Health care system will need to accommodate changing expectations
OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Data released today from the medical
student and resident component of the 2010 National Physician Survey
(NPS) shows Canada's future physicians want to work smarter to meet the
growing and increasingly complex health care needs of Canadians.
Of the nearly 5,600 medical students and residents who responded to the
2010 NPS, 53% identified a balance between personal and professional
life as the most important factor for a satisfying practice. Although
lower than the 2007 NPS response, the same issue also topped the list
three years ago.
"With a focus on limiting duty hours, medical students and residents are
well aware of how overwork may impact patient safety as well as their
personal health and wellness," said Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti,
President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
"They have repeatedly indicated their preference for delivering health
care in a way that does not negatively impact their professional and
personal lives. Our health care system must find a solution to
accommodate these changing expectations, and in fact, would likely
"The Patient's Medical Home is a model for patient-centered care by
family physicians and other health professionals that supports the
professional-personal life balance being sought by students and
residents," says Dr. Robert Boulay, President of the College of Family
Physicians of Canada. "One of the key goals of the Patient's Medical
Home is to offer patients a broad scope of services by a team of health
care professionals, including the patient's personal family physician
working together with other physicians, nurses, etc. In addition to
improving access to care for patients, it will serve as a support to
family physicians in achieving a balance between their personal and
Future doctors expect to produce efficiencies in health care delivery by
expanding use of electronic medical records (EMRs) in their practice.
While the 2010 NPS indicated that 39 per cent of current physicians
have electronic records on a personal computer or laptop, 82 per cent
of second-year residents plan to use EMRs in their practice. This is an
increase from 75 per cent in 2007.
"As new doctors enter the work force, they bring new approaches to the
practice of medicine," said Dr. John Haggie, President of the Canadian
Medical Association. "They understand intuitively that they can provide
high quality, patient-centred care through the use of new technology
and other tools. We need to be open to changing how health care is
delivered. The impact of the new electronic tools will be particularly
evident in the rural areas."
"Resident physicians know that meeting the health care needs of
Canadians means working smarter," states Dr. Adam Kaufman, President of
the Canadian Association of Internes and Residents. "Canada's future
medical leaders are committed to ensuring that our healthcare system
provides the safest and highest quality of patient care. To do this
we need a system that provides hands-on experience with up-to-date
information and technologies, and an educational culture that supports
and promotes patient safety through optimal resident education and
training, safety, and well-being."
The NPS student and resident data indicates that ten percent of family
medicine residents plan to practice in rural areas, 4% in
remote/isolated areas, and 20% in small towns.
The NPS is Canada's largest census survey of physicians and
physicians-in-training. It is conducted jointly by the College of
Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association and the
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, with a financial
contribution from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The
data provide meaningful information on attitudes among the country's
present and future physicians toward a wide range of critical issues.
For more information and to see the NPS 2010 data and highlights of the
results, please go to www.nationalphysiciansurvey.ca.
A specialist physician analysis from the NPS research will be released
in the coming months.
SOURCE CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
1-800-387-6197 ext. 303/ 905-629-0900 ext. 303
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
1-800-668-3740 ext. 464 / 613-730-8177 ext. 464/Cell 613-614-3740
Canadian Medical Association
1-800-663-7336 ext. 1266 / 613-731-8610 ext. 1266