Future unclear for new Quebec doctors

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Uncertain future for new Quebec doctors
WATCH ABOVE: The Quebec government’s health reforms could mean new work environments for doctors. That means that the more than 200 medical students graduating in Quebec City Friday need to be prepared for anything – Jun 17, 2016

QUEBEC CITY – For 230 medical students at Laval University, graduation has finally arrived after years of hard work — ten years in the case of Veronick Cullen.

“It’s finally here. The end, yes,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

READ MORE: New online tool aims to help Quebecers find family doctors

Now she and her classmates are doctors who will work in all regions of Quebec.

Cullen is one of the province’s newest family doctors. She doesn’t have a job yet, even though she says she’s sure she’ll find something soon. However, she — like the rest of her classmates — don’t know how new health care reforms will affect her career.

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“The anxiety is palpable,” explained Rénald Bergeron, the dean of Laval’s Faculty of Medicine. “We’re in a critical phase of the transformation and it’s been one year since the system has been changed.”

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Health Minister Gaetan Barrette’s Bill 20 aims to increase access to family doctors by creating super clinics, open longer hours. Doctors federations have expressed concern this bill will force specialists into the super clinics.

The grads hope for clarity on the situation soon.

“Actually, our minister told us that quite soon there will be some announcements concerning specialists,” said Samuel Tetrault, a critical care specialist.

Many of the graduates, like Tetrault remain optimistic.

“My family is all in Quebec. I love the health care system here, the patients are incredibly generous,” said Hussein Wissanji. “I think there’s lots of opportunities in Quebec.”

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