Saskatchewan medical school put on probation

SASKATOON — The Canadian Press

A building at the University of Saskatchewan in this undated photo. The university’s medical school has been put on probation. (David Stobbe for The Globe and Mail)

There’s bad news for the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

It has now been officially put on probation by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools.

The College of Medicine is accredited, but has been on warning of probation for almost two years.

Saskatchewan’s only medical school was found to be weak or deficient on 10 standards, such as faculty not providing timely feedback to students.

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The school had been told that insufficient progress on fixing problems could mean continued warning of probation or probation itself.

University president Ilene Busch-Vishniac says this latest development “makes it even clearer that restructuring of the College of Medicine remains a most critical priority.”

“Over the last year it has become abundantly clear to us that the problems we face in the college are structural, not a result of insufficient funding,” said Busch-Vishniac in a release.

“The College of Medicine was founded 60 years ago on a model that simply does not work for our medical school today.”

An implementation plan that addresses the structural issues, including accreditation standards, has already been developed and is set to be discussed by university council in October.

The plan outlines recruitment, hiring and compensation strategies, including bringing in more clinician scientists and biomedical scientists to kickstart research.

Other problems that have been cited at the school include grading objectives and inadequate student space for study, lounge and lockers.

In addition, student performance in national exams is at the bottom of all Canadian medical schools.

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