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CMA guide offers 17,000 residents “nuts-and-bolts” info needed to launch a practice

The 2014 edition of the CMA’s New in Practice guide, which contains more than 100 pages of information for physicians who are completing or have just completed their residency training, is now available in electronic, mobile and paper versions.

The latest guide covers dozens of topics, ranging from the elimination of student debt to billing processes, insurance needs, investment advice and professional liability protection.

“I wish this was available when I was doing my post-grad training,” said CMA President Louis Hugo Francescutti. “Twenty-five years ago new doctors were more or less on their own when it came to learning the nuts and bolts of how to practise medicine — the things involved in setting up an office and so on. With New in Practice they have an authoritative and reliable how-to guide from the time they start, and that has to be reassuring.

“Let’s face it, this can be a pretty hectic and stressful time for young doctors. By making the transition to practice easier, we should also help to improve patient care and reduce errors in practice.”

Although the guide has been published annually since 2008, new types of material are being added regularly. In 2014, for instance, the provincial and territorial medical associations that comprise the CMA were asked to spell out recruiting and other highlights from within their jurisdictions. Here are some of the highlights they provided:

  • Doctors of BC: “All specialty areas in British Columbia offer opportunities. However, specialties that deal with complex care and/or chronic care conditions as well as conditions relating to aging offer the most opportunities.”
  • Alberta Medical Association (AMA) reports: “Alberta represents an excellent opportunity for a newly practising physician. There are plenty of choices, whether you would like to work in an urban centre or a rural community.”
  • Saskatchewan Medical Association: “The Rural Physician Incentive Program will provide $120,000 in funding over five years to recent medical graduates who establish practice in rural communities of 10,000 or fewer.”
  • Ontario Medical Association: “Several benefit programs can be accessed . . . including a Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program, a Northern Physician Retention Initiative and Resident Loan Interest Relief Program.”
  • New Brunswick Medical Society: “The top five in-demand specialties in New Brunswick are family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry and radiology.”
  • Doctors Nova Scotia: “Nova Scotia has developed a physician resource plan to identify need in the province for the next 10 years. The plan indicates the need to recruit 1,123 FTEs over the next 10 years.”
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association: “The government offers a number of recruitment initiatives, including bursary programs for medical residents and rewarding signing bonuses for practising physicians. . . . With a population of roughly 527,000, you will find all the best amenities while enjoying a lifestyle that still holds traditional community values.”

The electronic and mobile versions of New in Practice are already available, and paper copies have been sent to more than 17,000 residents.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.