The 2010 National Physician Survey, an ongoing research project gathering opinions of Canadian doctors, medical residents and students, was released last week.
The survey indicates that access to care is a key issue. The greatest factor doctors identified as the cause of increasing demands for their time was complexity of patient caseload (72% said it was an issue). Physicians are being asked to do more and more as health care in
Caring for aging patients with many chronic conditions is becoming a large part of physicians’ workload. In addition, family doctors now play a larger role in the use of diagnostic imaging (like MRI and CT scans) and are gatekeepers to prescription drugs.
As a result of this complex environment, the number of prescriptions written and the number of diagnostic tests ordered by family doctors are increasing. Research shows that drugs and diagnostic imaging have been inappropriately used and overused in
Understanding what influences doctors’ decisions is important to ensure resources are used appropriately. Family doctors are providing care in a challenging environment, and require better access to decision-support tools, including electronic medical-record systems. It’s also important to encourage doctors to follow clinical practice guidelines to help reduce inappropriate prescribing and use of resources.
This phase of the survey included data from physicians – the data related to med students and residents will be released in September and specialty-specific breakdowns in November. Join the NPS mailing list to get this info as soon as it is released.
Carolyn Young, Communications Coordinator, Media Relations, Health Council of
Key Words: Primary Health Care, Access and Wait Times