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Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Jan;17(1):17-20.

Are the career choices of paediatric residents meeting the needs of academic centres in Canada?

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Department of Paediatrics, University Laval, Faculty of Medicine, Quebec City, Quebec;



Responsibility for training paediatric medical subspecialists in Canada lies primarily with the 16 academic paediatric departments. There has been no mechanism to assess whether the number of residents in training will meet the needs of currently vacant positions and/or the predicted vacancies to be created by anticipated faculty retirement in the next five years across the different paediatric medical subspecialties.


At the present time, the training of the paediatric physician is not linked with the current and future needs of the academic centres where the vast majority of these paediatric subspecialists are employed.


The academic paediatric workforce database of the Paediatric Chairs of Canada (PCC) for the surveys obtained in 2009/2010 were analyzed. Data included the number of physicians working in each subspecialty, the number of physicians 60 years of age or older, as well as the number of residents and their level of training.


There are some paediatric subspecialties in which the actual number of trainees exceeds the currently predicted need (eg, cardiology, critical care, hematology-oncology, nephrology, neurology, emergency medicine and genetic-metabolic). On the other hand, for other specialties (eg, adolescent medicine, developmental paediatrics, gastroenterology and neonatology), assuming there is no significant change to selection patterns, an important gap will persist or appear between the need and the available human resources.


The present analysis was the first attempt to link the clinical orientation of trainees with the needs of the academic centres where the vast majority of these paediatric subspecialists work.


Human resource; Paediatric workforce; Specialists; Subspecialists

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