Ontario Building New Medical School at York University Focused on Primary Care Doctors

New school is one of a number of provincial initiatives that will help connect up to 98 per cent of Ontario residents to primary care

April 03, 2024

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government is providing an initial investment of $9 million through the 2024 budget, Building a Better Ontario, to begin the design and planning for York University’s new medical school in Vaughan. The new medical school will be the first in Canada that is focused on training primary care doctors and is helping fulfill Ontario’s commitment to ensure that everyone who wants to have a primary care provider can access one.

“Today’s announcement is part of our plan to connect more Ontario families to more convenient care, including primary care,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As the first medical school in Canada focused primarily on training family doctors, this new school will make an enormous impact in the lives of people in York Region and across Ontario.”

This new medical school will include up to 80 undergraduate seats and up to 102 postgraduate seats starting in September 2028, with up to 240 undergraduate seats and 293 postgraduate seats on an annual basis once operating at full capacity.

By focusing primarily on training family doctors, the York University training model will devote approximately 70 per cent of the new postgraduate training seats to primary care, when the medical school becomes operational in 2028. In addition to other historic investments to increase the number of medical school seats, expand interprofessional primary care teams and efforts to break down barriers so highly skilled internationally trained doctors can care for people in Ontario, Ministry of Health modelling shows that these initiatives will help connect up to 98 per cent of people in Ontario to primary care in the next several years.

“Our government is taking historic action to grow our health care workforce by launching the largest expansion of Ontario’s medical education system in over a decade,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our investment in York University’s new medical school is another way our government is increasing the number of doctors in our health care system to make it easier for people to connect to world class care in their community for years to come.”

Ontario is rolling out the largest expansion of medical education in over 10 years as it continues to build a stronger, more resilient health care system, especially in growing and underserved communities. The expansion includes all six medical schools currently across Ontario, as well as the new medical school at Toronto Metropolitan University when it becomes operational in 2025, adding 260 undergraduate seats and 449 postgraduate positions over the next five years. These seats are in addition to the new seats planned for York University’s new medical school.

“Our investment in York University’s new medical school will make it easier for future doctors to access the exceptional postsecondary education that Ontario is so well known for,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By helping to train more primary care physicians, we will ensure Ontario families in growing communities like York, Simcoe and Muskoka continue to have access to the care they need, closer to home.”

The 2024 Budget, Building a Better Ontario, continues to support the province’s work through the Your Health plan to build a robust health system that puts people at the centre of care, making it easier and more convenient for them to connect to care.

Quick Facts

  • Announced as part of the 2022 and 2023 Ontario Budgets, Ontario is adding 260 undergraduate medical seats and 449 postgraduate seats, starting in 2022-23, as part of the province’s largest expansion of medical education in more than 10 years.
  • These medical expansions will bring the total number of undergraduate seats and postgraduate training seats to 1,212 and 1,637 respectively, by 2028, in addition to the new seats being created at York University.
  • The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant provides full, upfront funding for tuition, books and other direct educational costs to students in return for working in the region where they studied for a term of service after graduation. The grant application for the 2024-25 academic year will open this spring for students entering the first year of an eligible nursing, paramedic or medical laboratory technologist program.