To determine the supply, mix and distribution of physicians in Canada and to compare data with those of the 1982 and 1986 physician surveys.
National census mail survey.
All physicians licensed to practise medicine in Canada, excluding interns and residents. A total of 52,422 questionnaires were mailed, of which 771 were ineligible. There were 38,313 valid responses (response rate 74.2%).
Activity status, workload, specialty certification, practice setting and demographic profiles.
A total of 88.7% of the respondents were active physicians; 19.4% were women, compared with 16.8% in 1986. Physicians reported working on average 4.1 fewer hours per week in total activities than in 1986 and 5.7 fewer hours per week than in 1982. As was found in 1982, about 50% of active physicians were certified specialists; 30% of specialists and 21% of general/family practitioners were 55 years of age or more. Approximately 11% of active physicians were in rural practice, as was reported in 1986. Similar proportions of foreign graduates and Canadian graduates were located in rural areas (10.9% and 11.4% respectively).
Factors such as aging and retirement will affect specific specialty groups (e.g., general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology) in the near future. Specialty groups must address the issue of the future supply of physicians and the demand for their services when developing targeted needs within their specialties. The increasing proportion of women in medicine is changing the specialty mix and practice profiles of physicians as a whole. The issues associated with the recruitment and retention of physicians in rural areas remain complex.
Cites: CMAJ. 1989 Jan 15;140(2):212-212910406
Cites: Can J Public Health. 1990 Jan-Feb;81(1):16-202311044
Cites: CMAJ. 1990 Aug 1;143(3):194-2012379127
Cites: Can Med Assoc J. 1985 May 15;132(10):1175-9, 1182-83995440