In 1950 the district medical officer of Qaqortoq/Julianehåb, Axel Laurent-Christensen retired after having served in this position since 1930. Afterwards, during the years 1950-55, he was a medical officer in Aklavik, NWT, Canada. Here he had the opportunity to compare the arctic Canadian health care with the Greenland health care system. In his diary, of which selected parts are given in the present paper, he has commented on the differences. In the 1950's the Canadian system was highly centralized with the well-equipped Charles Camsell Indian Hospital in Edmonton as the center. The Greenland health service, on the other hand, was decentralized, based on small surgically staffed peripheral hospitals. The development of these two health care systems during the past 50 years has accentuated these differences. Estimated by the infant mortality, the efficiency of the Greenland health care system was superior to the Canadian during the 1950's, whereas in the 1990's, the Canadian health service is vastly superior.
LEO is comprised of local experts who collect observations about unusual environmental events in their communities. They apply local and traditional knowledge, western science and modern technology to record and share observations and to raise awareness about the conditions in the circumpolar north. There are LEO participants in Alaska and Canada in over 100 communities.
The seven CanMEDS roles were adopted by the Danish reform in postgraduate medical education in 2004. The roles have become a natural part of defining specialist competence. However, the definition of the seven roles from 2000 might not be aligned with the perception of good medical practice anno 2013. It is recommended to redefine the seven roles to reach agreement with contemporary demands for specialist competence.