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Report of the Canadian Neurological Society Manpower Survey 2012

  • Sarah Kirby (a1), Lyle E. Weston (a2), Jason J.S. Barton (a3), Lynda Buske (a4) and Tara S. Chauhan (a5)...

Abstract

Background: The Canadian Neurological Society commissioned a manpower survey in 2012 to assess Canadian neurological manpower and resources. Methods: Surveys were sent electronically to all Canadian neurologists with available email addresses. Responses were analysed for effects of physician gender, age, geographic location (eastern or western Canada) or type of practice (academic, community). Questions focused on work patterns, neurologic conditions treated, access to or performance of procedures, and service and manpower issues. Results: A total of 694 of 854 neurologists in Canada were surveyed and 219 (32%) responded. Respondents were 70% male with mean age of 50 years. Neurologists worked an average of 57 hours/week and saw a mean of 40 patients per week. There were significant differences in number of patients seen, types of practice, and areas of neurological specialization between community and academic neurologists. Fifty percent of neurologists report shortages of neurologists in their community, particularly of general adult neurologists. Wait times for neurological services exceeded international standards for consultations and also were longer than Canadian averages for other specialists. More community (18%) than academic (5%) neurologists planned to retire within the next 5 years. Conclusions: The demand for neurological services continues to outstrip resources despite the increased number of neurologists. Impending retirement of community neurologists will exacerbate manpower issues unless adequate numbers of trainees choose general neurologic practice in the community as a career.

Rapport de l’enquête de la Société canadienne de neurologie sur la main-d’œuvre en 2012. Contexte: La Société canadienne de neurologie a mené une enquête sur la main-d’œuvre en 2012 afin de déterminer quels sont les effectifs et les ressources en neurologie au Canada. Méthode: Une enquête a été effectuée par courriel auprès de tous les neurologues canadiens dont l’adresse courriel était disponible. Les réponses ont été analysées afin d’examiner les effets du sexe, de l’âge, du lieu géographique (région de l’est ou de l’ouest du Canada) et du type de pratique (en milieu universitaire ou communautaire). Les questions ciblaient l’organisation du travail, les maladies neurologiques prises en charge, l’accès à des examens ou à des interventions ou leur exécution et les problèmes de service et de main-d’œuvre. Résultats: L’enquête a été effectuée au Canada auprès de 854 neurologues et 694 y ont répondu. Soixante-dix pour cent étaient des hommes et l’âge moyen des répondants était de 50 ans. Les neurologues travaillaient en moyenne 57 heures et voyaient en moyenne 40 patients par semaine. Il existait des différences significatives dans le nombre de patients qu’ils voyaient, les types de pratique et les domaines de spécialisation en neurologie entre les neurologues du milieu universitaire et ceux du milieu communautaire. Cinquante pour cent des neurologues rapportaient qu’il existait une pénurie de neurologues dans leur milieu, particulièrement de neurologues généralistes traitant des adultes. Le temps d’attente pour être vu par un neurologue dépassait les normes internationales pour les consultations et était également plus long que la moyenne canadienne dans les autres spécialités. Un plus grand nombre de neurologues exerçant dans la communauté (18%) que dans le milieu universitaire (5%) prévoyaient prendre leur retraite dans les 5 prochaines années. Conclusions: La demande de services en neurologie continue de dépasser les ressources malgré l’augmentation du nombre de neurologues. La retraite prochaine de neurologues exerçant dans la communauté aggravera les problèmes de main-d’œuvre, à moins qu’un nombre adéquat de résidants ne choisisse comme carrière la pratique de la neurologie générale en milieu communautaire.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Sarah Kirby, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, 1796 Summer St., Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3A7. Email: sarah.kirby@dal.ca

References

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