are more likely to choose to practice medicine here, in their communities, often surrounded by family and friends. These additional seats represent five new physicians per year who, we hope, will choose to live and work here at home. We are pleased to add this measure to our ongoing efforts to attract and retain doctors to address the health care professional shortfall we are experiencing at the same time as other jurisdictions across the country and around the world.”

Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“We remain committed to working with all stakeholders in our efforts to help increase the number of health care professionals in our province, as we focus on improved health outcomes. I am pleased we have been able to add medical student capacity in the undergraduate program. It is our collective goal that these extra seats will mean extra graduates who will continue their careers in the province.”

Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“Memorial’s medical school has a rich history of training physicians to meet the evolving health care needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for decades. We are pleased that additional seats will be set aside for Newfoundland and Labrador students to increase the number of locally trained physicians for the benefit of our communities.”

Vianne Timmons, PhD, OC
Memorial University

“Memorial’s Doctor of Medicine program has a proven track record in recruitment and retention of physicians to rural and underserved populations. As the only medical school in the province, we recognize the role of the medical school to work with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure we can educate competent and compassionate doctors who will be prepared to work across the province.”

Dr. Margaret Steele
Interim Provost, Vice-President (Academic)
Dean of Medicine
Memorial University


Learn more

News Release: Government and College of Family Physicians Working Together on Retention and Recruitment

News Release: Government and Nurses Collaborate to Help Address Challenges Facing the Nursing Profession

News Release: Initiatives Aim to Improve Primary Care Access in Newfoundland and Labrador

Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
[email protected]

Nancy Hollett
Health and Community Services
709-729-6554, 327-7878
[email protected]

Virginia Middleton
Senior Communications Advisor
Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University
[email protected]
2022 06 07


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