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Canadian Paediatric Neurology Workforce Survey and Consensus Statement

  • Asif Doja (a1), Serena L Orr (a1), Hugh J McMillan (a1), Adam Kirton (a2), Paula Brna (a3), Michael Esser (a2), Richard Tang-Wai (a4), Philippe Major (a5), Chantal Poulin (a6), Narayan Prasad (a7), Kathryn Selby (a8), Shelly K. Weiss (a9), E. Ann Yeh (a9) and David JA Callen (a10)...

Abstract

Background: Little knowledge exists on the availability of academic and community paediatric neurology positions. This knowledge is crucial for making workforce decisions. Our study aimed to: 1) obtain information regarding the availability of positions for paediatric neurologists in academic centres; 2) survey paediatric neurology trainees regarding their perceptions of employment issues and career plans; 3) survey practicing community paediatric neurologists 4) convene a group of paediatric neurologists to develop consensus regarding how to address these workforce issues. Methods: Surveys addressing workforce issues regarding paediatric neurology in Canada were sent to: 1) all paediatric neurology program directors in Canada (n=9) who then solicited information from division heads and from paediatric neurologists in surrounding areas; 2) paediatric neurology trainees in Canada (n=57) and; 3) community paediatric neurologists (n=27). A meeting was held with relevant stakeholders to develop a consensus on how to approach employment issues. Results: The response rate was 100% from program directors, 57.9% from residents and 44% from community paediatric neurologists. We found that the number of projected positions in academic paediatric neurology is fewer than the number of paediatric neurologists that are being trained over the next five to ten years, despite a clinical need for paediatric neurologists. Paediatric neurology residents are concerned about job availability and desire more career counselling. Conclusions: There is a current and projected clinical demand for paediatric neurologists despite a lack of academic positions. Training programs should focus on community neurology as a viable career option.

Enquête canadienne sur les effectifs en neurologie pédiatrique et déclaration de consensus. Contexte: Il existe peu de connaissances sur la disponibilité de postes universitaires et de postes en pratique dans la communauté en neurologie pédiatrique. Il est crucial de connaître la disponibilité de tels postes pour prendre des décisions au sujet des effectifs dans ce domaine. Les buts de notre étude étaient: 1) d’obtenir de l’information sur la disponibilité de postes en milieu universitaire en neurologie pédiatrique; 2) de connaître les perceptions des résidents en neurologie pédiatrique concernant les questions d’emploi et de plan de carrière; 3) de faire un tour d’horizon auprès des neurologues pédiatriques en pratique communautaire; 4) de convoquer des groupes de neurologues pédiatriques responsables de la formation dans ce domaine afin de développer un consensus concernant la façon de résoudre les problèmes de main d’œuvre. Méthode: Un questionnaire sur les problèmes de main d’œuvre en neurologie pédiatrique au Canada a été envoyé: 1) à tous les directeurs de programme de neurologie pédiatrique du Canada (n=9) qui ont alors demandé de l’information aux chefs de division et aux neurologues pédiatriques des environs ; 2) aux résidents en neurologie pédiatrique au Canada (n=57) et ; 3) aux neurologues pédiatriques en pratique dans la communauté (n=27). Nous avons tenu une réunion avec les individus concernés afin de développer un consensus sur la façon d’aborder les problèmes d’emploi. Résultats: Le taux de réponse des directeurs de programme a été de 100%, de 57,9% pour les résidents et de 44% pour les neurologues pédiatriques en pratique dans la communauté. Le nombre de postes universitaires projetés en neurologie pédiatrique est inférieur au nombre de neurologues pédiatriques qui sont ou seront en formation dans les cinq à dix prochaines années, malgré qu’il existe un besoin de neurologues pédiatriques en clinique. Les résidents en neurologie pédiatrique sont inquiets de la disponibilité de postes et désirent que l’orientation professionnelle soit améliorée. Conclusions: Il existe actuellement, ce qui sera également le cas dans le futur, une pénurie de neurologues pédiatriques malgré le manque de postes en milieu universitaire. Les programmes de formation devraient faire la promotion de la pratique de la neurologie dans la communauté comme étant un choix de carrière valable.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Asif Doja, Division of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L1. Email: adoja@cheo.on.ca

References

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1. Keene, DL, Humphreys, P. Inventory of pediatric neurology “manpower” in Canada. Can J Neurol Sci [Internet]. 2005 Aug [cited 2014 Nov 4];32(3):306–10.
2. Doja, A. Pediatric neurology training in Canada: current status and future directions. Can J Neurol Sci [Internet]. 2012 May [cited 2014 Nov 4];39(3):369–77.
3. Piedboeuf, B, Jones, S, Orrbine, E, Filler, G. Are the career choices of paediatric residents meeting the needs of academic centres in Canada? Paediatr Child Health [Internet]. 2012 Jan [cited 2014 Nov 4];17(1):17–20.
4. Kirby S, Weston LE, Barton JJS, et al. Report of the Canadian Neurological Society Manpower Survey. Can J Neurol Sci. Epub 2015 Nov 24.
5. Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census [Internet].
6. Werner, RM, Polsky, D. Comparing the supply of pediatric subspecialists and child neurologists. J Pediatr [Internet]. Elsevier; 2005 Jan 1 [cited 2015 Jun 23];146(1):20–5.
7. Polsky, D, Weiner, J, Bale, JF, Ashwal, S, Painter, MJ. Specialty care by child neurologists: a workforce analysis. Neurology [Internet]. 2005 Mar 22;64(6):942–8.

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Supplementary materials

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Canadian Paediatric Neurology Workforce Survey and Consensus Statement

  • Asif Doja (a1), Serena L Orr (a1), Hugh J McMillan (a1), Adam Kirton (a2), Paula Brna (a3), Michael Esser (a2), Richard Tang-Wai (a4), Philippe Major (a5), Chantal Poulin (a6), Narayan Prasad (a7), Kathryn Selby (a8), Shelly K. Weiss (a9), E. Ann Yeh (a9) and David JA Callen (a10)...

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