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Situation in Alberta?


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Has anyone else been following the mess that the UCP government in Alberta has caused and due to this many doctors are vocal about walking away from the province

For context:

https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/corbella-half-of-albertas-doctors-are-considering-leaving-thanks-to-ucp-hostility

 

Would this change your mind about practicing medicine in Alberta?

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In your previous career, did you need to pay 200K just to get through school? Did you have to be up at 3:30am running on zero food or sleep as you are making life and death decisions or physically int

lol this thread is a joke. I wish you all the best. 

I wouldn't worry. The experts in this forum have assured us that doctors will not be moving, and they are all overpaid anyways in Alberta so good riddance if they do, more will come.

Agreed it's terrifying, it's scary their government is brazenly attacking physicians and by and large isn't accountable to anyone. From what I've been reading/understand (please correct me if I am wrong): he's a bit of a bully (showing up at people's homes, public shaming etc.), looking at legislation put forth obviously capping physician pay with contracts (fine... I guess... but without mention of benefits ie pension, health etc. and bill 21 means the contract is worthless), lacking integrity with bill 21/managing discussions with AMA regarding physician compensation, looking to implement private health care (which I largely disagree with), apparently looking to outsource to IMG's (haven't read this article properly, just headlines), in addition to trying to manipulate the AMA (via changes to ratio of governing members) and now CPSA... It seems to me that the UCP is favouring an American style of healthcare...? 

I don't think anyone would want to work in a place where 1.there is no respect from your government (no political stability (thus no job and financial stability)) 2.you have little to no voice or ability to act on your own behalf (job action, etc.) I suspect that would be incredible draining and simply not worth it (I think something similar happened in Ontario few rounds of government ago... was not a good time from what I hear).

While a few years away for me, I definitely was interested in Alberta. As it stands there is no way, after my decades schooling, money, time and effort, that I am doing that to myself.

I don't know how you could force physicians to keep their practices open/stop them from leaving/quitting... but you could thow in financial penalties?

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This is quite interesting since BC had their own, similar but not identical, legal saga in the 80s and 90s with multiple cases:

https://canliiconnects.org/en/summaries/31158

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/1985/1985canlii148/1985canlii148.html?autocompleteStr=mia &autocompletePos=1

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/1997/1997canlii3113/1997canlii3113.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAAAAAAEAFzE5ODUgQ2FuTElJIDE0OCAoQkMgU0MpAAAAAQAOLzE5ODViY3NjMTAwMDEB

As far as I can tell, the province kept losing again and again. This has lead to a whole raft of caselaw so I'm quite curious what ends up happening if they go to trial, which has risks (there's no guarantee the court ruling is a 100% victory for the AMA) and even then, we may very well end up with the province trying to find a way to bring in a bunch of IMGs to undercut the AMA somehow. Apparently the province is posting significantly more positions for international grads: https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/business/perspectives-on-business/alberta-doctors-accuse-government-of-searching-for-scab-workers-as-200-job-applications-go-online-472500/

1 hour ago, Redpill said:

I'm more interested in how the UCP will spin this as Trudeau's and Notley's fault

This is an easy one, here's how the reasoning goes:

"The previous government(s) signed a deal that does not reflect our current reality, ergo, we need to rip it all up. Economy bad. Previous government (NDP or PC) bad. Doctors rich and entitled. UCP not want to pay rich and entitled Doctors in bad economy like still good economy. UCP actually good for protecting province economy! "

Sprinkle in some op eds and discussion about how overpaid physicians are to stoke the ol' fires of jealousy in a hurting province and you have a passable strategy. They're already trying this approach. I wouldn't underestimate how effective this strategy may be either, it's obvious the government is going to need to be making cuts, and physicians are a very attractive target. 

Missteps here, be it in court or with the job postings, could very well backfire on Alberta physicians or the profession on the whole, the AMA needs a lot of wisdom here. Hopefully the province backs off and the billing fee changes (cuts, let's be honest) are done properly, with consultation. 

My feeling is this won't be over unless the province bends and Shandro resigns/is shuffled (but there really isn't anywhere to shuffle him on the flip side). Fun fact, Shandro is actually a Doctor's kid, can you imagine how awkward family gatherings will be in the future? 

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How does the situation in Alberta directly affect residents? I can imagine it's a tense atmosphere to train in and there may be an exodus of docs (depending on the specialty) but overall it sounds like it's business as usual for residents (except maybe for the seniors who were planning on practicing/already got job offers in AB)

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14 minutes ago, garlic said:

How does the situation in Alberta directly affect residents? I can imagine it's a tense atmosphere to train in and there may be an exodus of docs (depending on the specialty) but overall it sounds like it's business as usual for residents (except maybe for the seniors who were planning on practicing/already got job offers in AB)

The "exodus" of docs in alberta is very overblown. Most won't be moving, maybe recent grads with no roots/attachments to the area, but they probably would have moved eventually anyways.

