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Original article
peer-reviewed

Are Postgraduate Medical Residency Training Positions in Atlantic Canada Evenly Distributed?



Abstract

Background

The distribution of postgraduate medical training (residency) positions in Canada is administered by medical schools and universities in conjunction with individual provinces. In Atlantic Canada, the Maritime provinces are considered a single unit under Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia (NS), although distributed medical undergraduate education through Dalhousie and Sherbrooke has enabled medical students to complete their entire course of study in New Brunswick (NB). It is unclear if postgraduate medical education has been distributed in a similar fashion in Atlantic Canada, particularly in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PE).

Methods

Data on the number of R1 residency positions was obtained from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) database. The distribution of R1 positions was described and compared nationally and through the Atlantic provinces. The analysis was completed using MS Excel and Prism.

Results

Rates of R1 positions per million persons varied widely; the national median rate was 97 positions per million persons, with a range of 34 to 138. The combined Maritime provinces rate of R1 positions was 71 per million persons and the rate in Newfoundland (NL) was 138 positions per million. The NS rate was 106 positions per million while the NB rate was 54 per million and the PE rate 34 per million. Sixty-four percent of all residency training positions in Atlantic Canada were based in the two most urban areas of Halifax, NS or St John’s, NL. Royal College (specialty) positions were more likely to be based at the main university campus city than family medicine training positions (97 vs. 3%; 33 vs. 67%, respectively).

Conclusion

There is a high level of variation in available residency positions among the individual provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada. The lower prevalence of opportunities in NB and PE may influence the ability of these provinces to recruit and retain new physicians.



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Original article
peer-reviewed

Are Postgraduate Medical Residency Training Positions in Atlantic Canada Evenly Distributed?


Author Information

Paul Atkinson Corresponding Author

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

Michael Howlett

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University

Jacqueline MacKay

Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

Jacqueline Fraser

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

Peter Ross

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University


Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Human subjects: This study did not involve human participants or tissue. Animal subjects: This study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.


Original article
peer-reviewed

Are Postgraduate Medical Residency Training Positions in Atlantic Canada Evenly Distributed?


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Original article
peer-reviewed

Are Postgraduate Medical Residency Training Positions in Atlantic Canada Evenly Distributed?

  • Author Information
    Paul Atkinson Corresponding Author

    Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

    Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

    Michael Howlett

    Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University

    Jacqueline MacKay

    Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

    Jacqueline Fraser

    Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

    Peter Ross

    Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University


    Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

    Human subjects: This study did not involve human participants or tissue. Animal subjects: This study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.

    Acknowledgements


    Article Information

    Published: April 17, 2016

    DOI

    10.7759/cureus.574

    Cite this article as:

    Atkinson P, Howlett M, Mackay J, et al. (April 17, 2016) Are Postgraduate Medical Residency Training Positions in Atlantic Canada Evenly Distributed?. Cureus 8(4): e574. doi:10.7759/cureus.574

    Publication history

    Received by Cureus: April 05, 2016
    Peer review began: April 07, 2016
    Peer review concluded: April 14, 2016
    Published: April 17, 2016

    Copyright

    © Copyright 2016
    Atkinson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    License

    This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Background

The distribution of postgraduate medical training (residency) positions in Canada is administered by medical schools and universities in conjunction with individual provinces. In Atlantic Canada, the Maritime provinces are considered a single unit under Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia (NS), although distributed medical undergraduate education through Dalhousie and Sherbrooke has enabled medical students to complete their entire course of study in New Brunswick (NB). It is unclear if postgraduate medical education has been distributed in a similar fashion in Atlantic Canada, particularly in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PE).

Methods

Data on the number of R1 residency positions was obtained from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) database. The distribution of R1 positions was described and compared nationally and through the Atlantic provinces. The analysis was completed using MS Excel and Prism.

Results

Rates of R1 positions per million persons varied widely; the national median rate was 97 positions per million persons, with a range of 34 to 138. The combined Maritime provinces rate of R1 positions was 71 per million persons and the rate in Newfoundland (NL) was 138 positions per million. The NS rate was 106 positions per million while the NB rate was 54 per million and the PE rate 34 per million. Sixty-four percent of all residency training positions in Atlantic Canada were based in the two most urban areas of Halifax, NS or St John’s, NL. Royal College (specialty) positions were more likely to be based at the main university campus city than family medicine training positions (97 vs. 3%; 33 vs. 67%, respectively).

Conclusion

There is a high level of variation in available residency positions among the individual provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada. The lower prevalence of opportunities in NB and PE may influence the ability of these provinces to recruit and retain new physicians.



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Paul Atkinson, Professor

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

For correspondence:
paul.atkinson@dal.ca

Michael Howlett

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University

Jacqueline MacKay, M.D.

Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

Jacqueline Fraser

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

Peter Ross

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University

Paul Atkinson, Professor

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

For correspondence:
paul.atkinson@dal.ca

Michael Howlett

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University

Jacqueline MacKay, M.D.

Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University

Jacqueline Fraser

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital

Peter Ross

Emergency Medicine, Saint John Regional Hospital / Dalhousie University