Family docs drop plan to require extra training

The body in charge of certifying family doctors in Canada is throwing the Uno reverse card at planned new training regulations.

What happened: The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is rolling back a new rule that would have required an extra year of training for doctors entering family medicine.

  • The reversal comes two weeks after 91% of registered CFPC members voted in favour of a non-binding motion to repeal the rule and establish a committee to decide what to do next.

Why it matters: One in five Canadians don’t have a family doctor, with another 29% reporting difficulty booking an appointment even if they do have one. Both physicians and health ministers say adding an extra year to an already arduous ten-year training process would have exacerbated this shortage.

  • Plus, interest in family medicine is already flatlining. The percentage of med students who listed it as their top field of interest has dropped from 38% to 30% since 2015.

Yes, but: The extra year was meant to better prepare physicians to deal with specialized areas like elder care and mental health, areas of practice that are in growing demand (and which some docs could probably use some extra training in).—QH