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Can J Surg. 1995 Apr;38(2):123-9.

The community general surgeon: a time for renaissance.

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Department of Surgery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.


The practice of general surgery in smaller Canadian communities requires a broad scope of training, and recently the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada introduced training requirements to meet the needs of these communities. The traditional role of physicians and surgeons in relation to the hospital boards is changing, with the development of regional health boards. Surgeons must be adaptable to these changes while striving to preserve the standards of surgical care in the new environment. The 1990 Canadian Medical Association manpower studies indicated that there will soon be a major shortage of general surgeons in Canada. In 1990, 48% of general surgeons in Canada were over 55 years of age. In communities with a population of 10,000 or less, there were relatively more general surgeons than other specialists, but, again, they were proportionately older. Recruitment to general surgery is a concern. A survey of 205 residents obtaining the Royal College fellowship in surgery between 1991 and 1993 revealed that 107 took post-fellowship training; of these, 46 developed academic careers, 17 became community surgeons and 44 were lost to surgical practice (they went into cardiac surgery or emigrated). Ninety-eight did not take further training; of these, 5 developed academic careers, 87 chose community practice and 6 emigrated. The role of the general practitioner in providing surgical services in remote areas was the topic of discussion between the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS), the Royal College and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Guidelines were developed and approved by the CAGS.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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