Nav: Home

An eye on young specialists' success

December 05, 2016

Graduates from several medical and surgical specialties are having difficulty securing practice opportunities, especially in specialties dependent upon limited resources, according to new research from Queen's ophthalmologist Robert Campbell.

Specifically, recent ophthalmology graduates performed many fewer cataract surgery procedures after total provincial surgical rates plateaued in Ontario. In 2007, cataract surgery volume entered a period of government-mandated zero growth, impacting cataract operations performed by recent graduates. Established doctors secured the majority of surgery opportunities.

"The magnitude of the results we report suggest a pressing need to evaluate similar policies across many resource-intensive specialties in Canada," adds Dr. Campbell.

Dr. Campbell and his research team used population-based data from Ontario from Jan. 1, 1994 to June 30, 2013 to compare health services provided by recent graduates and established ophthalmologists. He discovered that between 1994 and 2006, the total number of cataract operations performed in Ontario grew steadily. However, from 2007 onward, the number of operations performed by recent graduates declined sharply while the number performed by established physician continued to grow.

"In many nations, including Canada, cataract surgery, a highly technology-dependent procedure, is the most common operation performed," says Dr. Campbell. "Consequently, practice opportunities are sensitive to overall constraints on health system resources and serve as an exemplar of issues facing many resource-intensive specialties."

Dr. Campbell says these numbers are worrying in regards to the future of ophthalmology graduates.

"In these challenging times our findings draw attention to another layer of complexity. As health care resources become increasingly strained, we not only need to worry about today's patients, but in light of our findings, we obviously need to worry about tomorrow as well," says Dr. Campbell. "While all physicians are affected by health system funding constraints, our unique study of a highly technical and resource-intensive specialty identified a clear link between worsening system constraint and the lack of opportunities for young specialists - the future of our system."

Dr. Campbell says he wants to use these results to help shape policy in regards to effective career counselling, specifically in the field of ophthalmology, and for use by the Ontario Provincial Vision Strategy Task Force, a group charged with creating a new framework for the eye care system. Current recommendations aim to improve surgical opportunities for recent graduates. "We'll need to take care to be sure we have systems that provide for steady renewal of our highly-trained physician workforce. Our study suggests that much progress remains to be made in this direction."

The research was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
-end-


Queen's University

Related Cataract Surgery Articles:

Russian scientists has developed and introduced new laser method for cataract surgery
Scientists from ITMO and the S.N. Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery Complex came up with a technology where a laser is used both to destroy the clouded eye lens and to stimulate the regeneration of adjacent tissue.
Did cataract surgery change melatonin secretion in older patients?
The secretion of melatonin is an important indicator of the body's circadian rhythm.
Another reason to get cataract surgery: It can make you 48% safer on the road
Researchers in Australia used a driving simulator to test patients' vision before and after cataract surgery.
Cost, potential environmental effects of unused pharmaceuticals in cataract surgery
The financial and environmental costs of unused portions of drugs from cataract surgery at four surgical sites in the US was investigated in this study.
NHS commissioners are ignoring guidelines by rationing cataract surgery
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England are ignoring clinical guidelines by rationing access to cataract surgery, The BMJ has found.
Eliminating routine but low-value preoperative tests for cataract surgery patients associated with cost savings
Eliminating routine but unnecessary procedures before people undergo cataract surgery has the potential to save costs and resources for hospitals serving lower-income patients.
Children requiring thyroid surgery have better outcomes at high-volume surgery centers
New research recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery found that post-operative success rates of pediatric thyroid patients, particularly children who require a thyroidectomy, correlate with the institution's patient volume.
A human model to test implants for cataract surgery
New research from the University of East Anglia (UK) uses an improved laboratory model to simulate cataract surgery on human donor eyes.
Do negative public attitudes toward weight loss surgery stop some patients from having surgery?
Most patients who qualify for weight loss surgery don't have the procedure despite its safety and effectiveness.
How changing labs revealed a chemical reaction key to cataract formation
Researchers working to understand the biochemistry of cataracts have made a surprising finding: A protein that was long believed to be inert actually has an important chemical function that protects the lens of the eye from cataract formation.
More Cataract Surgery News and Cataract Surgery Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Nina
Producer Tracie Hunte stumbled into a duet between Nina Simone and the sounds of protest outside her apartment. Then she discovered a performance by Nina on April 7, 1968 - three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tracie talks about what Nina's music, born during another time when our country was facing questions that seemed to have no answer, meant then and why it still resonates today.  Listen to Nina's brother, Samuel Waymon, talk about that April 7th concert here.