Why Canada needs networks to provide rural surgical care, including family doctors with essential surgical skills

Why Canada needs networks to provide rural surgical care, including family doctors with essential surgical skills

Can J Surg 2015;58(5):367-368 | PDF

Garth Warnock, MD, MSc; Peter Miles, MEd, MB

Summary

Time is long overdue for action to improve rural surgical services in Canada. In this issue of CJS, a proposed curriculum for the provision of enhanced surgical skills (ESS) to rural family physicians offers an opportunity to fortify a seamless network of high-quality surgical care for rural Canada. It is supported and enhanced by the best available evidence and measured advice from specialists and generalists alike. Publication of this curriculum proposal provides for essential dialogue with general surgeons. We discuss why we must play an active role in the development, teaching and evaluation of ESS, or we will have minimal influence and limited grounds on which to criticize its outcome or celebrate the opportunity of success it promises.


Accepted for publication Oct. 26, 2015

See also the editorial on p. 364, the commentary by Vinden and Ott on p. 369, and the discussino paper by Caron and colleagues on p. 419

Affiliations: From the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Warnock); and the Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Grande Prairie, Alta. (Miles).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: Both authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this commentary and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.014715

Correspondence to: G. Warnock, University of British Columbia, Department of Surgery, 3100 – 950, West 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC., V5Z 1M9; garth.warnock@vch.ca