Updated Inventory and Projected Requirements for Specialist Physicians in Geriatrics

  • Monisha Basu University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • Tracy Cooper Parkwood Institute, St. Josephs Health Care
  • Kelly Kay Provincial Geriatrics Leadership Office, Ontario Ministry of Health
  • David B. Hogan University of Calgary
  • José A. Morais Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, McGill University
  • Frank Molnar Ontario Ministry of Health, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital
  • Robert E. Lam Home Based Primary Care Program, Unison Health and Community Services
  • Michael J. Borrie Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Keywords: geriatric specialist, geriatrician, care of the elderly, physician human resources, Canada, specialized geriatric services, workforce projection, inventory

Abstract

Background

The predicted growth of Canadians aged 65+ and the resultant rise in the demand for specialized geriatric services (SGS) requires physician resource planning. We updated the 2011 Canadian Geriatrics Society physician resource inventory and created projections for 2025 and 2030.

Methods

The number and full-time equivalents (FTEs) of geriatri­cians and Care of the Elderly (COE) physicians working in SGS were determined. FTE counts for 2025 and 2030 were estimated by accounting for retirements and trainees. A ratio of 1.25/10,000 population 65+ was used to predict physician resource requirements.

Results

Between 2011 and 2019 the number of geriatricians and COE physicians increased from 276 (235.8 FTEs) and 128 (89.9 FTEs), respectively, to 376 (319.6 FTEs) and 354 (115.5 FTEs). This increase did not keep pace with the 65+ population growth. The current gap between supply and need is expected to increase.

Discussion

The physician supply gap is projected to widen in 2025 and 2030. Increased recruitment and interdisciplinary team-based care, supported by enhanced funding models, and full integra­tion of COE physicians in SGS could reduce this increasing gap. In contrast to pediatrician supply in Canada, the specialist physician resources available to the population 65+ reflect a disparity.

Author Biographies

Tracy Cooper, Parkwood Institute, St. Josephs Health Care

Division of Geriatric Medicine

David B. Hogan, University of Calgary

Division of Geriatric Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine

José A. Morais, Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, McGill University

Division of Geriatrics and Research

Frank Molnar, Ontario Ministry of Health, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital

Eastern Ontario Regional Geriatric Program, Department of Medicine

Michael J. Borrie, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

Division of Geriatric Medicine

Published
2021-07-13
How to Cite
Basu, M., Cooper, T., Kay, K., Hogan, D. B., Morais, J. A., Molnar, F., Lam, R. E., & Borrie, M. J. (2021). Updated Inventory and Projected Requirements for Specialist Physicians in Geriatrics. Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 24(3), 200-208. https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.24.538
Section
Original Research