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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 119-122

Assessment of rural emergency department physician staff, hiring practices and needs

1 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
3 Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, Director of Distributed Medical Education, University of Ottawa; Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Correspondence Address:
BSc Zachary Hallgrimson

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_57_20

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Introduction: Rural communities suffer from an unequal access to health-care resources. The purpose of this study was to characterise Emergency Departments (EDs) in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and determine their barriers to recruitment and retention of emergency physicians. Methods: A survey was sent to the 17 ED chiefs in the Champlain LHIN area by E-mail through May to December 2019. Results were analyzed for common themes and trends. Results: Seven of the 17 hospitals responded to the survey. The average number of physicians staffing the ED was 16, with the majority being Canadian College of Family Physicians certified without additional emergency training. Common described barriers to recruitment include lack of incentives for physicians to work in rural communities, lack of available resources at rural centres, such as specialists and poor flexibility in terms of shift coverage. Barriers to retention included limited incentives to remain in rural communities. Conclusion: This study analyzed the demographics and barriers to recruitment and retention in rural EDs. These results can be used to help build strategies that encourage physicians to practise in rural EDs.

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