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Lots of surgery positions left unfilled, why?


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Gen Sx, Ortho, Vascular, and even Urology has spots left unfilled this year... it seems more people are applying to IM and less applying to Sx, is that the reason?

Also anyone knows why UofC has 20 FM spots this year unfilled, and 11 last year? Do they intentionally leave them for 2nd iteration?

Curious to find out how many are unmatched this year.

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Vascular has had 1-2 spots unfilled in the previous years, this isn't out of the ordinary. General surgery has typically had a few spots open prior to 2017 so this is just a return to the norm.

Mainly it was orthopaedics that was abnormal this year. It could just be a statistical blip, or maybe the reputation for a poor job market is catching up to them.

UofC FM is unfilled because of unfavourable legislation towards doctors trying to limit where you can practice.

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1 hour ago, 1D7 said:

Vascular has had 1-2 spots unfilled in the previous years, this isn't out of the ordinary. General surgery has typically had a few spots open prior to 2017 so this is just a return to the norm.

Mainly it was orthopaedics that was abnormal this year. It could just be a statistical blip, or maybe the reputation for a poor job market is catching up to them.

UofC FM is unfilled because of unfavourable legislation towards doctors trying to limit where you can practice.

Orthopedics has never been close to being competitive in the rest of Canada for the last few years. The reason why it appears to be moderately competitive in Canada as a whole is that it is ridiculously competitive in Quebec (think 5 applicants per spot for some years) which really skews the numbers.

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5 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

Citation needed, that legislation was announced either just as or after rank order lists were due and last year the site had the second most unfilled spots too.

Would love to know more about what's happening behind this...

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7 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

Citation needed, that legislation was announced either just as or after rank order lists were due and last year the site had the second most unfilled spots too.

The legislation (Bill 21) was actually announced back in late 2019, but it was announced that the UCP government is shredding the physicians contract/agreement a few hours after the rank order lists were due. 

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2 hours ago, 1D7 said:

UofC FM is unfilled because of unfavourable legislation towards doctors trying to limit where you can practice.

This doesn't make sense because this legislation wasn't even being discussed last year during CaRMS and U of C urban FM has had leftover spots for multiple years. 

Also, if it was an issue of legislation the U of A should also have the same problem filling their program and that is not the case. 

The U of C has a less traditional structure to their family medicine program that is not a good fit for everyone's style of learning or residency goals. The majority of people I interviewed for FM with and the FM residents that I've met who interviewed at but chose not to rank U of C or ranked it extremely low referenced the program structure as the reason for this. 

Will Alberta Universities have trouble filling their FM programs next year due to the UCPs rather short-sighted policies? I have no idea, but it will be interesting to see what happens. 

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I think there's more to Calgary's FM problem beyond that. A few years ago the PD or assistant joined the forums to respond to some of the criticism regarding the program. Regardless of how true certain claims are, the general impression I got from FM applicants was that Calgary's program was quite undesirable. 

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7 hours ago, 1D7 said:

Vascular has had 1-2 spots unfilled in the previous years, this isn't out of the ordinary. General surgery has typically had a few spots open prior to 2017 so this is just a return to the norm.

Mainly it was orthopaedics that was abnormal this year. It could just be a statistical blip, or maybe the reputation for a poor job market is catching up to them.

UofC FM is unfilled because of unfavourable legislation towards doctors trying to limit where you can practice.

Wrong about UofC FM. They are very picky for FM last two cycles and would rather pick up people in round 2.  This is the main reason for leftover spots. In addition the people ranking it lower due to prior programatic issues or perceived issues.

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5 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

Wrong about UofC FM. They are very picky for FM last two cycles and would rather pick up people in round 2.  This is the main reason for leftover spots. In addition the people ranking it lower due to prior programatic issues or perceived issues.

Do they expect a better candidate pool in round 2? I can understand being picky but 20 unfilled spots out of 61 is crazy

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26 minutes ago, Redpill said:

Do they expect a better candidate pool in round 2? I can understand being picky but 20 unfilled spots out of 61 is crazy

Fully trained IMGs maybe. Unmatched speciality residents desperate for a spot. Lots of ludicrous assumptions on their end as a program perhaps.

