Medical practitioners careers (Part 1)
After many years spent in the protected, rather cocoon-like environment of a postgraduate training program, medical residents and fellows can find the prospect of emergence into the real working world somewhat daunting. This is a transition that is best anticipated and planned, recognizing that the life and the responsibilities of a consultant or an academic physician differ from those of a trainee. Recent surveys suggest that not all medical practitioners are content with their professional lives these days. Approximately one-half express a significant level of job dissatisfaction, the percentage for women exceeding that for men. Some recent trends may contribute to this unhappiness. For example, modern communications and significant advances in health care have helped to foster unrealistic public expectations about our ability to diagnose and cure all. At the same time, Internet access has exposed most patients to comprehensive information on all manner of illnesses; this knowledge is helpful at times but, when taken out of context, can create confusion and complicate doctor-patient relationships. Also, chronic underfunding of the health care system has had an impact on working conditions, in large part due to a serious shortage of qualified specialists in Canada.