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. 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. If your whole life is going to be doing hip and knee replacements, I think one can question whether it should take nine years of training, he said.
Demand high but medical specialists not finding work in Canada
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:
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Canada to Host World’s Medical Specialists
The oncologists are not alone. Medical organizations say physicians in a half-dozen or more specialties are facing unemployment or underemployment, despite the countrys continuing shortage of doctors and long wait lists for many medical services. Its really frustrating, said Dr. Shaun Loewen, 36, who recently finished his five-year residency in radiation oncology. I want to start working and treating patients. Thats what the public has paid me to do and thats what I want to do. Unfortunatley, if I cant find those opportunities in Canada, Ill have to look elsewhere. Some of those stymied in their job search are trained in areas like oncology and orthopedic surgery where governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to expand services and reduce patient delays. But while provincial governments have paid to train more specialists in those high-demand areas, hospitals and health regions often lack the money to hire them once they hit the job market, experts say. Others argue there is a disconnect between the divvying up at medical schools of specialty training positions, called residencies, and the real-world patient demand for the graduates various services. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons which oversees and sets standards for medical specialties has already catalogued a list of high-unemployment specialties. It includes not only oncology and orthopedics but cardiac surgery, nephrology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology the ear, nose and throat field and public health and preventive medicine. We thought, Wow, this is a really surprising list, said Danielle Frechette, the colleges health-policy director.