At the 2011 Annual Business Meeting of the Canadian Geriatrics Society (CGS), an ad hoc Work Group was struck to submit a report providing an estimate of the number of physicians and full-time equivalents (FTEs) currently working in the field of geriatrics, an estimate of the number required (if possible), and a clearer understanding of what has to be done to move physician resource planning in geriatrics forward in Canada.
It was decided to focus on specialist physicians in geriatrics (defined as those who have completed advanced clinical training or have equivalent work experience in geriatrics and who limit a significant portion of their work-related activities to the duties of a consultant).
In 2012, there are 230–242 certified specialists in geriatric medicine and approximately 326.15 FTE functional specialists in geriatrics. While this is less than the number required, no precise estimate of present and future need could be provided, as no attempts at a national physician resource plan in geriatrics based on utilization and demand forecasting, needs-based planning, and/or benchmarking have taken place.
This would be an opportune time for the CGS to become more involved in physician resource planning. In addition to this being critical for the future health of our field of practice, there is increasing interest in aligning specialty training with societal needs (n = 216).