Innovative programming will increase diagnostic imaging capacity

OTTAWA, April 3, 2023 – Recently the government of Ontario invested more than $20 million in 27 new MRI (magnetic imaging resonance) machines in hospitals and clinics across Ontario, however there are not enough MRI technologists to operate the MRI machines currently in use.

To help increase health system capacity and reduce dangerously long wait times, The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is currently delivering an expedited eight-month MRI post-certification program and has also created a new, full-time program that will get more MRI technologists into the system faster. Even before the pandemic, Ontario residents were waiting on average two months longer than recommended for an MRI test, which creates dire consequences for patients who need cancer screening or ongoing disease treatment. Waitlists have only increased since that time, and continue to increase as the population ages and requires more diagnostic imaging services.

Michener’s current post-certification programs are for practicing health professionals wishing to transition to MRI. But given the labour shortages across the health sector, Michener saw the need to create a program that increases the supply of MRI technologists directly without poaching them from other areas of imaging. The new direct-entry MRI program is designed to do just that.

The new program is intended for those wishing to enter the MRI field directly out of high school or some post-secondary education, and will take its first cohort in January 2024.

“Michener has a long history of innovative programming to prepare graduates for jobs in health care, and we continue that tradition by creating programs that meet current and anticipated serious staffing shortages in our health care system” says Harvey Weingarten, Principal of The Michener Institute of Education at UHN.

“The Michener Institute is taking the bold step of re-envisioning the way MRI training and education is carried out, creating the pathway for new trainees to enter the marketplace and significantly augmenting the existing workforce. It’s truly a first in Ontario,” said Catharine Wang, Vice-President of Clinical Operations and Diagnostic Partnerships, at University Health Network.

Michener is uniquely qualified to fulfil this need, as the only postsecondary institution in Canada with programs exclusively in the applied health sciences and consistently superior graduate employment, and employer and graduate satisfaction rates. Michener’s programming is inextricably and intimately linked to the needs of the health care system, as the programs are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, embedded within the University Health Network and multiple other hospital and clinical settings, and informed by the labour market and health human resource needs of the province and country.

Admission requirements and other information about the program is available here.

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About The Michener Institute of Education at UHN 
In 1958, Dr. Diana Schatz seized an opportunity to provide practical healthcare education and founded Canada’s first Laboratory Technologist program, which launched The Michener Institute. It was ahead of its time then and Michener has stayed ahead of the times ever since.​

​Michener’s focus is solely on healthcare. Michener’s specialized programs and unique relationship within the University Health Network help fill key niches and gaps in the system that are not addressed by any other institution. This dedicated and clinically integrated approach makes Michener an essential component to building a stronger healthcare system.

Michener is not just educators, students or graduates. Without Michener, medical diagnoses, open heart surgeries, cancer treatments and patient care would not be possible.  At Michener we make healthcare happen.

Contact information 
Jacqueline Waldorf, Director of Communications and Marketing
The Michener Institute of Education at UHN