Canada to Host World’s Medical Specialists
Once you consider this fact, the startle factor disappears. Canada now has at least 85 per cent more new physicians ready to enter practice each year, on average, than physicians retiring. And this is before considering those Canadians who have gone to medical schools abroad and then returned hoping to practice in Canada, or the influx of medical graduates from other countries. Their numbers have also increased dramatically over the past decade, and there is considerable pressure, particularly from Canadians who have gone abroad for training (currently about 3,500, with more joining every year) and organizations representing them, to increase numbers even further. It is not that the one in six implies that Canada now has an overall surplus of specialists, any more than the widespread claims of shortage in the mid-1990s meant we then had an overall shortage of physicians. Both then, and now, we have, rather, an inability or unwillingness as a country to develop plans and policies designed to train and deploy physicians in a sensible manner. The report was, however, correct in noting that there is no quick fix here. The Royal Colleges plan to convene a meeting early next year to discuss a nationally coordinated approach to health system workforce planning may be a useful start. It is difficult to imagine the recommendations that might emerge from such a meeting being worse than the current uncoordinated mess. At present, policy decisions, or often the lack thereof, are failing to meet the needs of new trainees or of patients. For example, there are no national (and few provincial) mechanisms in place to channel new graduates into the specialties where they are likely to be most needed rather than into the specialties most needed by teaching hospitals or most favoured by students. And despite the fact that we live in a hyper-active era of tweets and blogs in which the new generation seems to be constantly connected, there is no structured electronic meeting place for job hunters and job seekers. New graduates are somehow failing to figure out where the jobs are (and there are, in fact, plenty of communities desperately seeking specialists). In some cases, at least, the new specialists are simply the victims of the completely predictable fallout from that earlier medical school expansion.
The beautiful city of Vancouver, B.C. will welcome the world’s dermatology community as it hosts the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology in 2015. The Canadian Dermatology Association is delighted by the announcement that delegates at the 22nd World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) in Seoul voted to see the largest conference of dermatologic specialists come to Canada. Other locations that were in the running to the host the 23rd WCD included Rome, Vienna, Istanbul and Bangalore. “The Vancouver Bid Committee has worked tirelessly over the last three years attending countless dermatology meetings and strengthening international relationships in order to put a face to the Canadian bid,” says Dr Ian Landells, CDA President. The theme for the Vancouver WCD will be A Global Celebration of Dermatology and will mark the first time the conference has ever been held in Canada. To encourage participation from dermatologists around the globe, the Committee established a comprehensive scholarship program targeted at dermatologists and trainees from developing countries who might otherwise be unable to attend. “Vancouver is a dynamic, multicultural city in a spectacular natural environment and we’re honoured our colleagues around the world elected to use it as the setting for the 2015 World Congress of Dermatology,” says Dr Jerry Shapiro, Vancouver Bid Committee President. Canada’s dermatologists and their supporters will be taking time to celebrate this well-earned victory at the WCD Gala in Seoul before returning home to begin planning for the 2015 WCD. About CDA The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the health of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthy skin, hair and nails. For further information:
New study shows 1 in 6 newly graduated medical specialists can’t find work
Australia, Britain and the U.S. all have such an entity. The report pointed to a number of factors that have contributed to the oversupply of specialists. Poor stock market returns in recent years have meant that some older doctors most of whom must finance their own pension plans have delayed retirement. And there has been a realignment or rationalization of tasks in health care, with nurses and physician assistants taking on responsibilities that were once left to doctors, freeing them up to do some tasks that used to fall to specialists. That effect, which Lewis called sensible, will only accelerate as less invasive treatments are brought on line. For instance, angioplasty opening blocked cardiac arteries with balloons and stents has replaced many open heart surgeries to bypass blocked arteries. Lewis suggested the cycle of training specialists which typically takes about nine years is out of sync with the cycle of assessing future medical system requirements. Forecasting health human resource needs more than three or four or five years out is a fools game, because medical science changes, health needs can change, technology can change and so on. But Frechette said there are some low hanging fruit problems that should be relatively easy to address. For instance, her study noted there are jobs going for the asking. And yet while it seems inconceivable in the era of Craigslist and LinkedIn, doctors are having a hard time finding these help wanted ads. Our research did discover that there are a lot of people who cant find jobs, including orthopedic surgeons who would gladly go to where the jobs are, but they dont know where they are, she said. Lewis said there are some other adjustments the system should consider. One is shortening the period of time it takes to train a specialist, which would allow planners to adjust the course more quickly if it appeared that a glut of doctors was forming.
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