New SFU medical school names dean, aims for first classes by 2026

Click to play video: 'SFU medical school receives more support from B.C. government'
SFU medical school receives more support from B.C. government
After years of planning and delays, the new Simon Fraser University medical school in Surrey is one step closer to reality. Keith Baldrey reports on the funding announcement made by David Eby.

Students at British Columbia’s first new medical school in decades could be taking their seats within two years.

Premier David Eby confirmed that timeline in an announcement on the planned Simon Fraser University School of Medicine, Tuesday.

“We’re training a new generation of doctors with a focus on family medicine to provide the services we need in our communities,” Eby said.

“This investment in the first entirely new medical school in Western Canada in 55 years will mean more family doctors graduating each year to provide care for people.”

Click to play video: 'New SFU medical school attempts to address family doctor shortage'
New SFU medical school attempts to address family doctor shortage

The new school will offer a three-year competency-based curriculum model and will operate on an interim basis out of SFU’s Surrey campus and a nearby building.

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B.C.’s 2024 budget includes $33.7 million in capital funding to upgrade the interim space, along with $27 million in operational funding. The province has already spent $14 million on startup planning.

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Simon Fraser University’s Board of Governors formally approved a new school of medicine in May.

The province also named the school’s founding dean on Tuesday. The school will be led by David J. Price, a medical doctor with a decade of experience of family medicine in Vancouver and who has served in faculty and leadership positions at McMaster University’s department of medicine since 2000.

Click to play video: 'New medical school at Surrey’s SFU campus to begin classes in 2026'
New medical school at Surrey’s SFU campus to begin classes in 2026

The school is working towards candidacy status with the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, with the goal of preliminary accreditation by the fall of 2025.

If that timeline is achieved, it hopes to see its first classes sit by the summer of 2026.

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A new SFU medical school was one of the BC NDP’s key 2020 election promises.

At the time, the party pledged to have the school’s first classes begin in 2023-2024, but revealed in 2022 that the project would be delayed.

The new timeline would see the first doctors entering the workforce around 2030.

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