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Shortage of Doctors in Ontario

BY: Edward Valerio | Category: Careers | Submitted: 2011-01-12 23:24:12
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Article Summary: "Fall in Ontario is the time when doctors and soon to be practicing physicians are being hired through job fairs..."

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The hiring of doctors normally happens around fall in Ontario when many institutions try to answer their shortage problem.

A lot of communities result to job fairs when hiring more physicians to solve their lack of staff. Plenty of job fairs happens in November and are normally held at Queen's University, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. Many medical schools should do whatever they can to help communities find the doctors they are looking for says the director of postgraduate education in the University of Ontario's Department of Family Medicine. Many of the communities represented at the Ottawa fair already have a full complement of doctors but fear for the future.

According to a recent survey at the University of Toronto, this indicated that 40% of new family physicians who graduated from that school intend to head south. There was much concern coming from Deep River, a small town in the upper Ottawa Valley. Many are worried about how their 18 bed hospital will start operations. According to the past president of the Ontario Medical Association many students from the University of Toronto are planning to move to the US which does not leave much for these communities.

He mentions as well that less than 5% of Ottawa graduates move to the US. Furthermore, he thinks that geographical billing restrictions are a huge pressure. New doctors who set up in any of 4 major centers can be penalized up to 30% of the normal billing fee under rules. He teaches his students to look at all the options he says.

Students will want to get more training in areas such as obstetrics, mental health, geriatrics, emergency medicine and anesthesia now that they know what options they have after school. More residents and students attending the Ottawa fair said they want to practice in the rural areas compared to the urban ones. Physicians normally have wider coverage when they work outside the city. Each time something new comes up it is always referred to someone else in the city.

Communities will normally offer special incentives to get doctors to work for them. Chances are some hospitals will give free secretarial help and office space for a year. Offering to knit sweaters for new doctors are recruiters. Just like the US they have something to offer as well. There should be a rule on when they can leave as the government is paying for their education.

Burn out is prevented in Marathon, a community of 5500 on the north shore of Lake Superior because doctors are offered a balanced lifestyle as an incentive. More hours need to be logged by a doctor in a small town but they also get a good lifestyle. In this case the community of Marathon still has openings for 2 or 3 more doctors so that existing staff can take sabbatical leaves and work fewer hours.

Physicians are also needed in Renfrew, a town of 9000 located 100 km west of Ottawa where they offer a practice and office space. The people going south will come back eventually. They are just typically scared of the health care environment.

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