What's Wrong with Healthcare?

Thinking inside and outside of the healthcare box. After 41 years of family practice, what's happened to Canada's healthcare system?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Where have all the family doctors gone

Has anyone seen a family doctor recently? They seem to have become a vanishing species. Strange how when it is reported that some farmer is plowing up a field that has some species of rare mouse in it, environmentalists will come out in opposition and headlines occur in national newspapers. In the May 09th edition of the Calgary Herald an article appears in section B------Medical grads shun family practice. It goes on to say that of 104 medical school graduates from the Calgary Medical school only 20% are choosing family medicine as their specialty. It doesn’t mention that only a subgroup of these will decide to provide family medicine in the community.
I found it interesting however that faculty dean, Dr. Feasby, and U. of C. president Dr. Harvey Weingarten were able to put a positive spin on this saying that in 1999 there were only 69 graduates from the Calgary medical school and this year there were 104. Unfortunately they didn’t mention that in 1999 more than 40% of graduates were choosing family medicine amounting to 28 practitioners whereas 20% of 104 graduates this year is an abysmal 21 practitioners. They also didn’t mention that fewer are setting up community practices but did mention that the doctors choosing family medicine may not stay in Calgary.
They did tend to be quite positive and bring in that old worn cliché and say that the young doctors were bright and “innovative” and that there were many ways to serve society. I’m sure this is very encouraging to those chronically ill and elderly people in Calgary seeking care.