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On 3/3/2020 at 4:13 PM, arctic_med said:

Gen Sx, Ortho, Vascular, and even Urology has spots left unfilled this year... it seems more people are applying to IM and less applying to Sx, is that the reason?

Also anyone knows why UofC has 20 FM spots this year unfilled, and 11 last year? Do they intentionally leave them for 2nd iteration?

Curious to find out how many are unmatched this year.

I think word is finally getting out that surgery isn't a good deal on paper anymore. In Canada, surgeons are making less than internists (and many other specialties) per hour worked, less flexibility in terms of hours, more training, fewer jobs, less flexibility in location. At this point, unless you love to cut, you probably shouldn't do it and the reality is these are the incentives the government has gone with so people are responding to that. 

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1 hour ago, Edict said:

I think word is finally getting out that surgery isn't a good deal on paper anymore. In Canada, surgeons are making less than internists (and many other specialties) per hour worked, less flexibility in terms of hours, more training, fewer jobs, less flexibility in location. At this point, unless you love to cut, you probably shouldn't do it and the reality is these are the incentives the government has gone with so people are responding to that. 

I'm doubtful on making less per hours worked unless you're talking exclusively about cardiology/gastroenterology/ICU. None of the other factors you've mentioned are recent.

If anything the last few years were abnormally competitive for surgical specialties; in the past there were often spots left open here and there even in competitive surgical subspecialties. This one year may just be a return to past trends, or just an anomaly.

2015: 2 gen sx, 3 ortho, 1 ENT, 3 urology, 3 neurosurgery, 1 cardiac sx open after 1st iteration

2014: 5 gen sx, 7 ortho, 2 ENT, 1 ophthal, 4 neurosurgery, 2 cardiac sx spots open after 1st iteration

2013: 5 ortho, 1 ENT, 1 uro, 6 cardiac sx open after 1st iteration

etc.

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16 minutes ago, 1D7 said:

I'm doubtful on making less per hours worked unless you're talking exclusively about cardiology/gastroenterology/ICU. None of the other factors you've mentioned are recent.

If anything the last few years were abnormally competitive for surgical specialties; in the past there were often spots left open here and there even in competitive surgical subspecialties. This one year may just be a return to past trends, or just an anomaly.

2015: 2 gen sx, 3 ortho, 1 ENT, 3 urology, 3 neurosurgery, 1 cardiac sx open after 1st iteration

2014: 5 gen sx, 7 ortho, 2 ENT, 1 ophthal, 4 neurosurgery, 2 cardiac sx spots open after 1st iteration

2013: 5 ortho, 1 ENT, 1 uro, 6 cardiac sx open after 1st iteration

etc.

If you look at GIM, they make more than surgery if you look at how much they make per hour. The only IM based specialties that make less are those that are purely clinic based (so endo, allergy, rheum etc), but any that do hospital based work especially ones with call make more, including GIM. You can't just compare averages here as a larger percentage of IM doctors don't work as many hours as surgeons. One of the biggest benefits of IM is the ability to pick up shifts, call shifts, weekends and set up your own schedule. For most surgeons you need to have a patient base and operating privileges which will limit your ability to take time off. 

You do have a point about the unfilled rates, it seems like surgery has become more competitive in the last few years, lets see if this trend will hold in the coming years. 

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^^^. GIM is remunerated quite well here, and there is lots of work in the Southern ON area at the very least. The other thing that people often don't point out is that GIM overhead is usually low/trivial if associated with a hospital (if you have your own clinic/employees/admin staff that's of course different).

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  • 1 month later...

GIM here. My lifestyle is amazing. I pick when and how much I want to work. Right now, during this COVID pandemic I'm doing mostly video and phone calls for work. I'm not dependent on an OR which is sweet. Having said that, surgery requires a certain personality type. Me and surgery are like oil and water. It would be a total mismatch. IM fits like a glove for me. 

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