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, 28 (9), 1944-51

Manpower in Canadian Academic Rheumatology Units: Current Status and Future Trends. Canadian Council of Academic Rheumatologists

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  • PMID: 11550958

Manpower in Canadian Academic Rheumatology Units: Current Status and Future Trends. Canadian Council of Academic Rheumatologists

J G Hanly et al. J Rheumatol.

Abstract

Objective: To examine manpower and activity profiles of attending staff, and enrollment in training programs over 3 years in academic rheumatology units in Canada.

Methods: In 1998, the Canadian Council of Academic Rheumatologists (CCAR) established a database to annually monitor trends in manpower, activity profiles, and recruitment in 15 academic rheumatology units in Canada. Information was also collected on residents pursuing subspecialty training in rheumatology.

Results: Between 1998 and 2000, the total number of rheumatologists increased from 157 (137 adult; 20 pediatric) to 162 (139 adult; 23 pediatric). Male to female ratio was about 2:1 and mean age increased from 48 to 49 years. About 60% of rheumatologists held fulltime positions within their academic units. In the year 2000, 57% of individuals had a substantial commitment (> or = 50% time) to clinical care activities compared to 17% for research and 3% for teaching. There were 21 unfilled positions, mainly full-time in adult rheumatology, across 12 centers. A substantial commitment (> or = 50% time) for research was identified in 11 of the unfilled positions, for clinical care activities in 6, and for teaching in one. Significant barriers to recruitment as identified by 11 centers were lack of suitable applicants (9), financial resources (5), and physical resources (3). From 1998 to 2000 the number of trainees in pediatric and adult rheumatology fell from 38 to 29 and the number of active training programs from 12 to 11. The mean age of trainees was 30-32 years, with equal representation for males and females. Over the 3 years studied, funding of trainees was provided by government (range 41-51% of trainees), The Arthritis Society (21-26%), and alternative sources (23-38%). Based on current recruitment, anticipated changes in population growth, and increased prevalence of rheumatic diseases, there will be a 64% shortfall in rheumatologists required in Canada by 2026.

Conclusion: Rheumatology manpower in Canadian academic units needed to fulfill responsibilities in delivery of clinical services and academic programs is inadequate. Enrollment in rheumatology training programs is falling and is insufficient to meet the present and future manpower needs for patients with rheumatic diseases in Canada.

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