Positive signals - Improved CaRMS numbers and a commitment from the Premier

March 19, 2024

Dr. Paul Parks, AMA President

Dear Members,

The first round of Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) numbers was released earlier today, and Alberta has fewer unmatched family medicine residency positions this year than last year. This is good news. I was pleased to see that across the country, the numbers are looking more positive. Visit our website for additional context and an at-a-glance breakdown of the match numbers.

This good news is likely due to students being more hopeful about family medicine as they’ve seen provincial governments across the country taking concrete steps to stabilize and support primary care. Thankfully, our government has signaled they will do the same by moving to quickly implement the Physician Comprehensive Care Model, which is designed to support longitudinal family and rural medicine practices – and to help attract the new grads we desperately need.

In fact, this past weekend, at the AMA’s Spring Representative Forum, the Health Minister told RF delegates that she is expecting a report on the new model by March 31, and the Premier stated that she’s committed to implementing the model within weeks – not months – of receiving that report. This statement was reassuring. We look forward to seeing rapid progress and stand ready to take whatever action is required to implement the new model. I am thankful that our Minister and Premier are openly committed to getting this new funding model implemented as soon as possible, because as I have said on many occasions, promises may buy hope, but our physicians cannot pay their leases and staff members with them.

The RF also had an opportunity to discuss the parallel crisis happening in our acute care system, and learn about the AMA’s proposal to solve some of the biggest issues we are facing in our hospitals and community specialist practices. Problems with access to comprehensive primary care are spilling over to acute care, and these problems are not new. They’ve been escalating and compounding over the last several years and decades, and they now represent a very complex challenge that is impacting Albertans’ access to timely and safe care.

Members will see the AMA advocating for action on multiple levels – both in the public sphere, as well as behind the scenes with government and AHS directly. Please continue to stay informed and be ready to lend your voice and support as we shed light on the needs and issues that matter most to you as physicians and to the patients you serve.


Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

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