Are Canadian Medical Schools Graduating The Doctors Of Yesterday? Study Finds 1 In 6 Specialists Can’t Find Work

Frechette said the organization, which sets standards for physician education in the country, had been hearing anecdotes about rising numbers of unemployed doctors, so decided to assess the situation. The ensuing report, released Thursday, is based on a survey of over 4,000 newly graduated doctors and interviews with about 50 people knowledgeable about the situation deans of medical schools, hospital CEOs and the like. Were hoping that our research shows that this is not a simple issue. And that we shouldnt have any knee-jerk reactions, otherwise we will perpetuate this boom-bust cycle that weve been in. Its like Groundhog Day The report paints a grim picture but does not recommend ways to fix it; that was not the mandate. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons is convening a national summit in February to explore ideas for developing a co-ordinated approach to planning health system workforce needs, Frechette said. She noted a fix will not be easy. Were hoping that our research shows that this is not a simple issue. And that we shouldnt have any knee-jerk reactions, otherwise we will perpetuate this boom-bust cycle that weve been in. Its like Groundhog Day, she said, referring to the popular Bill Murray movie. Frechette suggested, however, that a national health systems workforce planning body would be an important start. 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.

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Australia Top Doc: Physician Assistant Use Too Risky

A plan to introduce some physician assistants to the country’s health system has Australian Medical Association president Rosanna Capolingua very upsetabout patient safety, of course. THE head of Australia’s peak medical body has criticised a plan to introduce US-style physicians’ assistants who would carry out less complex medical procedures, saying it puts patients at greater risk and could deny junior doctors training opportunities. Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson yesterday released the five sites for a pilot program to train doctors’ assistants, who would perform the procedures under the guidance of a qualified doctor. The pilot is based on a scheme developed in the US and has been trialled in countries including Canada and Britain. Australian Medical Association president Rosanna Capolingua said that, although assistants would work under a doctor’s supervision at all times, their use in surgical procedures could compromise patient safety. “The physician’s assistant understands how to do the task and they may be useful as a ‘tool’ but, for our own junior doctors, they need to have that holistic training and experience as well,” she said. “Patient safety must always be our first priority, not just the delivery of a service to a patient.” Doesn’t sound like Dr. Capolingua is going tomake a great teammate. The nurses aren’t thrilled, either. Beth Mohle from the Queensland Nurses Union said the Government should spend the money expanding the role of existing nursing staff. “They’re not actually testing physicians’ assistants against positions like nurse practitioners,” she said. “If you’re going to have a trial, you should actually at least test those positions against currently existing positions such as nurse practitioners.” Sounds like the beginning of a major turf war. Or it would be if it wasn’t all about patient safety.

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Klaus Schiller: Pioneering Physician And Gastroenterologist

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Following the Anschluss in 1938, his comfortable childhood was interrupted by enforced emigration and he was sent, with his sister, Verena, to England. Within a few days and with hardly a word of English, he found himself at boarding school in Bishop’s Stortford. He always denied that this uprooting was traumatic and agreed with his friend, the late Professor Peter Scheuer, that “the best thing that ever happened to us was to come to England.” Klaus’s parents and grandparents soon followed and he was sent to Clifton College. In 1945 he gained an Exhibition to read medicine at Queen’s College, Oxford a city that was important to him throughout his life. In 1948, he won a scholarship to the London Hospital, completing his clinical training in December 1951. He was appointed to two house officer posts at the London, and served two years national service, mostly as a medical specialist. After a clutch of junior positions elsewhere, he returned to the London as a registrar. He was appointed senior registrar at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1962 and in 1966 received his doctorate. Eager to become a consultant, he spent a happy year at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Returning to Oxford, Dr Schiller worked with his mentor and lifelong friend Dr Sidney Truelove. They undertook an in-depth survey of haematemesis and melaena, and the risky abdominal surgical interventions that were undertaken as a result.

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Gastro Nurse Specialists ‘vital’ To Hospitals

Nurse specialists are a vital part of the multidisciplinary team, said BSG president professor Chris Hawkey at the end of last month. High-quality care is built around multidisciplinary teams, and specialist nurses are a really key component of these teams, professor Hawkey told a meeting to raise awareness of gastroenterological conditions at 11 Downing Street. Specialist nurses are the interface that patients most value, and they play a predominant role in patient care. Although many hospitals do have them, we want every hospital in the UK to have a nurse specialist, he said. The specialists will be needed to play a key role in delivering six new minimum standards of care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The standards have been developed by seven stakeholder organisations including the BSG and the RCN s Crohns and Colitis special interest group. The stakeholder group wants all UK commissioners to implement the standards by October 2010. They include maintaining a patient-centred service, providing patient education and support, and delivering high-quality care to all UK patients with IBD. We want every strategic health authority to be aware of these standards, and all 161 commissioning bodies to adopt these standards of care as the norm for their local community, said professor Hawkey. The call for more specialist nurses was also backed by the National Association for Colitis and Crohns disease , which launched a campaign in 2005 to increase the number of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nurse specialists. The campaign was started after a NACC survey revealed that just 26% of UK colitis and Crohns patients had the support of an IBD nurse specialist. According to data from the UK IBD national audits, this figure increased quite dramatically to 56% in 2006, and to 62% by 2008. But this still falls short of the number of nurse specialists required to deliver effective patient care, said NACC chief executive Richard Driscoll, who also attended the Downing Street meeting. There has been real progress and real recognition of the value of the IBD nurse specialist, but we still have a long way to go, Mr Driscoll told Nursing Times.