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15 minutes ago, garlic said:

How does the situation in Alberta directly affect residents? I can imagine it's a tense atmosphere to train in and there may be an exodus of docs (depending on the specialty) but overall it sounds like it's business as usual for residents (except maybe for the seniors who were planning on practicing/already got job offers in AB)

 

Just now, JohnGrisham said:

The "exodus" of docs in alberta is very overblown. Most won't be moving, maybe recent grads with no roots/attachments to the area, but they probably would have moved eventually anyways.

Yeah, even with the new changes, Alberta docs will still be some of the best paid in the country (before considering AB's much lower cost of living).

Just look at the stats (example: GPs 20% higher than Canadian average). 

Haven't begun talking about specialists either. The only reason why other specialists would be complaining would be because they're only billing 2x the BC average instead of 3x the BC average as is the case with Derm and other specialties to a lesser extent (specialists book 25% higher than Canadian average). 

What most people watching the news fail to realize is that docs in AB, let alone docs anywhere in NA, are almost invariably a part of the top 1% in terms of income unless you go out of your way to drop it (saturated metropolitan areas).

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13 minutes ago, offmychestplease said:

What a lot of people on here don't understand (because the CMA GREATLY deflates income reports a lot and a lot of misinformation is spread in medical school about income) and the public either is that in AB a family doctor in the top 33% can easily make an average of $375,000+ /year (AFTER overhead).  This is easy to get to considering the number of part-timers and number of those not maximizing billing, etc. The top 25% of family doctors in AB make an average of $450,000/year (AFTER overhead). And if you work very hard, and want to maximize your earnings it's not unheard of for the top 10% of family doctors in AB to make an average of $600,000+/year (AFTER overhead). The top 5% of family doctors make an average of $800,000+ (AFTER overhead) in AB as well. The top 1% of family doctors make an average of $1,100,000/year (AFTER overhead). 

These numbers are in fact available from a recent study that broke down the earnings of every single doctor (and speciality) in AB. I am all for honest so even though I'm in the medical profession side it's really pathetic and dishonest when you have people in medicine go on social media to say they make something like 150K as a family doctor in AB AFTER overhead. If you are going to talk about numbers to try and make the public feel sorry for you, don't lie to get the public to be on your side. 

 

Source: https://nationalpost.com/health/leaked-report-offers-window-into-the-medical-one-percenters-and-growing-concern-over-md-pay-inequity/

All that I see is a new, increasingly ignorant upper-class that's growing more and more blindsided to the concerns of the average Canadian day by day. While we argue about our $200k vs $250k take home $, we are forgetting about the $20k-$25k take home pay that 50% of the population (that we serve) deal with.

Mind you they are the ones padding our wallets because of our publicly funded system.

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Where in the report are you seeing these high figures? Page 9 lays out what appears to be an average GP net income of just over $200,000, for instance? The average Derm GROSS payment (table 2.13) was under 800K as well, and more. I'll recognize the report only shows FFS, but is that enough to makeup the gaps seen and where's the proof of those numbers?

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusions, I'm merely pointing out that those numbers don't emerge in the report. 

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Any chance some of these billing codes represent groups that pool their billing under one person for administrative and reimbursement ease? The end number is still probably high but not as high as what is reported on those statements? Also hard to get a good picture without de aggregating the overhead as well. I suspect in some cases some individuals with high billing amounts also have much higher overhead for buying their own equipment or something.

Doesn't really change your argument that MDs are compensated well which I agree with. However, I am skeptical about some of outliers though. I haven't worked in Alberta though so I only know what my colleagues tell me.

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2 hours ago, offmychestplease said:

It's disgusting because in my previous career, one needs SIX (6) years of university education and 2 degrees to make the same amount of money as a FIRST YEAR resident. This is not dissimilar to other jobs and career paths as well. After TWO (2) years of family medicine residency, the resident will be making SIX (6) times as much as that person in the other career path. And if instead that resident becomes one of the specialties I mentioned, they will be making FIFTEEN (15) times as much as the person in other career path. 

I always say that those who either didn't grow up in a rich, privileged household OR those that took a few times to get in/worked in a different "real job" before medicine will be quick to point out what you just said. The greed is really disheartening for a field that prides itself on service to humanity..

In your previous career, did you need to pay 200K just to get through school? Did you have to be up at 3:30am running on zero food or sleep as you are making life and death decisions or physically intervening to save a life? Did you have to work Christmas, take 26h call q3 days, and regularly work 70-90h weeks? Just curious, because that's what a first year resident does. There's a reason doctors are paid well. 

You are quoting an AB earnings report as all-encompassing fact without really knowing where the data came from, why the data was collected to begin with, and what actually came of all of it, to say nothing about how much you may or may not know about what actually goes into physician billing, operating expenses, or how a practice is run etc. Also, no idea where you are getting the private earnings estimates since they are, you know, private.... and it seems you are assuming that if government billings are low, a physician's private billings must be huge? You are making a lot of data assumptions that are incorrect or unsubstantiated. 

Not going to argue these points any further than what I have here.

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