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PFMPNIQ: significantly increase the number of physicians in our communities

In order to increase the number of Indigenous physicians practicing in Quebec, the four faculties of medicine, the First Nations and the Inuit have formed a partnership since 2008 as part of the Quebec First Nations and Inuit Faculties of Medicine Program (QFNIFMP). This is one of the first university programs to have adapted its admission criteria, to have developed a system of reserved places for First Nations and Inuit (FNI) and to offer internships in a First Nations and Inuit community or local organization. In addition, the QFNIFMP participates in improving the educational curriculum of the regular contingent as well as other awareness and promotion activities relating to Indigenous health targeting medical students. It also promotes the recruitment of a young succession within FNI communities.

After more than 10 years of implementation, the partners of the QFNIFMP and the funding agencies wanted to know more about the program’s impacts. Generally-speaking, the objective was to identify the aspects that are most successful and should be renewed or improved as well as the issues encountered and the improvements to be made.

In 2019, the FNQLHSSC’s research sector was therefore mandated to conduct an evaluation of the implementation of the program. Two data collection methods were used for this purpose. An online questionnaire made it possible to reach a large number of FNI and non-Indigenous students and interns as well as practitioners from the QFNIFMP. Group and individual interviews were also conducted among a variety of professionals from the Université de Sherbrooke, McGill University, Université Laval and Université de Montréal and within the FNQLHSSC. A total of 83 people were thus able to share their views on the program.

Among other things, the evaluation highlighted that promotion and recruitment activities among FNI youth can have a multiplier effect and allow some to discover new horizons that they would not otherwise have imagined. In addition, it was also mentioned that not all communities have benefited from promotion and recruitment activities and that these should also target young people living in urban areas. The evaluation also shows that, since the start of the program, more than 50 students have been admitted and that 96% of them have completed or are continuing their training. Therefore, in the near future, a significant cohort of FNI physicians will contribute to the broad goal of the program and more. Some will undoubtedly occupy positions of influence within the health and social services system as well as in schools in the province, but also within FNI communities.

The results of the evaluation can be found in the report by clicking here.