novoGI(TM) Announces Purchase of IP and Collaboration With Leading Gastroenterologist Dr. Christopher Paul Swain

Professor Paul Swain is Professor of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Imperial College, London University, UK. Professor Swain is widely published in the area of gastroenterology, with over 180 publications on areas such as endoscopy, gastrointestinal bleeding and technical advances and devices for endoscopy. “I am thrilled to be working again with Gavriel Meron and the novoGI development team to provide a unique solution for the growing need for a simpler and safer bariatric surgical procedure,” commented Dr. Swain. “Bariatric surgery often is the best path for resolving obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, and we believe that our innovative solution may significantly improve outcomes and quality of life, thereby becoming the standard of care worldwide.” “We are delighted to be collaborating with Dr. Swain. A prototype has already been successfully tested in pre-clinical studies and we look forward to jointly developing this solution,” said Gavriel D. Meron, President and Chief Executive Officer of novoGI. “We see this agreement as another important step in expanding our offerings in line with our focus on advancing patient care and seeking better outcomes through our comprehensive approach to GI disease management.” About Dr. Christopher Paul Swain Professor Paul Swain trained in Oxford and London University and specialized in gastroenterology, doing his MD on the use of therapeutic endoscopy for the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding.Subsequent posts included a DHSS-funded Clinical Research Fellowship to study the effect of lasers in gastrointestinal hemorrhage. In 1987, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Gastroenterology at the Royal London Hospital. In 1999, he was appointed to become Professor of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy to London University.In 2003, he moved to Imperial College in London University. Professor Swain has contributed chapters to key clinical textbooks such as the Textbook of Gastroenterology (Ed: T Yamada) and Clinical Gastroenterology, Endoscopy: New Techniques in Diagnosis and Therapy (Ed: H D Allescher and M Classen). He is a named inventor of numerous issued patents of devices for flexible endoscopic gastrointestinal surgery.His work has resulted in a number of postgraduate honors, including the Medal of Padua University, the Medal of the Danish Surgical Society, the Hopkins prize of British Society of Gastroenterology on two separate occasions, the Medal of the University of Rome, the Schindler award of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He contributed to the invention and development of endoscopic sewing devices, the wireless capsule endoscope and new methods and devices for less-invasive surgery including bariatric and laparoscopic surgery. About novoGI novoGI is focused on expanding its range of device driven solutions for GI disease management through a globally branded, high quality, market driven company.

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Act, Frx: Actavis To Buy Forest Labs For Up To $25b

Actavis act stock 300x145 ACT, FRX: Actavis to Buy Forest Labs for up to $25B

The merger would create a company with forecasted revenues to be at about $15 billion by 2015 and free cash flow of over $4 billion. ACT stock is up 8% pre-market on the news. FRX stock is up 30%. The official announcement could come today. The deal would be the second largest for a U.S. publiccompany this year, afterlast weeks $45.2 billion Comcast deal with Time Warner. The price represents a premium of 25% over Forest Laboratories close on Friday of $71.39. The firms project potential operating and tax synergies of $1B, not including manufacturing or revenue synergies. Actavis CEO Paul Bisaro will lead the new firm, while Forest CEO Brent will join Actavis board. In total, three Forest directors will gain seats on Activis board. The combined company would create a vast product franchise in the areas the companies deal: gastroenterology, womens health, urology and cardiovascular therapy. The move would help both companies better position themselves in global outreach. Actavis is amid a business reorganization plan.The drugmaker is looking to segue into being a speciality pharma firm focusing on developing drugs that aid womens health including treatments for urology, gastroenterology and dermatology related ailments. Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, 2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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1 In 6 New Medical Specialists Say They Can’t Find Work

Health-care checkup: Why can’t newly graduated specialist doctors in Canada find jobs?

She is like about 31 per cent of new specialists who said they chose not to enter the job market but instead pursued more training, which they hoped would make them more employable. Herman said medical schools and the provinces and territories need to do a better job of workforce planning. “I think that the training programs aren’t in sync with the needs that are out there,” Herman said. “Long-term planning, committee planning for job availability is needed.” Steven Lewis, a health policy consultant based in Saskatchewan who was not involved in the study, thinks the situation willworsen. “I think that there is no question that … almost doubling medical school enrolments since the late 1990s combined with easier paths to licensure for international medical grads was the wrong thing to do. We didn’t think it through as a country.” Just under 20 per cent of recently certified specialists said they’d look for work outside of Canada, which could promote a “brain drain” to the U.S., the report’s authors said. Dr. Andrew Padmos, chief executive officer of the Royal College, said more research and consultation needs to be done to understand the challenge. The college would like to see a pan-Canadian think-tank to plan the health workforce. Australia, Britain and the U.S.

