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New $100,000 award encourages medical students to choose family medicine

Posted by Jane Gaffney on October 2, 2023 in News

A $1.2 million gift from the Walker Wood Foundation will create significant opportunities for Dalhousie medical students who pursue a residency in rural family medicine.

Starting in 2024, two graduating MD students will each receive the James Walker Wood, MD, Award in Medicine valued at $100,000—the largest ever individual prize for MD graduates at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine. To qualify, recipients must demonstrate financial need and be entering a Family Medicine Residency at Dalhousie, specifically serving a rural or remote communities in the Maritimes.

“We are very grateful to the Walker Wood Foundation for establishing this truly exceptional award,” says Dr. David Anderson, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. “It will make an enormous difference in the lives of the award recipients and shine a very positive light on the practice of family medicine, which will ultimately have a beneficial impact on the health of the communities we serve—especially rural communities.”
Financial concerns are a key factor deterring students from choosing family medicine. These include significant debt load, the costs associated with establishing a family medicine practice, and the lower salary family physicians earn relative to other medical specialties. The James Walker Wood Award will help address these financial considerations.

“Being a family physician is an exciting, dynamic and personally the most rewarding career I could have chosen,” says Dr. Katherine Stringer, Head of the Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine. “We are so thankful for this very generous gift – it will be a tremendous help in our efforts to promote family medicine as a sought-after career choice. The Walker Wood Foundation’s support reinforces the value our discipline brings to Maritime communities.”