A physician shortage has been declared in both Canada and the United States. Changes in emigration patterns of Canadian-educated physicians are not believed to have had a profound effect on the Canadian physician workforce; however, Phillips and colleagues report that, in 2006, 1 in 12 Canadian-educated physicians were practising in the US.
This accounts for just over half of the net loss of physicians from the Canadian-trained physician workforce. Collectively, this is equivalent to having 2 average-sized Canadian medical schools dedicated to producing physicians for the US.
More than 1000 Canadian-educated physicians in direct patient care practised in rural areas south of the border; if these physicians were to choose to practise in Canada, this would help to alleviate physician shortages in rural areas of the country.
In the related lead Editorial, Busing notes that further study of physician shortages will just lead to more analysis?paralysis. He calls for urgent action by all levels of Canadian government to devise and fund a plan to address physician shortages.