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Surgical team in operating room

Despite the generally accepted magic number, some doctors perform as many as 400 per year. The Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons is pushing for a policy shift that would see doctors commit to fewer surgeries and a mentorship program, but there is resistance. Why? Well, says Scully, if people are doing 350 or 400 open hearts, theyre being paid very well indeed to do that. The question is: are they prepared to back off on that kind of earning potential? Obviously, my view is a controversial one among the very busy surgeons. Many in the health field feel Canada is moving rapidly toward another brain drain, particularly with the U.S. facing a widespread shortage of nearly every kind of physician. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than it needs by 2015. American recruiters are likely to look first to Canada to help fill the gap. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has been tracking unemployment issues for the past two years and is set to release a report on the scope later this month. Preliminary research shows employment challenges in more than a dozen specialties, including neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and radiation oncology. The Canadian Association of Internes and Residents has launched a program that helps newly trained doctors find hospital positions. These measures are meant to be first steps in addressing a problem that will require further study and action. The drivers of unemployment are many, complex and not yet fully understood. Both organizations are advocating for a national health human resources strategy. Health experts say hiring highly trained young specialists to work in associate or assistant positions that dont embrace the full spectrum of their training has become an increasingly common practice across specialties, with some making as little as $70,000 to $90,000 a year.

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Medical Specialists Still Needed In Northwestern Ont.

Dr. Roger Strasser

They did not examine the supply and demand of medical specialists in specific regions like northwestern Ontario. “I think it’s important when you look at the study not to jump to conclusions,” he told CBC News, addingthe study doesn’t consider how the demand for various types of specialized medicine might change in the future. Strasser said medical specialists who have the most difficulty finding jobs are likely located in other larger urban centresin the province. Dr. Stewart Kennedy, executive vice-president of academic and medical affairs at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, agreed. Dr. Stewart Kennedy, executive vice-president of academic and medical affairs at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, says northwestern Ontario is finally gaining much-needed medical specialists. (Nicole Ireland/CBC) “Sometimes [specialists are] unable to find a position in a locality that they want,” Kennedy said. “So I think we really have to look at the distribution of physicians [geographically].” ‘Advantage’ in northwestern Ontario Kennedy said NOSMis accomplishing its goalto graduate much-needed physicians and specialists to work at the hospital and in the region. “We had challenges with human resources for a good number of years,” he said. “We have increased medical student enrolmentby … 40 or 50 per cent over the past eight years, because we’ve had such shortages,” he said. “It’s playing to our advantage in northwestern Ontario because we are able to recruit top, talented doctors [who], at one point … always wanted to stay in an academic centre in eastern Ontario.” Strasser saidthe Royal College report shows the need for better medical workforce planning at the national level to ensure doctors are trained in the specialties where there is projected demand,and available to work in the geographic areas where they are needed.

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Some fertility MDs lack proper training, specialists say

“This is about physicians training physicians to provide the highest quality of care that we have available,” said Dr. Roger Pierson, professor and director of research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. One of the biggest concerns involves the use of injectable fertility drugs known as gonadotropins. The drugs stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce multiple eggs. However, in some cases, the woman “over responds,” producing so many egg follicles that the ovaries grow big, fat and swollen. Fluid can leak into the chest and abdomen. In rare cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can lead to blood clots, kidney failure or death. Gonadotropins are frequently used in combination with intrauterine insemination, or IUI, where sperm is injected directly into a woman’s uterus; experts say the procedure is being widely practised outside fertility clinics. Last year, Ontario alone paid for 22,806 insemination cycles performed on 8,725 women. “It’s in a load of different places,” said Toronto fertility specialist Dr. Carl Laskin, a past president of the CFAS. “(Gonadotropin IUI) is easy to do,” Laskin said. “The problem is it’s also easy to do unsafely and easy to do wrong.” The risk of a multiple birth – twins or more – can be as high as 30 per cent. Blood tests and ultrasounds are required to measure hormone levels and determine how many eggs are maturing. If the woman produces too many eggs, the cycle should be cancelled. “IVF clinics have the option to convert those patients to IVF,” said Dr.

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‘Surplus’ of medical specialists in Canada no surprise


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. When those Ministers of Health agreed to fund an approximate doubling of medical school places, what did they think would happen when those students started graduating? Was there a plan in place to ensure that the complementary resources that are required for their practices would also be funded and in place? In a word, no. For example, operating room capacity or at least working capacity, meaning an available operating suite plus the funds, supplies and complementary staff to operate it has not kept pace. To make matters worse, the capacity is not used efficiently, and some of those who control that capacity are not all that keen to share with their younger brethren. The consequences for our future many more new physicians looking for practice opportunities each year than old physicians retiring are as predictable as what we are seeing in the Royal College findings today. Ministries of Health need to engage now in two separate but related conversations one about policies designed to take advantage of all these new highly skilled and motivated physicians available to Canadians, and a second about how to avoid repeating old policy mistakes down the road.