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Physician IT

Survey will poll doctors on use of Information Technologies

OTTAWA – Canada’s three major national medical organizations announced an agreement to undertake a second edition of the National Physician Survey in 2007. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) are building on the success of a 2004 Survey that drew national and international attention for its scope and for the valuable insight it provided into the future of medicine in this country.

The 2007 survey will provide important data on the use of information technologies by doctors, as well as medical education and practice, to help educators, policy makers and planners make informed decisions.

The National Physician Survey is unique in the world in terms of the range of current and future physicians who will be surveyed. Questionnaires will be sent to all practising family doctors and other specialist physicians and surgeons in the country, as well as second-year medical residents and all medical students. In total, more than 73,000 questionnaires will be distributed, starting in January of 2007.

“There is much discussion of the rapidly evolving nature of our healthcare system, inter-professional healthcare teams, changing scopes of practice among family physicians and other specialists, electronic means to manage care. These and many other developments will be systematically captured by the NPS,” said Dr. Louise Samson, RCPSC President.

Dr. Tom Bailey, President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, added, “The CFPC recognizes that in order to assess the changing practice patterns and professional preferences of family physicians, it’s necessary to track these changes over time. The next edition of the NPS is a valued contribution to our understanding these trends so that we can plan the physician workforce required to meet the future healthcare needs of Canadians.”

CMA President, Dr. Colin McMillan, described the NPS as “the most comprehensive survey of the medical profession. It provides critical information to help guide policymakers, educators and professional associations in planning for the future training and practice needs of physicians.”

The NPS 2007 will provide an in-depth look at how physicians are currently working collaboratively and the impediments they face in providing care to their patients. The results will also provide a glimpse into the future of medicine in Canada by describing the factors that are shaping the future educational and career intentions of medical students and residents.

The highlights of the NPS 2007 will be released to the public and key stakeholders in a series of public announcements beginning in November of 2007. The NPS also maintains a website at, where the 2004 results can be accessed today and where the 2007 results will eventually be posted.

The NPS has been made possible through the financial contributions of the Canadian Medical Association, The College of Family Physicians of Canada, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.