If you’re coming out of medical school with a large debt, where you do your residency might make a big difference.
The salaries received by medical residents varies widely across the country and it doesn’t necessarily correspond with the cost of living, for instance, residents in Manitoba can make more than their counterparts in Ontario or British Columbia.
Residency, on the job training for medical specialties, generally ranges from two years, for family medicine, to six years for residents going into more complicated specialties and sub-specialties.
Because residents in every province receive a higher salary each year, the pay gap is even greater in later years.
Currently, residents in Quebec and Saskatchewan are in the process of negotiating new contracts and are seeking higher pay. Residents in Quebec are also seeking an end to the 24-hour shifts that are currently standard across the country. Doctors working these shifts are considered “on-call” but they are required to stay in the hospital for the full 24 hours and, depending on how busy they are, may not have any chance to rest. Residents also work other, shorter, shifts.
Here’s how the pay breaks down across the country:
Newfoundland and Labrador — $42,781
Maritimes* — $51,546
Quebec — $41,355
Ontario — $51,065
Manitoba — $51,285
Saskatchewan — $48,436
Alberta — $53,25
British Columbia: $48,565
Newfoundland and Labrador — $67,223
Maritimes* — $86,252
Quebec — $64,396
Ontario — $88,188
Manitoba — $86,838
Saskatchewan — $70,225
Alberta — $92,055
British Columbia — $77,758.74
*Dalhousie University, in Halifax, is the only medical school in the Maritimes. Residents are placed at hospitals and other facilities in all three provinces with the same pay scale. Dalhousie also runs a satellite program in New Brunswick.
Source: Medical resident student associations and the Canadian Resident Matching Service